By Tom Bannister
While the rest of the world distracted themselves with summit meetings on terrorism, major economic restructuring and climate-change, the really big issues of the day have been quietly debated in Chengdu. Yes, that’s right, it’s the news you have been continuously refreshing your feeds for: the Chengdu Board and Card-Game Association’s convention is over and they have come to some interesting conclusions.
Hostages die, more businesses go under, and the seas continue to rise, but mahjong’s problems may have been solved. Chengdu is the centre of the mahjong world and the CBACGA is an important player. Their convention concluded after two months of intense debate, gaming and tea-drinking, and has decided upon some new ‘civilising’ guidelines that, they hope, will ‘guide and standardise’ the raucous game.
The board-game is hugely popular in many cities and is often cited as a cause of social problems. Players die after playing for too long, and addictions to the game are often blamed for marriage break-ups and the economic un-productivity of local residents. Most famously, anti-social mahjong players in Chengdu continued to play on even though a man on a neighbouring table had died.
Fans worldwide will hope that the new guidelines, titled ‘The Civilised Mahjong Conventions’, and formed from the many suggestions put forward at the conference, will help to bring some order to the game. Below are the ten ‘do’s and don’ts of the guidelines:
The Civilised Mahjong Conventions
1) Play for fun and entertainment, not for greed and gambling.
2) Be relaxed, don’t endanger your health.
3) Appreciate the wisdom of the game, not the winning or losing.
4) Play with refined and elegant bearing, don’t be vulgar and debauched.
5) Pay attention to hygiene, don’t be sloppy and dirty.
6) Be peaceful and calm, not loud and noisy.
7) Abide by your agreed arrangements, dont arrive late or leave early.
8) Follow the rules, dont cheat.
9) Uphold public morality, dont smoke and drink too much.
10) Be harmoniously joyful, don’t spread scandal and rumour.