I didn’t view it under that specific angle in my first few years of playing; however, the answer to the question came to me last fall during one of my daily afternoon walks as I was pondering what exactly has my life turned out to be thus far. During one thought experiment, I had written a list of questions addressing where life improvements should be made and what are the prospects for the next five years, among them questions concerning why I used to do things in a particular way and the reason I kept doing them for so long including this one seemingly important question: why do I play battledawn? For me, there had to be a reason why I liked to play this game to the point of addiction in much the same way there had to be a reason why I liked mathematics and philosophy. I went on further to think there also must be a connection among the latter preoccupations and battledawn, some sort of trait they all shared. It appeared to me that the thing these three had in common is that they are each a disinterested form of art in a particular way (disinterested as in something I do for its own sake without expecting anything but satisfaction and consolation in return) and which really is the reason why I liked to play this game alongside doing mathematics or reading philosophy.
When it comes to mathematics, at least in its pure branch, what exactly do I expect to draw from practicing all sorts of problems and trying to see the underlying patterns guiding me straight to the solution? Nothing in practical terms, however when appreciated for its own sake much satisfaction is to be drawn from taking the time to think in mathematical terms about the best possible way to come to a solution.
Now moving to philosophy, what exactly do I get from reflecting upon fundamental questions of philosophy namely ‘what is good?’, ‘what is beauty?’, ‘what is love?’, ‘what is the meaning of life?’, ‘does god exist?’ and so on and which preoccupy everyone from amateurs like myself to the greatest minds of our day. Consolation mainly, especially after having come to my own conclusions that life was inherently absurd and that the only meaning it has is the one I give to it through my actions. Yet again, nothing to be drawn in practical terms.
Finally on battledawn. I think the reason I like it has to do with something we all need as humans and it is a platform where we can dispense our violent and primitive impulses as desiring, waging wars, conquer a portion of land and call it our own, however in a way that does not bring physical harm to anyone. From hunter-gatherers forming tribes to acquire resources for survival to a game where precisely the same features coexist in a patchwork of competition, strategy and diplomacy in which players form alliances to win. ‘‘What does it have to do with art?’’ one may well ask. Well, I believe any activity where our violent human impulses may be sublimed into beauty and harmony (for instance, an alliance in which players work harmoniously well together, move together in wars, participate in acquiring as much outposts and conquers as possible each in his own spot and so forth) is worth of being called a disinterested form of art.
All three preoccupations seem to me to share that one same characteristic as disinterested aesthetic contemplation (that which deals with what is beautiful and harmonious) from mastering a concept in mathematics, to viewing things under different angles and come to form our own consoling conclusions in philosophy and dispensing our violent impulses on the virtual battlefields this beautiful game has to offer.