Thursday, March 03, 2011

Defining Myself as a Gamer

I secretly dread telling people I play board games. They usually reply “What, like Monopoly (or Risk, or Clue, or Sorry, etc.)?”

No. Not at all like that.

For a while I looked for different ways to say it, but I realized that saying you play “hobby board games” doesn’t mean anything to people and saying “adult strategy games” sounds a little creepy and dirty.

Once I told a coworker that I played a four hour simulation of the German political system at one of my game club’s one-day conventions. He replied something along the lines of “That sounds like the most boring thing I’ve ever heard.”

No. It’s not.

When I was in high school I unleashed my inner nerd on Dungeons and Dragons, after that it was a couple years of Magic in its heyday and a few years of Warhammer 40K before walking away from both bored and broke.

It was around ’96 that I fell in with a local gaming club, and for a while I was one of the younger people there, but not for long. In those days we played Battletech, Call of Cthulhu, Wings of Fire, Deadlands, Hostile Aircraft, and Settlers, El Grande, Gunslinger, and a lot of other games I probably couldn’t remember if I tried. Somewhere along the way 15 years passed and I turned into one of the longer tenured members of the group. The miniatures games all disappeared and aside from a single group so did the RPGs and we became an almost exclusively board game club.

So now I’m just a board gamer, and I’m okay with that. When someone asks what I’m into I just say “I play games in a board game club in Elgin” and let them ask about Monopoly and I smile and say no, and tell them about the kinds of games we do play. Sometimes they’re interested, I found out recently that one of my employees was a huge fan of the Gamemaster series in the 80’s, and even knew that Axis and Allies had been re-released and had a handful of variations now. Most of the time they listen politely but uninterested, and I’m okay with that, too. I’m comfortable with my niche hobby, and stopped caring what other people think of it a long time ago. I just wait for the next game day, where I can rub elbows with my people.

So I wanted to write about what defines me as a gamer, and the only way I feel I can truly do that is with a rough timeline of my evolution as a gamer, the games that made me the gamer I am.

Here goes:

Dungeons and Dragons, Shadowrun, Call of Cthulhu, Magic: the Gathering, Netrunner, Deadlands, Warhammer 40k, Cosmic Encounter, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Settlers of Catan, Doomtown CCG, Button Men, Tigris and Euphrates, Through the Desert, Disc Wars, Princes of Florence, Ra, Die Macher, Carcassone, Taj Mahal, Age of Steam, Puerto Rico, A Game of Thrones, Goa, Call of Cthulhu CCG, Struggle of Empires, Arkham Horror, Roads and Boats, Shogun, Galaxy Trucker, Race for the Galaxy, Dominion, Planet Steam, Descent, Civilization.


Ray said...

LOL Buttonmen and Diskwars. We do need to revisit them one day.

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