Written by Chris King
Let me tell you a little story. Let me tell you the story of a young boy who started off small and grew into a man who loves games!
I can’t even remember when I first starting gaming. Once I started, I just couldn’t stop. Probably like most of you reading this now, we all started with kids game like: Go Fish, Crazy 8s and Uno. As of today for me, I find these types of games still fun and enjoyable. Although most hardcore gamers would look down on you if you said that out loud. Every game has it’s time and place.
One of my favorite board games then and now is Clue. I don’t know why and how it started, but growing up, I just liked the mysteriousness of the game and the idea of the game. As a kid, I had no idea what roll and move games were and I didn’t care. I just loved trying to figure out the murder. I think to this day, Clue is reason I love to read mystery books. As you can see from the photos I collect them!
Now before I go any farther, I need to stress that to me, gaming is not always about the game itself but who you are playing with. The game might be crap, but if you have a fun time with whoever else is playing with you that’s what matters! With my family: 4 sons and 2 parents, we all played games as a family. We grew up playing Monopoly, Scrabble, Clue, Euchre, Hearts, just to name a few.
As I got older, my knowledge of games was still small but it was starting to get bigger and bigger. By the age of 12 or 13, I was introduced to the card game Euchre, which is a classic partnership trick taker. Around the same time I was also introduced to Cribbage more on Cribbage in a bit!
For many many years we would end up playing Euchre on the weekends, at family gatherings for hours on end. Being still young I didn’t play a lot and couldn’t understand why my family just loved it so much.. Honestly, I think that is when I wanted to break mold and see what else was out there.
I don’t know why I remember this so clearly, but around the age of 13 I learned Cribbage. Cribbage is another one of those traditional card games that people played gtowibg up with their parents. My mom taught me how to play, and once I latched onto it, I was hooked. Growing up and while in school, math was always hard for me. With cribbage being focused around I struggled with the math of it. It took several years before I got comfortable with the game and able to hold my own in the game. Cribbage will always have a place in my heart because of playing with my mom and the time spent together playing it.
Flash forward to. about 5 years ago I found http://www.ecribbage.com witch is dedicated to playing cribbage online with people from all over the world! On site they hold tournaments of all sorts. For the past several years, I have been a Tournament Director, hosting anywhere from 5-6 tournaments a week! I find it funny that even though I am bad at math that i really enjoy cribbage as much as i do. I am also surprised at how many people I have met online and in person all thanks to this website. Look for kingplayer14, I am on mostly everyday to run tournaments in the morning.
My gateway game that really got me into the hobby with a bang was Settlers of Catan. Gasp, big shocker right? This was my first big board game. I bought it on a whim on vacation several years ago not thinking much of it. I thought my family would like the game. So, I got it home and taught it to family here and there, and it turned out we all enjoyed it a lot.
I don’t know if I mentioned this yet, but when I look at getting a game, I do a lot of research.
A. Does the game look fun to me?
B. Does it seems like I could understand and sit down and teach to my family ?
Those are the biggest rules I follow. If I don’t say yes to these two questions, the game is not worth having.
Around my Catan days, I noticed Dominion. At this point, I’d never played any sort of deck-building game before. So, I did my research for a while and decided to give it a try. Once I got it home I was nervous. My mom, who is is my biggest guinea pig when it comes to trying the new games I bring home, was nervous about the game being so complex because of the 300 cards. Long story short, I taught her and she loved it. Then we taught my dad, and he ended up loving it has much as mom and I still do.
So, after Dominion and Catan took hold, My gaming life had finally took shape and games started finding their way onto my shelves. Ticket to Ride and Werewolf were smash hits here at the house. (I think I could write separate posts on Ticket and Werewolf. They are both big parts of my family’s gaming life that I think helped us grow closer as a family)
In closing, here are my golden rules:
A. I’ll play almost anything once
B. If I have the game, I like it
C. Will the family enjoy it?