Shall We Play a Game?

2 07 2014

I come from a family loaded with avid board game players.  From Sorry and Yahtzee, as kids, to Trivial Pursuit, 25 Words or Less, or anything else that might induce a brain cramp in our decidedly un-athletic, but extraordinarily competitive pack; our family motto is “Play to Win, but Play Fair!”

What I like about board games is that there is a specific intended outcome and there are clearly defined available moves. The tools and choices available are the same for every player; to win, you just have to use those tools more skillfully than your opponents.  Level playing field, clear goals, well-defined sequence of play, fixed parameters: these are the ingredients of a good game.

Seems that we could use that clarity of purpose and step-by-step approach in other, more important, areas of life, especially in cases where lots of us (even all of us) are expected/required to do something . . .  say something required by our government . . .  getting health insurance, for example.

I am good at following directions, playing the game by the rules.  I am not at all comfortable playing a game that I don’t know where the goal is and the rules are subject to change without prior notice. That’s the experience I felt, when I tried to change my health insurance coverage.

The details of my skirmish are not important. What is important is that if I –a pretty well-educated person, a person with twenty-five years’ experience in the insurance industry (!), a person who is perfectly capable of handling every other aspect of keeping my stuff together, a person who is pretty much un-intimidate-able – can be made to feel helpless; what does it portend for the poor folks with less time to “Hold for the next available associate?”

It’s all fun and games, until someone gets hurt – and finds out, after the fact, what their insurance does not cover.  Play fair, Big Healthcare. You’re going to win, anyway.

For the very young (under 50): watch the trailer at about 0:46, to get my title reference.





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