Thoughts, rants, experiences, reviews and other things from the mind of Jason O’Conal

Board Games Are Fun

13 Jul 2013

I have played a few good board games (Settlers of Catan, Carcasonne, Axis & Allies) and I’ve had a great deal of fun doing it. But, before last Wednesday night it had been some time since I’d played any tabletop games IRL.

I am not the kind of person who enjoys meeting new people. I find situations in which I don’t know at least one or two people very intimidating. This sometimes makes life hard. Especially when you move to a new city where you basically don’t know anyone.

Just under a year ago, I moved to Sydney from Adelaide. Yes, it’s in the same country, but it was still rather a large shock to my system. And for almost all of that year, all I’ve done is go to work, drink beers with my colleagues (some of whom have become friends) and take a few photos. It’s a good life, but it was definitely lacking.

Back in Adelaide, I would play Magic: The Gathering at the weekends, in an 8 ball competition on Tuesday nights (with a lot of practice in between), in snooker competitions on Thursday nights, trumpet at a concert band on Wednesday nights. And I kept chickens. And I went camping. It was a good, full life.

Coming to Sydney, however, saw all this change. And change can be good – it can force us to try new things and rediscover something we had forgotten we really, really loved. Sure, it took me almost a year, but I finally bit the bullet and turned up to Good Games opposite Central Station.

It was somewhat nerve wracking and when I got there I said to the chap behind the counter “I’m just here to play some board games. Is anyone here?” He let me know that I was the only one. So, uncharacteristically, I decided to sit there, read a book and wait for a while to see if anyone else came.

Well, eventually some people did. And we played Ticket to Ride (which is a very well-known game I’d never heard of before). It was great fun and I made a couple of new friends in the process. After that, we played Pandemic, which is a co-operative game.

I’d never played a co-operative game before and I thought it was a pretty stupid idea. Boy was I wrong! You can have a lot of fun working with other human beings to defeat a very interesting (and difficult) game mechanic.

Anyway, the good news is that I temporarily got over one of my hangups and was rewarded thoroughly for it.

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