Nestled among classy eateries and health clinics at Vantage, that commercial area out of the front of Straits Quay, RNG Games is a roomy and casual hobby store that caters to a wide variety of gamers and enthusiasts.
There is no admission fee, and you can come in and play for FREE! How cool is that?
RNG Games has an expansive collection of the latest board games, card games and collectibles. There are lots of board games that are open and available for anyone to pick up and play.
Magic: The Gathering is also supported here, and it’s a common sight to see MTG players duking it out on the long tables.
And down the back you have a quieter, more well-equipped area for figurine enthusiasts to work on their models and miniatures.
So in short (bit late for that, perhaps), this is one of the most well-equipped and designed board game shops in Penang, with a roomy and relaxing environment and fun for the whole family!
Of course it also helps to be one of the only board game shops left in Penang. Actually, I can’t think of another one off the top of my head, so I guess it really is best!
Have you ever wondered about the infinite possibilities this world has to offer? The endless opportunities. the countless chances, the manifold permutations of Minecraft? Ever wonder what the greatest questions in the world is?
To put it simply – have you ever asked:
The greatest question there ever was
I bet you’d be lying if you said you didn’t.
Clearly this is one of the most basic human instincts, a quintessential human trait if you will. The ability to predict different outcomes and alternate futures based on a set of rules or knowledge. The power to imagine.
- What if I had taken cooking classes instead of accounting?
- What if I had met my friend the morning of the accident?
- What if I had turned left instead?
Surely that is the greatest question that humans have ever posed. The question that elevates us from the rest of cute and cuddly fauna and flora of this planet.
- What if animals could ask what if?
If they could, cats would probably stop knocking things off the table after the first time. Or not. Jerks.
What’s so special about what if?
- What if we had no imagination?
Without imagination, we would be rather thoughtless creatures. We would be slaves to our basic instincts and emotions, driven by our immediate needs and present dangers.
With it we are free to explore each and every one of these possibilities in our minds, which allows us to predict ahead and create contingency plans and prepare for the worst and all that.
To see a dark sky and imagine the sweeping winds and rain. To hear a rustle and imagine a rabid poo-flinging chimp on a hoverboard.
Our imaginations are our greatest assets.
Or are they?
Have you ever spent days just dreaming about what your future could be like? Countless hours wishing you had done things differently? That you could go back and change the course of time?
We can become lost in our mental wanderings; trapped in a vicious cycle of what-if’s.
Always looking back, gazing over your shoulder. Stuck in rewind.
And as powerful as that recall can be, as vivid as those memories are, as recurring as those nightmares become, there is no redo.
There is however, recourse.
That is to open up to the imagination of others, to let others in.
No matter the pain, it will subside. Sharing with others, letting other distractions in is a form of healing. It is not a sign of defeat, nor is it a form of weakness.
Strangely enough, sometimes these may not be your friends or loved ones. That is not to say you cannot find solace in the ones closest to you; perhaps some may require a bit of distance and seek solitude or strangers as their recourse.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the what-if’s that we miss out on the very real opportunities right in front of us.
This is painting a rather poor light on our innocent and unassuming imagination. I’m certain neither of those adjectives would be commonly associated with our dream machine, but that depends on how we allow our imaginations to be influenced by our own mental predispositions.
Take a child’s imagination, if you will. Like most things, it is a blank slate, receptive to the world around it. It takes in what it sees, and this is the first fuel for its imagination.
As the child grows, more complex concepts come to bear, many things are experienced, a broader range of emotions are felt. The imagination begins to blossom forth like a wild, ravenous monstrous beast, taking it in all sorts of directions and adventures.
If nurtured, this imagination can go on to create new and wonderful things. Pretty and inspiring things. Yes.
Or it can be pounded and bludgeoned into drooling submission, a slave to pain and anguish, imagining the terror of others, the fake emotions from a fake scenario where triumph is at hand. Yeeesssss.
It doesn’t matter what situation we are in, our imagination is capable of finding a way out – finding many, many ways out. There is always a choice.
Or at least, that’s what I would like to believe.
Sure, in some situations the available options are drastically dwindled, but our resourceful imagination usually has a solution. It may or may not be a good one, but really it’s whether or not we can take the right action and carry it out.
Wait, that sounds like some really bad Hollywood movie where the protagonist and company survive silly odds based on some wacky nonsensical notion.
Now back to the analogy and the ageing imagination. As the imagination matures, it undergoes all sorts of transformation – some good, some bad, some terrifying, some terrifyingly mundane.
And as it ages it has the opportunity to look back on more and more of its past, to lament what was and what could have been. The what-if’s gradually build up, the chagrin creeps in.
Regret is something that imagination is very much responsible for. That and hindsight.
If we didn’t have the power of prediction, we wouldn’t be able to figure out the things that we could have done, and thus would be unable to lament all the missed chances and poor decisions in the course of our past life.
So based on the fuzzy snapshots we call memory (yes, yes, you have eidetic memory, go recite the numbers of pie), we bring our imagination to bear and imagine a life where things might have gone a little better, or more excitingly.
Do you have regrets?
Perhaps there are those who live without such a burden, I do not doubt it.
These are people who have grown old (well, not necessarily that old) without allowing their unfettered imaginations to run wild. Or they have just had really, really awesome lives.
Can we control our imaginations?
Wait, what am I suggesting?
Well, of course you can!
I apologise it took me this long to get to something that is remotely interesting. Oh, not really? Ok, nice to see you too!
Now how do we control these fantasy-churning, madness-inducing megaton machines?
It’s simple: with drugs.
You know, the really powerful ones that you have to take three times a day for the rest of your life that cost a thousand bucks a tablet.
