Many expats living in places without extensive entertainment options love playing games for fun.  Poker and other card games are especially popular, as well as trivia nights at public places, board game nights hosted at expats’ homes, golf outings, and video game marathons.  They’re fun diversions from the norm, particularly when “fun” activities such as the theater, sporting events, or (jazz/disco) clubs are few and far between.

Game nights are a great way to get together with your friends and colleagues and socialize in a competitive atmosphere.  Still, I’m a contrarian when it comes to competitive game playing.  I would rather channel my competitive energy and enthusiasm into something more financially lucrative.  While I enjoy socializing and joining acquaintances at an occasional get together, I’ve never really had much of an interest in playing games on a recurring basis.  I often prefer to take the money and time I would have spent on the activity and invest or donate it.  I once suggested starting an investment club with someone who enjoyed playing poker.  They liked the idea but opted to put down $40 a night on a chance to rake in $200 or lose it all.  Personally, I would rather spend the four hours and $40 I would have spent gambling and invest it in the stock market.  The odds of success are better, and the returns tend to outperform those of game nights.

Although I do enjoy socializing and occasionally participating in a game night, I usually weigh the cost and benefit and then decide whether I want to spend an evening’s worth of precious time playing games.  Other activities often take priority and have a much higher return.


Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his family. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at or contact him by e-mail at or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

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© 2019 Brilliance Press. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted without the written consent of the author. World Adventurers and BE. Brilliance Equity are registered trademarks of Brilliance Equity LLC.

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