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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 56
Issue 1

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
I Believe in Catan
Lea Masson
I believe in Catan. The whispered prayers of my companions are the only thing I can hear as my vision narrows, focusing only on the small plastic cubes spinning eagerly across the wooden tabletop. The vivid colors of a game board with the words Settlers of Catan proudly printed on it and its similarly neon pieces are seared into my mind, and I know with absolute certainty that fate is on my side. There is no way I could possibly lose, I think to myself as the twin die finally stop twirling. Unfortunately, as soon as I reach this conclusion, the cheers and excitement surrounding me are drowned out by my realization that the roll is not in my favor. The roll is never in my favor. Despite this, I will always keep playing.
I believe that Catan compares to life because it’s hard, but it reminds me that things aren’t going to be easy. I won’t give up, no matter how many times I mess up or lose a game. I push through, past the constant obstacles and endless disappointments, because one day I will succeed. One day, in the admittedly distant future, I will win Catan.
Throughout my childhood, my family was obsessed with board games, most notably the Settlers of Catan. Unfortunately, I am not nearly as talented at this lovable resource-based game as the rest of my clan. I have never once won a game of Catan. However, I will continue to play, even if only because my family suggests it. It isn’t something I would choose on my own, but isn’t that life? We aren’t given a choice, but simply have to work from our starting positions.
In Catan, players are asked to select different resource hexes on the board to build from, with the player gaining said resources if the hexes’ number is rolled. As someone who is lacking in Catan strategy, I often pick wrong. In fact, I recall once playing a game with the river expansion pack, because yes, my family is that nerdy, and picking a hex far away from the rivers. However, if I had built by the river, I would have gained more resources and might have even won. Sometimes in life, you make the wrong choice. You pick the wrong hex, and suddenly everything seems so much harder. But you push through, and you make the best of it. So be it if it took ten whole turns to gather the lumber and brick cards I needed to build a road. I did it, and that is enough. Life is unpredictable, but what makes us human is our ability to make the best out of any situation. I may not be good at Catan, but I treasure my memories of it because those are memories of spending time with my family.
I believe in Catan because it reminds me that the road ahead of me isn’t going to be a flat, straight path. It’s going to have its bumps. I will mess up, and there will always be obstacles in front of me. But I will push through because I know in the end, I’ll be okay. I believe in Catan.