It’s not surprise the pharmaceutical industry hasn’t taken over the world yet. C’mon Umbrella Corp!
I’m messing with you.
Our imaginations are wired with our minds and emotions. If you’re angry you will naturally imagine doing nasty things (no, not that kind of nasty) to those who have wronged you. If you’re sad…look, just go watch Inside Out already.
In order to harness your imagination, you just have to watch what you feed it.
Emotions and thoughts are fuel. If you don’t want to be daydreaming all the time or riddled with regret, channel your energy elsewhere!
Easier said than done, right?
Like all things worth having, this takes time and practice.
This doesn’t mean you should force yourself to only think of happy things and lull your imagination into a false state of blissful ignorance. Just treat it right and it will serve you well.
Your imagination itself could very well help you out of a dark place. Just look at J.K. Rowling. She was struggling for the longest time, but her imagination and persistence created something that is now loved and enjoyed by millions around the world.
I mean, just look at all the Harry Potter fanfic! Actually, on second thought, don’t.
I used to be like you. Yes, you.
Sitting in front of your computer; trapped within a black mirror; living life through a lens; chained to fictional fantasies; playing the virtual game of life.
And for the most part I still am. It is hard to escape from the technology that we rely so heavily upon, that gives us endless enjoyment and none of the calories.
However, I no longer derive satisfaction or a sense of achievement from the arbitrary numbers some software assigns to me. Yes, computer games and the like.
Does that make me any better than you? Of course not.
I simply decided that I wanted to create something in this life, achieve something more meaningful than…some level in some game, or some number in some account.
Do you have an urge to make something of yourself?
Make something with your own hands? Create something new and exciting? Push your body and mind to the limits?
Maybe you tried and failed, and so you find solace in grinding up some numbers and gaining endorphins when you pwn some noob online.
Or maybe you’re struggling to make something of yourself, battling to make ends meet. And sometimes you need to switch on the telly and not think for a while.
And that’s perfectly alright.
Or perhaps your job is so fulfilling that you needn’t turn to anything else to fuel your sense of achievement.
Ah, who am I kidding?
Sure, you’ve got commitments and bills and soccer practice and that holiday you’ve been saving up for.
When was the last time you achieved a goal you set for yourself?
I gave myself a goal: before I turn 30, I want to be ranked within the top 30 in a competitive sports event. 30 before 30, get it?
While the result itself is nothing to brag about (really need to improve my run), my point is that I managed to achieve my goal!
Was it a particularly easy goal? Maybe.
Who does triathlons these days? So lame. Uh…lots of people?
Was I remotely happier that I achieved something I set out to do? Definitely yes.
How did you feel when you achieved your goal?
It’s also good to do an assessment after reaching a goal.
Almost sounds like school.
Well, how did you feel?
Achieve a small goal. Feel a little better. Achieve a bigger goal. Feel much win! Er, right?
Supposedly, but sometimes you’ll need to take a moment to reflect. Think about what you achieved and was it worth it? Should you continue?
I know I will. This is but a small stepping stone.
And perhaps if you keep working at these small goals, one day who knows what you’ll have achieved?
Sometimes doing mini quests does contribute to the main quest – if the main story is about you and your life.
So make it count. Start today.
If I can do it, so can you.
Penangites sure have it lucky – you’ve got the calm blue seas under a balmy bright sky; swathes of sandy beaches; towering hills at your back; tropical rainforests interspersed with trickling waterfalls; crazy cyclists whizzing down your narrow roads.
Penang has always been this hidden gem of pearls and pride and prudence – a stronghold of businessmen and tourists. A secret blend of modern and traditional; an endless cacophony of smells and sounds and tasty food; a stark juxtaposition of relaxed colonial landmarks and frenzied industrial monoliths; a harmonious mix of ethnicities and cultures and crazy people.
And no, I don’t work for the tourism board of Penang.
Here is a really nice blog I stumbled across during my research (with my good friend Google).
“Is this a bike which I see before me?” it asks.
And what will you do with it? Will you take the handle in yours? Clutch it tight? Travel the world and the seven seas?
What did you think when you first saw a bicycle?
Just another form of transport? Bit old fashioned there, eh ol’ chap? Wonder if I can ride one.
Most of us will have been exposed to bikes at one point or another in our childhood (even if we have yet to have the pleasure of riding one). Ubiquitous, they are. Unless you live in the South Pole or something.
I bet they have snow bikes there.
Wait, people seriously ride those things?
Did you think about taking it for a spin? Or was it an object of fear and discomfort?
I honestly can’t recall my early times atop a bicycle, but I must have cycled somewhere somehow. I certainly didn’t ride much while I was in school.
And then I picked it back up when I decided to get a bike to commute to work. Five kilometres one way. Looking back, it was really nothing. But I struggled. Especially up that darn hill.
That was perhaps one of the few positive life-changing decisions I’ve made.
And I’ve never looked back.
Now I didn’t have a bike magically fall into my lap. That would hurt. I actually consciously made up my mind that I wanted a bike, and I went out and got one. Well, I went with my mum. So it was kind of handed to me, but I had to ask for it first.
And it was a magnificent bike. Straight bar alloy hybrid road bike with gears and all that. Still have it to this day.
Now it seems cycling is making a comeback and gaining popularity as a sport and recreational activity. Many compare it to golf, like one of those sports fads that comes and goes. I think it has a little more real world relevance than golf.
Unless they turn those golf carts into a form of commute.
Ease on down, ease on down the road!
Yeah, I don’t know where I was going with this. It’s getting late.
Just don’t leave you bicycle unattended, guys. Bunnies will steal it.
Peace out. comiccom