Recently I caught a severe disease here in Taiwan. Well, don’t worry, it’s not about avian flu or something like this. My disease could be called Mahjong fever and if you don’t know what it is, you will get to know it very soon 🙂
Probably you think of this solitaire Mahjong with hundreds of different types you can play at the computer. Well this is something provided using the name Mahjong, however it almost doesn’t have any connection with the original game from China, except the tiles sometimes. Maybe game providers had been afraid that foreigners couldn’t understand the rules of original Mahjong.
Thus, if I write of Mahjong in the following I refer to the game, which rules are described in this great Wikipedia article. I think it’s too long to copy and paste it here, so please just follow the link. Furthermore I found a very interesting intro movie explaining some Mahjong basics in motion.
There’s hardly no one in China who doesn’t know how to play Mahjong, which is very fascinating for a game which might be up tp 4000 years old. The first time I played Mahjong was in Hualien this year in February. Some friends introduced me to the game and helped making the first moves, after a few hours I got it quite ok I guess and since then I never lost interest in playing Mahjong.
Recently I got a software for playing Mahjong at the computer. The graphics are nicely done and the gameplay is very smooth, it just makes fun and it’s really close to the real game. To give you one more clue how it is to play Mahjong I will add some screenshots of the game for you:
The start of each round. Every player gets 16 tiles (Taiwan style). It’s my
turn right now and I can decide whether to keep the right side tile or not.
PONG! I already had a pair of tiles, now someone
offered the third one, so I can shout PONG and finish one part.
During playing Mahjong in real life,
people might also act like this from time to time 😉
Every virtual player has a unique set of comments and jokes,
most of them really funny. Friends told so because it’s still hard to understand for me.
Ups, someone wins and is happy 🙂
Scoring. The more complicated the
combination is, the higher the score you get.
I wanted to learn how to play Mahjong by all means, because it deeply belongs to Chinese culture and foreigners being able to play Mahjong are considered to be really cool, haha 😉