I've always been a fanatic about games. What we might call classical table games-- the games that grow up more or less spontaneously out of a culture, and are played sitting at a table with special equipment. Board games. Card games. Throw in various tile games and dice games too.

Shogi Board Games. Chess, checkers, backgammon, Chinese checkers, parcheesi. Also more exotic board games... Go, which may be even a deeper game than chess. Shogi, or Japanese chess. Siang k'i, or Chinese chess. Other chess variants such as the Courier game, Tamerlane's chess, chaturanga, shatranj. Fox and geese. Mancala games. Nine men's morris. Once upon a time I even wrote from scratch a computer program which plays a tolerable game of Jetan, or Barsoomian chess, the game from Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel The Chessmen of Mars.

Card Games, too many to name them all. Schafskopf. Pinochle. Euchre. Cribbage. Five Hundred. Poker. Canasta. I can't tell you how many card decks I've got-- hundreds? And some of them are... well, different. Have you ever seen Japanese hanafuda cards?

Tile games. Dominoes. Mah Jongg. Dice games. How many games can you play with dice?

The Quintuple Arcana I always felt with games, as with radio, that I was entering some alternate level of reality. To be immersed in a game of chess, nine men's morris, pinochle, was to be steeped in something like another world. A world bathed in an unearthly light. A world perfused with some ineffable secret.

At a certain age I began to make up my own "classical table games." Some, like my game of Blue Pinochle, were "in the ballpark." Some, like the Quintuple Arcana (Mna Jondir-Pantho Zinisa) were like nothing you've ever seen or heard of before.