hollow victory

A few months ago, the same coworker who introduced me to CityStrides told me about a new game that one plays by walking or running to win territory.

In Stride, you hold a hex—a six-sided area that is a few hundred meters across—by being the person who has visited that area the most during the past 60 days. If an activity includes a closed shape, then all of the hexes within that shape count as “visited” for this purpose. I quickly came to see that as a flaw. Because you can win territory that you’ve never even been near, as long as you’ve enclosed it in a potentially very large loop, this game doesn’t encourage the same sort of detailed exploration of neighborhoods as CityStrides does. Also, because the amount of area “visited” increases with the square of the distance traveled during a single activity, Stride strongly encourages small numbers of long activities instead of healthy daily activity habits. I won Seattle not by being a diligent visitor of each part of the city but by doing occasional very large loops that encircled parts of the city.

So, yeah, definitely hollow… in more than one sense.

But, for whatever it’s worth, I’m king of Seattle and the state of Washington right now. And, unfortunately, also Mercer Island.

In this map, green is territory that I have, orange indicates a tie, and blue is someone else’s territory. The white border shows the city limits of Seattle.