5 Reasons Millennials Should Play Go

Go, invented some 2,500 years ago in China, is little known in the USA but deserves a bigger audience. Millennials, specifically, can easily and fruitfully integrate Go into their lives and have fun in the process.

1. Go Has Few Rules But Endless Strategy

Millennials are notoriously independent-minded, and the freedom of a game of Go is a liberating experience. You start with an empty board and are free to fill it as you wish. The only major rule has to do with capturing stones — otherwise, go nuts! It is a far freer game than chess, for example, and encourages creative thinking.

2. Go Trains The Mind Better Than Sudoku

However, with endless creativity comes the responsibility to try to outwit your opponent. This is where Go teaches discipline and punishes greed and foolishness. Go provides something concrete and substantive to train our minds on, something that also bestows enlightening philosophical lessons.

3. Millennials Need a Good Challenge

The road from lowly 30 kyu (the weakest rank) to 9 dan (the strongest ranking) is a long and arduous one. Many people set the goal of becoming shodan, a very advanced level, but few achieve it. If any millennials feel holier-than-thou or smug, have them try their hand at Go. In the beginning it is frustrating but it becomes a satisfying challenge before too long.

4. Go Has Affinities With Computer Programming

Software development is one of the only fields that is still actively hiring in our sad economy and lots of millennials are trying to gain programming skills to fill these jobs. Go and programming have a lot in common in terms of troubleshooting, problem solving, and just being fun. While learning the language of computers, why not also learn the language of shapes and visual patterns?

5. You Can Do It Where Every Millennial Loves to Be: In Front Of Their Computer

We spend increasingly more and more time at our computers, and with good reason! Why not also play Go at your computer? The KGS server is a friendly place to learn the game and improve your skills. While it's mostly in English, they do have players from all over the world. It is honestly one of the last civil corners of the internet.

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Eric Tillberg

I graduated from Oberlin College in 2007 with degrees in Art History and Music Performance (double bass). Currently studying International Relations at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, I'm interested in Turkey and the Turkic world. I play Go at the KGS 6k level and am an avid fan of the board game Diplomacy.

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