Essay by Alex Randolph
Alex Randolph was the son of artists: his father a painter, his mother a sculptor, inevitably an artist himself: writer, poet, certainly a thinker and perhaps even a philosopher, citizen of the world, author of games, or rather the author of authors of games.
His short essay Homo Ordinator, presented in Florence in April 1999 during the Board Game in Accademia III conference, collects his thoughts Playing and Games.
I read it years ago and I confess that, at a first reading, I was not particularly impressed. It seemed to me a simple piece of writing, a potpourri of well-known things.
However, having had the opportunity to know and associate with Alex, I read it again later, after his death, and only then did I notice some connections, a common thread and therefore the opportunity to underline some fundamental passages.
Some time later, a third reading was fundamental for me: I finally caught the profound reflections of an entire life and surprisingly summarized in a simple but witty way.
Finally, I did not give up a fourth reading in an attempt to grasp still more, a deeper immersion, but at that point more than finding anything else, I came to hear his calm voice, slightly ironic and light-hearted: and his writing became a story, a fable from which to emerge satisfied.
I consider myself very lucky for this meeting, for this friendship with Alex even though I met him only when he had entered his last years of life. Try to read it too: perhaps accompany the reading with the vision of old films of some of Alex’s speakings at some conference, or with the episode of the Wikiradio podcast (Rai Radio 3) that Andrea Angiolino dedicated to him at the time.
As for me, now I am more than certain that sooner or later, healthy and always stimulating new readings await me.