Girls and Gaming

I went into the semi-local (I do have one store closer) game/comic store, in our mall. I was looking for a copy of the card game Rage, since I’d just played it and it was a fun (and quick) game for a group – especially a group that doesn’t have the patience for me to set up Seafarers of Catan.

When I went in I made a beeline to Rage, which happened to be right near the front of the store. That was entirely too boring, to find what I was after in the first ten seconds, so I did a thorough wandering of the store for probably a half hour. Sadly I didn’t find anything else to buy.

But at one point the proprietor said “Can I help you?” So I asked if he had any green-stuff, and he pointed it out. (I didn’t buy any, but once I use mine up now I will know where to get some!)

He asked me, “Please, tell me that is for you.”

I cleverly replied “What?”

He said, “Please, tell me you’re the sculptor. We need more gaming girls!”

I, fortunately, was the one that was going to be sculpting – but I find it funny that in a world where a woman ran for president of the United States it’s still shocking when one walks into a game store on purpose.

Where was I?

For all of January I was very good about posting in here about three times a week. This has fallen apart in February. That’s why I don’t think I would ever be able to do a consistent podcast – I am poor with this, let alone something that requires so much editing.

Anyway I hope you had a wonderful Valentine’s Day, and a wonderful Monster Day (Feb. 16, a day where you buy up leftover Valentine’s candy, and get friends over to watch crummy B-grade Monster movies, and draw monsters if you are of the artistic bent.) Not my idea (though I would take credit). I heard of this at Ninjahinjinx ( http://ninjahijinx.livejournal.com/ )

Clockwork and Curiosities

While I’m plugging ineresting websites, let me get in a word for Cabinet of Wonders.  This site is a wonderful (no pun intended) aggregation of information on things true and/or quirky. It’s much better than my blog, so go check it out right now. It has photos! I always intend to have photos, but I usually type this up during lunch at work, and don’t have access to my camera. Not a good excuse at all.

I was looking at some excellent photos of clockwork at the Cabinet of Wonders site, and pondering the whole Steampunk genre, and wondering how clocks actually work, and found this great site that explains the mechanics of, er, mechanisms: http://www.flying-pig.co.uk/mechanisms/ 

I will be looking at that one a lot later today.

(Board) Gaming the System

I know it wasn’t long ago that I posted a list of podcasts I listen to, but I am going to review and expand on a few of them. In this blog post I’m only going to talk about board games, not tabletop/paper/war/rpg games (or electronic or card games for that matter, though I love my DS.). I am extremely blessed that I get to go to the “International House of Johnson” (aka The Secret Lair) and play board games every couple of weeks (weather/schedule permitting). It is a fun thing to play games face to face! This weekend my grandmother turned 81 (perhaps I shouldn’t have just blasted that over the Internet, but oh well), and I still forced her, my grandfather, and my dad to play Seafarers of Catan with me (and we had a good time – once we got past the “isn’t it set up YET?” part; this is why I don’t own Battlelore).

 

The Dice Tower

This podcast offers a massive amount of information. The two co-hosts are Baptist missionaries in Korea! I think this is just great, but even if you don’t, don’t let it scare you – I have never heard them talk about religion on the show. But it does ensure the show is very family-friendly. I said they offer a huge amount of information, and it’s true – every other week they have a series of segments in their show, offering a “top ten” game list, with explanations of why they were ranked the way they were, and since each host has a separate list there are usually many more than ten games discussed. There is even a “43 second review” of a game, and they answer listener’s e-mails, and have a lot of discussion about the difference between American and Euro style games. When you know more than 10 games will be described on each show, you can be sure you will get a lot of information! The Dice Tower is sponsored by Funagain Games, which is a good source for buying games, I assume, having not actually used it. They also have a guild on BoardGameGeek.

 

The Game Kennel

The Game Kennel is one of the podcasts under the “Pulp Gamer” suite of podcasts. It replaces the “King’s Court” which used to actually rate games from 1 to 5 stars ( “LEGENDARY” ). The Game Kennel, in order to be, I suppose, more “PC” instead describes a game, and how it is played, and who it most likely appeals to, and then allows you to decide for yourself whether it is the game for you. It’s still good info! Check out their other podcasts too, for industry interviews.

 

Have Games, Will Travel

I actually got to meet Paul Tevis at Origins 08, which was exciting. He’s the first podcaster I ever recognized by voice. HGWT is not producing any more shows – but you will still get a lot of information from downloading the old shows! Some of the shows were about board games, some were about rpgs, but all had in-depth information.

 

There are surely more board game podcasts out there, but these are the ones I listen to.

 

Of course you can buy a lot of games on Amazon, but if you can find one, it’s much better to support your local game store! Even if the price is higher, the relationship you build is worth it! My local game store is called Infinite Monkey Games, and they’re good people.

 

Another thing that will contribute massively to your enjoyment of board games is finding or forming a game group, so you aren’t consistently 1) inflicting the games on your immediate family and 2) buying games that you hate because you didn’t know until you tried them. This is ameliorated when you can play the terrible games someone else already paid for first!

 

Finally, a HUGE source of information is BoardGameGeek. This big forum contains player-submitted information on just about every game ever made. You can find links to acquire out-of-print games, and discover everything from game rating, and approximate play time, to age range, or even how many forum users played the game in the last month.

 

So whether you’re a newbie or a grognard – why not make time for a board game today!