Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Whose Socks Are These?

For years I have been the source of gaming activities in my little social circles. When I moved to Israel, I found OKBridge and got my brothers hooked. I found out about Magic and arranged some boxes to be bought and brought over. Soon, my brothers and friends were all playing. That was about when I started the game group meetings.

Sometime later I found out about 3e D&D, and I realized that my kids were old enough to play, so I bought the books. I created a campaign for my kids, but I also asked my friends and brothers to test it out, which they did. My brother David then started his own new campaign which is still going, long after I grew disenchanted with 3e and d20.

I brought over Settlers and all the rest of the games, again introducing them to my brothers and friends. Eventually the Jerusalem Strategy Gaming Club got its own name and regular nights.

I have very little experience in NOT being the game teacher. My brothers play bridge better than I do. I think my friend David introduced us to Civilization. Long before, when I was a kid, I was picking up 1e D&D and Cosmic Encounter from them. But that was a long time ago.

The first encounter I've had with someone from outside my circles was when Chris Brooks came to visit me a few months ago. Still, it was in my house. Then, about a few months after that, I took my first trip to a game group in Modiin, Israel, where Gilad (want-to-be leader of a Tel Aviv based group) was having a game night.

It was a very strange feeling. Someone else taught the games. Someone else organized. All I had to do was play. I am so used to being the host that I forgot to bring a snack, something I am always admonishing my game group attendees to bring. I am just so not used to being in that mode.

So here I am, in Dallas. On Sunday I got together with some Dallas people to play Die Macher, which was fun (although long). Again, it wasn't my venue or my game, and I didn't have to teach anyone anything. Wow. Is that what it feels like?

Tonight I am on my way to the regular Dallas game night, and Thursday of course (even Wed evening) is BGG.con . What a lark! I'm not organizing anything (I may help out on Wed evening), or hosting anything. I will be bringing my game prototype and teaching it, of course, but otherwise ... so strange.

As I speak, the game club is continuing in Jerusalem without me for the first time. Last week they met, and it looks like they will this week, too. One more time after that, and the next week I'll be back. They don't need me? Oh no, they don't need me! Actually, great, they don't need me! Or something in between.

Speaking of game groups: I know my game group. I know their personalities, and their play styles. We have a certain liesurely, non-competitive, relaxed idea about the rules and turn-taking. All of us, pretty much. I can already see that meeting new people will mean meeting new personalities: the good, the bad, and the radically different. How strange. How different.



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