Linsley’s reaction is typical for the uninitiated. On an explanatory level “Catan” and its many variations may strike the non-gaming community as a bit absurd. The goal is to build up more “settlements” than your opponents, which players can do by collecting resources (brick, wool, wheat, etc.) or by negotiating trades with others. There are other aspects to the game, as well, but when simply talked about, it winds up sounding like a tedious intellectual exercise. But when played, it’s really a social experience.
In other words, “Catan,” which has won numerous gaming awards since it was first published in Germany in 1995, is just plain fun. And addictive. And judging from tweets marked “#catan” from tackle David Bakhtiari, who reportedly introduced the game to the locker room, he probably knew this going in.
“We are completely addicted to it; we play it whenever we can,” tight end Justin Perillo told WSJ.
Backup quarterback Matt Flynn, who has somehow managed to avoid Catan’s irresistible siren song, added that the team takes its game nights so seriously that he was once chastised for attempting to play music.
“I was just trying to play some music, some Pearl Jam, and [Bakhtiari] wouldn’t let me,” Flynn told WSJ. “He wanted to hear the players talk and strategize. He was very serious. They take it to a different level.”
From one player to all the others out there, though, it’s pretty hard not to. Catan is awesome. Packers fans now just hope its addictive nature doesn’t cause a distraction when the team faces the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday. There’s nothing worse than refusing to block for a teammate just because he rolled a seven and placed the robber on your ore quarry.