Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Addict

I'm a Game Addict. I love playing games, reading about games, buying games and teaching games to someone new to the hobby. I love the tough decisions I'm pressed to make--should I buy Pirate's Cove, or Attika?; if my game order is less than $30, what else should I buy?; where the heck am I going to put the newest games I just got?

My family (husband, Richard; son, Chris; daughter, Corissa) are not addicts. They're normal people who like to play games. So what's the difference between them and an Addict? They'll play a game when I ask (usually) and most of the time enjoy themselves but when the game is over, they're quite content to turn on the t.v. or grab a book and push gaming to the back of their minds.

The Addict, on the other hand, is still thinking about the game, flying high on the rush. The Addict wants to set it up again and try another tactic. The Addict wants to know what else she can get them to play--right now!

The poor Addict is in a constant state of agitation, thinking of the last game, the next game, the PBEM game they're in, the new game that the slow UPS man is supposed to be delivering today, the yet-to-be-released game they can't wait to get their hands on, the game they really want to play but 1) no one else likes it, or 2) they can't find enough players to play. Games, Games, Games!

The Addict reads an article in National Geographic about a tribe of superstitious natives in South America and thinks, "that would make a good game theme".

The Addict screws up that new recipe because she's thinking about which game to buy next.

The Addict can't fall asleep at night because meeples are marching behind her eyelids.

The Addict enjoys reading the rules for a new game, setting it up and going for a solo run.

The Addict has more game-related bookmarks on her computer than anything else.

The Addict needs a let's give a cheer for all the patient friends and families that help them through their days!

On the Table

I got to play Robo Rally for the first time on Thursday. My friend, Mike, the only other Game Addict within 200 miles, and his wife, Teresa, stopped by with his just-bought copy. We punched pieces and stuck stickers and set up the beginner game. I chose the 'bot that I like to call Screwball since that seems to fit me so well. The first programmed turn was unrealistically nice to me and I ended on the flag with Mike and Teresa on my tail. After that it was what I imagine is a typical game of "Crap, that wasn't what I planned!", "O.k., what happens if I start my turn on the corner of the conveyor belt?", and "What the heck do I do with a hand full of turns!?" There was a only a couple of times that someone got bogged down in the planning stage; most of the time it moved along at a good speed. We had a great time, laughing and messing with each other's plans (sometimes on purpose!) and I can't wait to play it again. And, for the record, I managed to win by one turn.

A game that's getting a lot of play is Attika. It's still new here as it took me forever to decide to try it, but it's the type of game that connects with us so I think it'll remain a favorite for a long time. It has enough luck to make the game different each time you play but with the ability to deal with bad luck thrown at you; card management, which I feel keeps you in check when you feel like splurging, or keeps things in balance when you do; important decisions to be made and yet it doesn't bog down the game; and I especially like the unique building placement arrangement which is the heart of the game. Richard and I are pretty evenly balanced in this game so they've all been very close and no one has managed to connect temples yet, except when we both leaned down to pick up the dropped piece!

Miscellaneous Ramblings

Monday is the official start of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which fills the Black Hills with the roar of Harleys. Now, I can take or leave it, but the man of the house has been a motorcycle geek all of his life and has taken a week off of work so he can go to the races, wander the stalls, check out the sights (oh, boy, the sights!) and drool over the bikes. Hopefully, he'll leave some time for me and playing games. Or at least get the back porch rebuilt!

It occurred to me this morning that some of you may have spoken with my daughter, Cori. Really. She works for a G.E. call center handling service contracts for stores such as Circuit City and Good Guys, to name the two that I hear about most. So if your dish washer, wide-screen t.v., or clothes dryer breaks and you're feeling a little hostile when you call for service, remember that you might be talking to my daughter (and I'll hear about it!)

I tried to think of a great tag line like Tom Vasel's "Real men play board games", which I love, but all I could come up with was "Exercise your mind with board games", or "Gamers do it with Meeples". My husband suggested "Meeples of the world unite". Well, I'll keep working on it. Until next time, keep your dinos out of the water.



Joe Gola said...

My vote: "Gamers do it on the kitchen table."

Dame Koldfoot said...

Way to go, Joe! Maybe that's why Coldie and I have gone through so many kitchen tables in our many years together? I'm hoping this new solid wood table can withstand our combined bulk.

DWTripp said...

Dang it Mary! I didn't realize you lived so close to the Harley Mecca. But since I don't like crowds if I ever come to SD during Strugis can I just bring some extra games and stay with you guys?

A great read and my sympathies extend to you for being addicted and living with so many that aren't.

fubar awol said...

100% score on your addiction test.

huzonfirst said...

Actually, Mary, I thought "keep your dinos out of the water" was very clever. I'd love it if you could come up with a different game related tagline each time, like "keep feeding your parrotfish" or "stay away from that robber". Variety is the spice of life.

Melissa said...

This addict reads BGG instead of baking for her daughter's birthday party (oops).

Janice said...

Great article, Mary!
I asked my 15 yo daughter to read it and she did. She's got a good sense of humor so when she said, in an ultra unnatural-for-her southern voice, "Ah don't caya 'bout choo ayadicts" I just smiled and watched her go up the stairs. When she got to the top and I had turned away she said in her real voice, "Stop pouting".
LOL So I stopped pouting.
I AM grateful to get as much gaming in as I do and I have her and her dad to thank for it.

GROGnads said...

Whoa!...then I 'wonder' just what this makes 'moi'? I'd have to admit that I'd be considered as an "O.D'd" type, yet I can't 'seem' to get enough! So, I'll just keep on "truckin' on" in the meantime, since there's SO 'much' to be done, and SO 'little' time...

Joe Gola said...

Oh behave! (that's for Dame Koldfoot)

gamesgrandpa said...

Wow, I just happened into this place tonight, and I found many of my favorite people from BGG, including Mary, whose writings I always enjoy.

My two grandchildren are here for a sleepover, and I'm sure they, Grandma, and I will play some games. They recently learned Nertz (which our families have always called "Hell"), and they win as many games of it as we do.

I believe we are training two more "addicts!" The future of gaming is SAFE!!

Rick said...

Time for another visit to the shrink, Mary! :)

Jason Little said...

Great post Mary -- can't wait to read more!

Sean said...

My addiction often rears its ugly head after a night of playing board games, specially new games (or new to me). I always spend a good deal of time after te gaming session reading the rules, going back through to find out what we missed, what rules I could have taken advantage of. As a miniatures gamer I always do a compulsive rules recap after playing a game of Warmachine to make sure I (and my opponents) did things right.

Great article, great blog.