I grew up playing games with my family. My brother, Kit, was closest to me in age and as a result I loved to try to do everything he did. We played games growing up such as Bermuda Triangle and Husker Du?, but he was four years older than I was and as we both aged, our gaming moments waned. I was about ten years old when he first got into Dungeons and Dragons. I, as the annoying little brother, begged and pleaded with him to let me play in his campaign. Finally, he relented and allowed me to play. Within ten minutes my character was dead and I was crying. That was the last time he let me join his game.
Years later, our shared love of games came back together with our mutual love of Star Wars. In 1995, Decipher released a Star Wars Customizable Card Game. This once again had us together at the game table. Star Wars is also what led me to Settlers of Catan and quickly exposed me to the then just beginnings of the board game hobby.
With the evolution of the Meeple Nation, my love for board games and the joy of meeting new people and forming new friendships continues to grow. I share games with my amazing wife and two wonderful daughters. As my daughters have grown and moved out on their own they are taking that love with them too.
I cherish the memories I have of gaming with my family growing up, and even the memories of dying during my first D&D campaign. Because of those memories, gaming moments with friends and family will continue to be a big part of my life.
Everyone should know a guy like my uncle Nathan. If you have not met him, he is a good guy. If you have, you already know. Nathan started inviting me to game night way back when I was 15, I don’t know why. Yet I am sure grateful! I have been off and on for many years but Nathan was always inviting me back.
Board games are one of the reasons I always came back. Games are a huge gateway to my close friendships with Nathan, David, and Andy. At this point in my life, board games and those I play with are the reasons I am so happy! It seems so small a thing to draw us together. Dave is a part of the game group I was invited to when I was younger. Andy came to SaltCon when Dave said it was awesome. Nathan is my Uncle.
Board games started real amazing friendships that I would not trade away for all the meeples made in China.
My love for board games started at a very young age. We played the classic Milton Bradley, Mattel, and Parker Brothers games. I grew-up on a dairy farm with no TV for much of my childhood, so playing board games with my family was one of the few ways to find a bit of levity in between school, homework, and chores. We only had one game in the house that was not the run of the mill Monopoly, Risk, or Stratego type of game. This game belonged to my father, and we were only allowed to play it with him (which was rare; if you have lived on a farm, you know why). This was the Farming Game (he may have been a little obsessed). We always looked forward to playing this game, whether due to the fact that we seldom had the opportunity to play it, or that it was one of the few times that my dad would take time away from the farm to play a game with us. Likely a bit of both.
As a teenager in the early 1990’s the farm was sold, and we moved to the city where I was introduced first to Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D 2nd Edition), and then a short time later to, what I consider my first “non-conventional” board game, Hero Quest. I worked during the summer to earn enough money to buy my own copy along with a copy of a similar game published by TSR called Dragon Quest. I cannot count the hours spent playing these two games with my brother Jason, and these times are some of my fondest memories of my early teenage years.
My love a gaming has definitely evolved over the years. From those times playing board games as a child in our tiny farm house in rural Utah one thing has not changed--I love the fun times and the relationships that are built and strengthened because of board games. There are several people that have become my family, even though we aren’t actual siblings, and I know this due, in part, to our mutual love of gaming. This has been a great hobby and it has been the ultimate enjoyment to pass this passion on to my own children. Some of the sweetest music to my ears comes from one of my kids asking, “Dad can we play a game?”
At age 12-ish I begged my parents for months for an original Nintendo gaming console when they were brand new, and the following Christmas Santa made me the happiest kid alive. When I wasn’t outside with my friends playing football, basketball, or soccer, I was inside glued to the console or a PC game, with the occasional games of Life or Acquire in the mix.
It wasn’t until around 1999 when my brother, Dennis, invited me to “game night” with his friends that I fell in love with board gaming, soaking them all in, especially Boggle.
I had been enjoying our game night group for more than a decade before leaving the Utah in 2012. Luckily for me, when I moved to Washington, I quickly found a game lover in the Northwest, so I didn’t suffer a gaming famine. Together Nathan Tenney and myself organized a regular game night for a small group in the Tri-Cities. We traveled more than 600 miles together to attend SaltCon in 2018. That awful drive together with the amazing Con experience was enough to convince me it was time to move back to Utah. In 2019 my family and I were able to return to the Beehive state.
I am now a very old college student, often mistaken by classmates as the professor of whichever class we happen to be in. I love board games more than I loved video games as a kid. I still loves video games, as well as football, soccer, basketball, music, all things science, learning, and dessert. I am now at home in Utah and live with my greatest love of all, my lovely bride Adrienne along with my five children. Whenever I get the chance, I especially enjoy spending time with my two granddaughters.
I live next door to Nathan's mother and played many new games I never knew existed because of his love for board games. I had played plenty of the old standard games that everyone plays when they are younger. Carcassonne and many of the expansions was one of the first games we played together. Lord of the Rings trading card game was a lot of fun too and got me interested in trying out Magic the Gathering, even playing Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh! with my kids. The thing I really dislike about trading card games is when the publisher prints a new update to the game, you have to keep purchasing new sets of cards to stay in the game and that can get very expensive over time. I really enjoy deck building games like Dominion and Legendary, and cooperative games similar to Castle Panic the best.
