How I Spend My Saturdays
I do what any person does in their free time: read, binge watch Game of Thrones, and cuddle with my dogs; however, in the past 5 years, I’ve developed a new hobby: board gaming.
Growing up, my family played games like Sorry! and Sequence- what my husband, Joe, refers to as party games. When I met Joe, my perception of board games changed completely. Joe grew up in a family in which board games were games of strategy that could take hours to complete: World of Warcraft, Axis and Allies, and Twilight Imperium.
When we started dating, I was very resistant to what Joe’s games. I didn’t think they were anywhere close to being as fun as what I was used to playing, they took too long, and they often involved math at the end to add up Victory Points (I was majored in English; math isn’t my strong suit). The first few games we played ended in a lot of frustration as I had run out of patience with how long each turn took, and Joe felt I was rushing him way too much.
Joe and I took a trip to Indianapolis together to a gaming convention called GenCon. At GenCon, people dress up as their favorite gaming character and play board or video games.
Joe convinced me to go into one room where they were test-playing games. A game that is being test played often hasn’t been released to the public, and you’re able to rate the game as to whether or not you think it should be released. Joe was in charge of choosing which game to play because I knew absolutely nothing about gaming. He picked a game called Dominion. It is what I now refer to as a deck-building game. In this game you collect cards to purchase victory points, and the player with the most points at the end wins. The rules were far more complicated than the games I grew up playing, but I was the second place winner of the game.
After GenCon, I bought a couple of games for us to play with friends. I tried to start slow with Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and, of course, Dominion (I like games that I can win). While I still don’t have an interest in games that take over 90 minutes, I have definitely developed a new kind of patience and forethought.
Since then, I’ve spent Christmases playing board games with my seven-year-old nephew. He has such amazing insight and strategy for someone so young. He started playing “adult” board games when he was about four- and it’s amazing to see his little brain in action as he plans his next move or defense against another player. He wins more often than not and not because we’re taking it easy on him.
Since moving to town, a program that I have been become involved in is “Gaming After Hours” at the Emmetsburg Public Library. Nathan Clark has worked so hard to organize a program for anyone interested in getting together and playing some games. The program is for gamers of all ages and skill level. Gaming After Hours occurs on two Saturdays each month from 2:30-5 p.m.
I know that some of these games sound intimidating, but as soon as you get a couple rules down, they are fun to play! If you have a free Saturday, I encourage everyone to come play games at the library. Snacks are provided (and they’re good snacks too)!