Saturday, February 28, 2009

Game Month: Bringing Our Favorites Out of the Closet

Jim and I love games.

In our childless years, we referred to our favorite Indiana game store as "the hundred dollar store" because we rarely left without spending at least that amount. Our non-gaming friend Julie lives near this great place and often gets shanghaied into trips there under the pretense of going out to eat. While she rolls her eyes at the mention of this detour, I think she secretly enjoys the trips as they keep her current with new quips about adolescent boys, WarCraft miniatures, and multi-sided dice.

In the 11 years before Ranger arrived we amassed a multitude of games. Shortly after Ranger's birth, we got hit by a tornado, then a household flood. While our games stayed well above water, I quit frequenting the lower level of the house long after all traces of the waters were removed.

Beyond periodic ventures for a specific event (office Christmas party, family reunions), we ignored the game closet. Sometimes we would play a tiresome round of closet Tetris when an escaped game was located and returned to the fold. Otherwise our collection hibernated in the darkness.

Our home sometimes bears that same feeling of unexercised potential. We can live in a small portion of the space, so without guests and motivation we rattle around like a few pieces of candy in a mostly finished box.

A lot of our best memories as homeowners involve games in good company. The best games offer surprise, group endeavor, and an opportunity to learn more about fellow players- even ones you've known for years.

For reasons ranging from increased home cooking to a long winter to memories of great evenings with friends, our game closet is now plundered regularly. Our door is more often open, more seats are filled at the table, and the house is full with warmth, light, noise, food, and company.

After another foiled attempt on the life of Dr. Lucky, one guest said "You should really blog about these games."

Jim and I have taken her comment to heart, and we plan to spend March introducing you to some of our favorites and why we love them. Not all of the games we discuss will be in print (but you might get lucky and find out of print gems at a thrift shop or yard sale) and only a few of them will be stocked near Monopoly and Clue in big box retailers.

We'll talk about strategies for hosting a great game night, games that are fun with kids, games for family reunions, and how to find great games.


Katie said...

DH and I have recently found a group of folks to play board games with, and so we've been playing a lot lately; things like Carcassone, Agricola, and Dominion. There's a lot of useful information available at, if you don't know that site. I'm really looking forward to seeing your posts this month!

Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

We're big game people here, too, so I'm looking forward to your posts! Our favorites are Scrabble, Quarto, Stratego (we're still big kids), Blockus and Trivial Pursuit. most are mainstream, so we'd love to hear about lesser known games.

Our daughter? At 3, she's developed quite a penchant for Memory, CandyLand, Chutes and Ladders, and Haba's Princess and the Pea :)

Mimi-n-Moe's Mom said...

You guys ROCK! Can't wait to read the reviews!
Glad the games are back out and memories of tornado are being replaced by fun. laughter, and good food!
~Karen :)

Anonymous said...

Have you guys gotten a chance to play Quelf yet? What did you think?