I also enjoy playing chess on chess.com with friends and family. Fly fishing is one of my all time favorite things to do, especially since I finished my degree recently, I have become a little bit obsessive about it. I have a son and daughter who are grown now with my wife of 30 years. My wife even helps with the editing on Meeple Nation. Board games bring friends and family closer together with the shared experiences and lessons that can be learned and taught together.
I maintain the website for Meeple Nation and am the newest member of this great team.
Kit Howard lives and works in Boulder, CO. And when he’s not walking his dog or reading a book, he’s playing games or researching about games or thinking about games. He has been playing games for as long as he can remember. Being a devotee of world history, he has a large collection of military-themed games, but his collection includes a pile of monster-themed games, empire-building games, card games, superhero games, games with cool miniatures, and a few train games to round it out. He loves games with beautiful, artistic components. He doesn’t really enjoy dice games. Nor does he have a single favorite game either. He doesn’t scramble to grab a certain color and will eagerly play whatever is leftover. He never pouts or mopes about losing games, it’s the playing that thrills him the most. He likes to play games with interesting people and study their play style to improve his own. He frequently dreams about designing a James Bond game that would employ all his favorite mechanics from some of his fondest games.
Growing up on a small alfalfa and dairy farm, it was often up to the kids to entertain ourselves. Usually that entertainment involved us riding our bikes around, or making up stories for the games we played, but occasionally it included games like Sorry, Life, Risk, or Chess. Some great memories were made at the game table.
Going into my teenage years, I competed in school chess tournaments, and was introduced to role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons, but computer games also started to capture my attention, so board game plays became fewer than before. College included rousing games of Risk with my roommates, more role playing games, and added games like Magic The Gathering, and a lot more computer games.
After graduating from college, I went to work at HP in Idaho, where I was introduced to Settlers of Catan. My friend, Evan, found a client/server computerized version of it, and we started playing it turn based. Within a few years I moved to Washington, and my work game group got its start. Several years later, I met Dave, which led to me attending my first ever board game convention, getting introduced to the Meeple Nation crew, and a lot of awesome board game memories.
Some of my favorite board games are ones that I didn't like initially, so I try to play a game multiple times before I make any judgement on whether or not I like it.
Growing up, family time at my house usually meant busting out the cards for a little game called Screwy Louie (a variation on Rummy). That's when my love for card, board, and other tabletop games started. It’s also when I learned that nobody talks more smack than my mother. Seriously, she’s a pro.
My interest in board games was increased by an order of magnitude in 2003 when a friend introduced me to a homemade copy of Settlers of Catan. At the time, we were living in Japan and couldn’t find the game anywhere. He solved the problem by making a copy with supplies from a local craft store. One play was all it took before I was off to purchase materials for a copy of my own.
In more recent years, the tabletop hobby has served to help me develop deeper relationships with my wife and children, make incredible new friends (like Meeple Nation), and improve some of my socially awkward habits (probably...maybe).
In 2019, I converted a portion of our basement into a game room that my kids nicknamed “The DIG.” It’s short for Doug’s Institute of Games, and our family hosts regular game groups there several times a week. Whether we’re populating a habitat full of high scoring wildlife, fending off an alien invasion, or defeating the Dragon of Icespire Peak, everyone has a seat at our table (especially if you bring snacks)!
I started playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition in the early 1990’s as a young teenager in Texas. Later on, I joined the Magic the Gathering craze with my friends from High School. I still remember my first trade. It involved scoring a Shivan Dragon for a Plague Rats. My friend never forgave me for that one. After I joined the Air Force and left home at 18, I didn’t really play games again until after I was married. In the early 2000’s my wife and I started playing games with other couples. These games were usually card games or Risk-type games.
It wasn’t until after I separated from the military that I started playing Dungeons & Dragons (3.0 & 3.5 this time) with a few family and friends. About 10 years later, I began playing a few board games with my wife and some other couples again. It started with a few low-level, mediocre games, but then I started trying some more advanced games for the first time in my life. This time though, my passion for board games really ignited and has burned red-hot ever since.
The first game that I became really excited about was Wingspan! I had started going to my local gaming store and began asking them for recommendations. They told me about this beautiful bird game where you hatch eggs and create birds. I wasn’t interested at first, but the more they talked, the more excited I became.
Eventually, I got my copy and have been buying and playing board games from that point forward. Everdell, Citadels, Splendor, Pandemic, Scythe, Settlers, Terraforming Mars, and many others are staples in my household. A bad day can be made better by playing games with friends and family.
March 2023 proved to be a significant month for me. I had always been hesitant to go to a gaming convention, but I decided to finally grab a friend and head to SaltCon. We loved it! The Meeple Nation tables were, by far, my favorite section of the convention. I enjoyed it so much that I sent an application to join. After a few days of Meeple Nation laughing at the first-ever application being sent, I was accepted and I have enjoyed my gaming experiences even more!