I recently came across this radio documentary, hosted by poet Benjamin Zephaniah, looking at the Anglo-Caribbean Dominoes scene. The existence of such a scene is, admittedly, one I was completely and utterly ignorant of.
That’s probably because Dominoes is a game that, in our lust for the new, is forgotten among all the enormous boxes, plastic miniatures and exciting artwork.
What strikes me most in this documentary is the way those interviewed play Dominoes. They talk of the passion, the noise, the excitement and the mind games that take place across the table. This is of course a far cry from my image of the game, taking place in pubs devoid of conversation and heavy with stale pipe smoke.
The way these players describe Dominoes elevates the game. Dominoes isn’t a game that I am ever desperate to get to my table and I don’t think that documentary is going to change that. But what it did was reaffirm my belief that the humanity of tabletop gaming in whatever form can elevate mere rules to something much greater.
I chose the name Play is Important for this site because I truly believe that. Hearing the joy this simple game brings pour from my laptop speakers reminds me why.
Please do have a listen.