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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Board Game Xmas

I was introduced to the world of board gaming when I was dating a game store owner. Board games have piqued my interest since I first saw them in Amazon, but not much. Too expensive, too complicated, too much hassle. Of course, I never actually played one except Cards Against Humanity, but that one was a no brainer.

I sat with him as he played the Netrunner, and feeling especially dumb. Too fast and too confusing, I told him. He made me sit and play Guildhall next. I did this too, feeling apologetically stupid. The other two players including him had to guide me through the game very, very slowly. Then Mystic Vale. Descendants of Atheros. Splendor. Costa Rica. Forbidden Island. More Guildhall. Arkham Horror. 5 months later my Christmas wishlist is filled with board games.

There is something in board gaming that evoke your sense as a human. I was surprised to see how competitive I could be, not to mention mischieveous and somewhat ruthless. I pretty much adore games where I can messed with people, it's better than actually winning the game. Of course, thanks to my non-existent skill and experience it doesn't happen a lot; but it is still fun to play. It is even fun to just sit there at the store and observing the players: feeling their energy and passion, watching every gesture and facial expression, and just revel in the madness.

For me, the greatest, absolutely greatest gift I had receive in 2016 was my introduction to amazing world of board gaming and the equally amazing board game players. It's the laughter, the excitement, the fun; it's the realization that there are awesome things in this world that I might not even know of. And that's just grand. We live in the world full of prejudice and distrust for people that are not one of us. It is such a good feeling to open up and learn new things about other people and understanding them as whole.

But it's not just about appreciating the community; I was also madly in love with the games. Often times I would sit there and sift through the opened store copies, unboxing each of them to learn the mechanism of the game and admiring (or criticizing) the art work. He would ask me if it is really fine with me to wait on him until he finish with his work, and I, enthralled with each new treasure I found would look at him confusedly and answered, "Why wouldn't I?". The mathematic and probabilities, the stories, the pictures, the way the game is designed, all announced the glory of the human mind and passion behind it.

I still got blank look from friends and family when I tried to persuade them to play board game with me. Yet a friend became so enthralled with Dice Heist that I had to give her my copy. "Do you know that this is a great vetting tool for H&R department?" she said, "you can see people's character from the decision they made: whether they are greedy or careful, whether they are easily manipulated or not." To be honest, I wouldn't dream of using it like that, but it make sense. Then again, the more experienced player could easily calculate and game the system thanks to their vast experience. Suddenly gaming sounds more complex than just childhood obsession, is it not?

Finding something you like that can lift up your spirit is pretty rare these days. It is such a negative and depressing world that one could easily forget how liberating it is to laugh freely, to gain a sense of accomplishment from mundane things like winning a game, or to simply have fun. Board game did it for me, and those who are interested could easily browse local gamestores or join the community. If it's not for you, there are many other activities/ hobbies/ interesting things that might suit you but you just don't know it yet. Open up yourself, talk to more people, expand your friend circle, know more about people, let each and everyone of them bring you to the new world, the new perspective that you do not know. Life is far too short and far too grand to be spent underneath your shell.

Game on, lovelies. And have a Merry Xmas to you all.

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