Just a few thoughts i’ve had whilst mulling over my love for board games…
Board Gaming Improves Quality of Life!
Well, put it this way, before playing games, me and my partner Jon used to do regular couple-y things, but most of it ended with drinking, and we used to drink a lot. Which pretty much would result in a lot of wasted money, feeling ill and arguing. Maybe once at the police station. More often than not eating pizza and passing out. Looking back, generally it wasn’t all that fun. So it’s fantastic that since playing tabletop games (which probably began in earnest at the end of 2013) we have had so much more fun together and i’m pleased to say drinking responsibly (or in my case not really) and behaving like actual adults (who play games like kids) has been so much more of a great way to live. It’s also a perfect way to actually interact with one another, and spend time together doing an activity that isn’t eating whilst binge watching shows and movies (that’s our other favourite thing!)
Babies can destroy your board gaming dreams….for a while.
It’s a sad fact, but so very true, that babies will destroy the quality of your board gaming. But the good news is that it’s not for long! For a few months last year we wasn’t too involved in the board gaming sphere, I didn’t lose interest as such, but was very preoccupied with having a baby! The last game we really enjoyed before we had our daughter was Doomtown. We played everyday for like a solid month I think, though I did spend a lot of that time crying with back pain and taking ‘bouncing-on-birthing-ball-breaks’, playing games whilst heavily pregnant is rubbish. It’s like I really really want to finish this epic 3 hour game of Doomtown whilst listening to Western music on repeat, but I might collapse in the process. Awful. So, gaming post baby, well after the initial few weeks of being completely overwhelemed with the change , you move on to the sleep deprived brain dead phase. Which lasts a long time, but somehow you get used it to. I think that it was only at the end of last year that we finally allowed ourselves to think about getting back into board gaming, because for a while there we thought ‘we will never game again’. You dare to dream. We’ve now got our evenings back again since our baby settled into a night time routine, and board game madness ensued once more, yay! The only thing now is the evenings are usually for shorter games because we don’t have long before the need to sleep becomes too great, or the dreaded thought of having to be up at 3am. So epic long games are generally saved for those weekends here and there, when our helpful relatives can take Gwen.
And the even better news is that I now have lots of ideas about all the fantastic children’s games I’m going to play with Gwen and as a family. Games about ghosts, witches, pandas and pirates. Iello do a fantastic range of children’s games based on fairy tales and fables and cute stuff like Friday The 13th, Night of the Grand Octopus and Ghooost. It makes me sad that there is so much old rubbish in the mass market, bloody Pie Face etc, I mean c’mon people, hello??? There’s so much more engaging, fun and cool stuff for your kids out there.
So Many Games!
It’s just ridiculous the amount my wish list grows. It never minimises it just gets longer, though the games I want move up and down in ranking. There are so many fantastic games that I’m discovering both new, old, to be released, card games, board games, dice games, print and play. Wow. The only trouble is when I get a bee in my bonnet about desperately needing a game in my life, it’s usually something out of print, hard to get hold of or has sky rocketed in price.
And Everyone’s Playing
A couple of weeks ago I created a new Instagram account and have been happily surprised that there are so many people boardgaming all over the world. It’s not news that it’s a popular hobby, there are so many people reviewing, blogging and making online shows, posting on Reddit and Board Game Geek. It’s really cool. So it’s strange that me and Jon pretty much only play together and don’t really know other board gamers. We’ve converted a few people but no one who can pop over any time and play. Since a board game cafe opened near Jon’s workplace he has been visiting and playing with workmates, but as he works so far away and I’m with our baby I’m not really able to participate. I love playing with Jon as he’s my favourite person, but it is a shame I don’t have any other board game friends and don’t get to play 3 player plus games often! So when I think a game looks awesome I always have to check before getting too excited, like is it 2 player, because if not, it’ll go on the wishlist but not one i’ll be in a hurry to purchase. I am pleased to say that we have managed to play a few of our 3 plus games like Space Alert, Cosmic Encounter, Once Upon A Time and Betrayal At House On The Hill, but they do sit idly in our collection which makes me a bit sad.
Making Your Theme Come To Life
I think that the only thing I enjoy more than boardgaming is making a big deal out of a theme. I’ve not gone to the extreme of wearing full fancy dress, but lighting candles, playing themed music or wearing a cowboy hat (for Doomtown!) makes for a great time and definitely adds a little something. What I love about themes is that you can immerse yourself in a different world with every game you play. On my birthday weekend when I got a stack of new games I did think wow, this weekend i’ve been a ’40’s movie producer, built 19th century French lighthouses and traded and settled across Ancient Rome. Very cool.
Reliving Your Childhood
When we have visited board game shops it’s like being a kid again. Our trips to Leisure Games in Finchley and Orcs Nest in Central London have always been great fun. Heart palpations when I see a game I’ve had my eye on, finding a rarity, being overwhelmed by a vast choice right in front of me (as oppose to online shopping) and coming home with a bag of new games, it’s such a good feeling. I call it kid in a toy shop syndrome.
It’s Made Me Smarter! I Think
I mean it must have right?! I’m rubbish at maths but counting coins and calculating points has re engaged my brain slightly and strategic thinking and solving puzzles on almost a nightly basis can’t be a bad thing for the brain!
Experience Makes You Wiser
In my early board gaming days I thought everything was good, all games were cool, every theme was brilliant. It’s actually quite nice in reflection to know that i’ve grown as a player. I’m a bit more analytical in my thinking now. I can see what makes a good game and what makes a brilliant game, what could of done with improvement and what should just not have been done at all. So when browsing games for buying it’s good to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff (see what I did there with that kind of Agricola, Catan esque pun?!) and fill our collection with wonderful games. But i’m still learning (see my last post on The Producer to get the idea!) so I think I have a long way to go.
In case you can’t tell I love board gaming and as I’ve said before I can’t think of a greater hobby. Pop a comment in the box if you want to share any of your board gaming stories!