I am not too much of a sports person, but I have had my decent share of association with sports. I am quite a talent when it comes to domestic cricket (playing in front of homes) I used to play shuttle badminton and carrom as a child. I am crazy about playing table tennis. And hey, I did not count watching the girls of my class play throw ball during my high school days ;)
So, why are people basically interested in sports and games? The easiest explanation I can think of is that games pose tremendous physical and mental challenges, overcoming which gives people a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Now, some of the games are played between two people - like carrom, table tennis or boxing. And some are between two groups of people - like soccer, basketball, cricket. In some games, both the parties play simultaneously and try to outsmart or outpower each other, while some are asynchronous. You can even count computer games, as these ones are played against virtual opponents. But, the biggest reason why games attract people is the infinite possibilities they offer. The way a carrom game goes on starts with the way it opens up and how other players respond, so no two games are alike. A cricket match between two teams is different from all other matches played before because of so many other parameters like pitch, weather, tactics - and not to forget the influence of bookies!
You might think why I am writing on sports and games, all of a sudden. Its because, I narrowly escaped going to a bowling alley last week! Now, before you start branding me as thrash king (or trash king, whatever!) let me clarify. I have played bowling more than a couple of times before. I dont thrash a game just because I dont play it. Though I feel that golf is boring (I have never played it, so I could be prejudiced and totally wrong) I think every golf game is not the same, because there are so many parameters like the shape of the course, the club you are using, wind etc. etc. I feel that rugby is no better than WWF, but I can understand that there is a challenge in fighting so many people and reaching the other side, whatever. So, even though I dont like those games, I am not stunned when others love those games. But, this bowling? I just cant understand what makes people like it!
This amazing game called bowling has 10 pins placed in the form of a triangle. And you have got a huge ball (no pun intended!) to knock those pins down. So, here the pins are placed in exactly the same way and there is "nothing" else that can change a game. Yes, I know the pain in your fingers is the only parameter. And if you have a bad opening, then you need to think a bit how to finish the remaining pins. But, if you master the art of knocking down the pins in the first attempt itself, there is no challenge (I think anybody who has played enough can easily master that) A bit of wikipediaing tells me that there are various versions of this game, but again, this is a game where there are no other parameters that can alter a game, unless you screw it up.
And there are people who play it weekend after weekend - wearing those lousy shoes, listening to that loud music being played on giant televisions and giving hi-fis every time they are awarded a strike. A whole generation that thinks that this is a great way to hang out with buddies (its hang-out mind you, not spending quality time)
If there are any bowling freaks out there, please enlighten me why this game is so loved.