Monday, April 25, 2011

To log or not log...

In January of 2009 I ran into a site called boardgamegeek. Since then many hours have been spent on the site researching games and reading anything and everything board game related. Shortly after finding the site I found that you could log all of the games that you have played. You can go into as much detail logging games as you like, including: where you played, number of players, who played, who won, what the scores were, comments on the game, and even if you want to post it to twitter. I usually just log the game, date, and where I played the game at. It's been kind of fun going back a seeing what I've been playing for the past two years. I thought I would post some useless stats on my game playing for the past two years in case anyone was interested. Who knows, it might inspire someone else to log their game plays as well. :)

Where I've played: Over the past two years I have played games in 26 different places. The majority of my game playing has been done at my home, but I've also played in some pretty unique places. I've played games high in the Sawtooth mountains and in Canyonlands in southern Utah. I've played games at a coffee house, conventions, hotels, and at many friends and family homes. No matter where I've played it's always been fun.

Different games played: Over the past two years I've played 143 different games. One of my favorite things is getting a new game, reading through the rules a few times, and jumping into a new board game experience. My board game collection has grown dramatically in the past few years and I don't see it slowing down much.

Most played game: For those who know me this won't come as a surprise. My most played board game the past two years is Dominion. I have played Dominion and it's many expansions 148 times. Despite all of my Dominion playing it hasn't gotten old. I'm always up for a game. My second most played game is No Thanks! with 51 plays. That's mostly due to over 30 plays on a backpacking trip. I was a little sick of that one after three days in the desert.

Total games played: I have done more gaming by far than the average person. I guess that's what happens with a hobby. Over the past two years I've played 743 total games. This doesn't include many kids games played with my daughter and nieces and nephews. Whew...that's a lot of games! That averages out to be about 31 games played a month.

When I look back and reflect on how much has happened in the past two years it's really pretty amazing. I've played a lot games, got to know A LOT of great people, strengthened friendships with those that I already knew, and started a board game business that will hopefully one day turn into something that will let me provide for my family doing something that I love. Board games have been a big part of my life I wouldn't want it any other way. Thanks for reading and happy gaming.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

So Why Games?

So why do people play games? This is a question that I've asked myself many times. As I put more and more time and effort into the hobby I see even more value in it. The game industry is growing. Games like Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride are becoming more mainstream. Barnes and Nobles even has games like Dominion and Forbidden Island. More people are being introduced to the wonderful world of modern board games. I've put together a list of some of the reasons that I like games. Feel free to comment and add some reasons of your own!

  • Games are Social: Board games are a very social experience. This is probably what I like most about the hobby. I love getting together with friends and playing. I run a game group and it has been a blast getting to know local gamers. It can be kind of crazy packing 25 or so people in my little house, but it's always a great experience.

  • Competition: Who doesn't like to win? The experience of games is almost always fun, but when you see your carefully crafted plans working as expected and you win a game, it can be a very satisfying experience. I'm a big fan of strategy games. Dominion is a perfect example. I can formulate a plan going into the game, and if I play it well my strategy wins. Unless someone had a better strategy that is. :) Winning obviously isn't everything, but it sure is fun every once in awhile.

  • Games provide memorable experiences: I will never forget the time when my brother in law scored 20 total points in Ticket to Ride. For those that have played Ticket to Ride you know that scoring 20 points is pretty hard to do. You almost have to work at getting a score that low. We've laughed about that game many times as we've gotten together to play games. Playing games with friends and family makes memories and provides experiences that we will remember for the rest of our lives. And then there was that time that my entire ship got blown apart in Galaxy Trucker...

  • Games are educational: As my daughter gets older I'm having more and more fun playing games with her. It's fun seeing her learn and develope through games. Games teach important skills such as learning to win or lose gracefully. This is something that many adults need as well. :) They can teach math, social skills, color and shape recognition, decision making skills, and many other things. There are a lot of games that are historical reenactments as well. Many of these games recreate historic battles or they can replay presidential elections in American history. You can play games about the Roman Colosseum, or the Incan empire. While some of these games are loosely based on historical events, they can generate interest in further study.

  • Games can bring families together: Life can get very busy. It's important to slow down and spend quality time with the ones you love. Games help provide that opportunity. Some of my best memories growing up were playing Mexican Train with the family. I also remember some great games of Chess, Rummy, Hearts, Spades, and many other card games. With so many influences in the world trying to tear the family apart, it's important to find things that help bring the family together. Family game night can do the trick.

So whether you break out an old favorite, or play the latest and greatest game around, enjoy the value that comes from a good game! Happy gaming!