Child’s Game of the Year 2022: “The Good Loser is Still Having Fun” – Panorama

Austrian Wolfgang Warsch, 42, has only been working full-time as a game inventor since 2018. Now, for the first time, he has released two games for kids: “Also smart” and “Z Quacks & Co. to Quedlinburg ”were nominated for the“ Children’s Games of the Year 2022 ”. Yet another, “Magic Mountain” by Jens-Peter Schliemann and Bernhard Weber won. Quite right, says Wolfgang Warsch.

SZ: Herr Warsch, how well can you lose?

Wolfgang Warsch: Oh, I was angry in the first two minutes, the reward would be nice. “Magic Mountain” was considered a secret favorite. I bought the game two weeks ago and played it with my kids. They both loved the game. My daughter said, “Daddy, it’s going to be hard for you. I don’t think you will win. “

What makes a good loser?

The good loser was still having a good time. Not only is the game attractive when you win, but in the end everyone won if everyone had a good time.

You are a molecular biologist and have been working in cancer research for many years. How does game research and development fit together?

There are some parallels there. In both cases, a lot of mental work is required. Some basic knowledge is needed in research that you gain by reading your studies in order to then have an idea for a new research project. This also applies to the development of board games. Both professions require patience. Something is constantly being changed and re-tested.

Now you come up with games full time. Is the game more exciting than research?

I can’t say it’s nicer, but most of all it’s a big change. I have worked in cancer research for twelve years. At one point, the question arose if I should do something completely new again. In fact, I just wanted to take a two or three month break. But then four of my successful games hit the market.

Austrian Wolfgang Warsch, 42, has been involved in cancer research for twelve years. He has been inventing games full-time since 2018.

(photo by Simona Bednarek / Game of the year)

You originally came up with two kids games which got you nominated as adult games. What does a good game for kids need?

Simple rules and a short game time from ten to 20 minutes. Children are especially drawn to something visual or tactile. Personally, it is important to me that the games are fun and appealing to parents.

Do children have different motivations to play than adults?

Younger people still like to play with their parents. For a certain age, winning has certainly come to the fore, and then tears are flowing. For these children, cooperative games are suitable, in which they all play together.

How can you teach your children to enjoy playing together?

A cooperative game is a good start – like Magic Mountain. Games like this have only become popular in the last 20 years. When you come to an agreement and you have a common fictional opponent, there is a sense of community. Even if you lose, at least they all lost together.

Does your family have to play with you every night to test your game ideas?

Not adult games, my wife is not a huge board player. I meet other game designers here in Vienna once a week and we pass on our opinions. It is different with games for children. Sitting home locked in early 2020, I started playing games with my kids. Hence the ideas for today’s children’s games.

Is there any game you don’t like at all?

Games where you know too early who will win and who will lose bore me. Generally, when playing with adults, I am not a fan of cooperative games. In most cases, a leader appears. The more introverted people then gamble, but can’t really contribute.

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