Okay, this has nothing to do with balance within games.
Amount of time I spent actually gaming in my recent trip to China == 0.
I did talk about a game store, about the ability to buy Magic cards, about Yu-Gi-Oh!’s (parody) world and the best episodes of them all – the Dungeon Dice Monsters episodes. I had a conversation that involved bridge and 7 Wonders. I did give away four decks of cards – just playing cards.
There were ideas – travel always seems to hit my superhero nerve and my Feng Shui nerve, of course the latter is in mind due to 2e, anything Chinese relating to it, etc.
Sure, I failed the “24 hours” test. Whenever a “real” gamer goes to another country, failing to find a local game within 24 hours is pathetic.
So, that’s kind of where I’m going. As it’s highly probable I’ll be going to China 1-2 times more this year, what sort of gaming do I want to get in? Can play cards, probably, without too much difficulty. Mahjong is an obvious thing to try to generate because it’s always funny to play with people outside the family. I don’t really care about getting Magic cards in Chinese as I still have half a box of Invasion I haven’t bothered doing anything with, but it would be interesting to hunt up any game stores. I wonder if that boardgame store I went to still exists.
I can speak virtually no Mandarin and understand that much less, so RPG play is out with the sort of people I’ve gamed with (and I have little interest in repeating my Werewolf (Mafia) experience). CCG play would be a thing, but I’d probably have to teach Shadowfist or V:TES to people as Magic is kind of unnecessary to do again. Shadowfist might be easier to sell, though most of the people I already know aren’t the type I can imagine being that interested.
Boardgame play should be relatively easy. The question is whether it’s funnier to learn a new game or more productive to play something I don’t need to read the instructions for. Poker was always highly profitable for me, but I think I’ve done that enough. Chinese chess would be a checklist item to do, but I’ve never enjoyed the game much.
There is, of course, a Meetup group. That seems like the easy way to go for playing with expats and others. That’s even something where RPG play could be possible, though being someone who drops in for one session is likely disruptive, anyway, unless it’s just a hack and slash fest.
The question is whether there’s any point to trying to promote games or just to find the local groups and play something to socialize and for the humor value. The latter means likely just playing Euroboardgames or regular card games. Where boardgames are considered acceptable, mahjong has some negative connotations and is far too much of a gambling game to want to play with strangers.
I certainly don’t want to carry much. I suppose a box of CCG decks is feasible. I doubt there’s any boardgame I care enough about to actually want to put into my luggage.
And, that’s kind of that for what I can think of in terms of trying to get some gaming in 在上海.
As for using Shanghai as inspiration, such as setting a game there, well, that seems like effort. Maybe if I keep going back enough, I’ll get more motivated.