Why I Play Black

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I always play with Black. I’m not sure if it started during my only-wear-black-clothes phase (which never really ended), if it stems from leftover teenage angst, or perhaps it just comes from my contrarian nature. Black has always been the go-to game piece.

Black is a color that represents mystery. Sometimes that mystery leads to fear, other times strength, and as a combination of both it most certainly embodies confidence. Often times black has a negative connotation in that its evil or dark—but as with most things, it’s in the eye of the beholder. Again, as a natural contrarian I like the idea of being defaulted into the adversarial role. As an avid gamer and sports fan I always enjoy a challenge and relate more to the underdog than the favorite.

Black_Game_PiecesAs a gamer, black is a pretty risky color to man. In most games, black pieces have the highest amount of contrast when placed on the board. Standing out in a board game is more often than not a bad idea. People pay attention to you more. Opponents are more aware of what you are doing on the board as opposed to other colors that might blend in with the board design, getting glossed over when reviewing the state of the game. As I write this I’m starting to realize that maybe I just like the attention. For certain, the challenge of other players focusing on you is always fun. Sometimes I can even turn that emphasis placed on me into an advantage, leveraging their attention in one aspect of the game while shifting gears into another.

All that said the most obvious question remains—when there isn’t a black piece in a game, what do I play? Well, pink of course! “Wait a minute. The guy who loves the mystery and edgy dark side connotation switches to pink?!?!?” Yes, yes I do. Pink is still in the contrarian wheelhouse. As a male, pink is a color that we are raised to associate with females. You can’t deny the “pink aisle” at the toy store or the pink version of either your favorite game system or sports team’s jersey. Whether you agree with the gender bias of the color pink is a different story—I for one really like the color (especially when paired with green; note the colors used on www.TheGamerNerd.com).

Let me add a little disclaimer here. I’m not that annoying guy at the game table that ABSOLUTELY HAS TO PLAY [INSERT COLOR HERE]!!! When no one has a preference, I’ll snag the black player tokens. When playing with new gamers I will always forego any color choice. I think its important to let the newbies use the color they want, whatever makes them more excited to game is always alright with me.

Of course this little editorial would not be complete if I didn’t ask you to return the favor. What color do you play? Is there a back story behind your choice?


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