I Have Created a Monster, and I Am Okay with It.



For those of you who listen to Meeple Nation on a regular basis you may know that Andy does not like to play boardgames online. Even in very well designed platforms such as Board Game Arena, BGA. Now Andy does have some very valid points when it comes to his dislike or maybe his distrust of online gaming. I know Andy likes to play video games, in fact my first encounter with Andy was playing Halo at a LAN party on the original XBox many years back. Andy has an aversion to playing online or video game versions of board games. Some examples of his disagreement comes from the inability to correct a mistake and maybe some frustrations from taking turns on a mobile device as opposed to using a computer. For example, if I mistakenly click on the wrong object to move, that action can throw off my plans and disrupt my entire game. This act happens a lot more often while using a mobile device than it does while sitting at your computer, but it is not limited to a mobile device issue. Also, when playing online there are a lot of fringe distractions, kids, pets, phone calls, door knockers, and so on. These interruptions can drag out and prolong a gaming experience and turn it into a bad gaming experience.


There are a lot of little issues with online board game sites and and in the past I too have felt many of the same frustrations that Andy continues to keep in his quiver to quickly pull out and shoot down the idea anytime someone tries to rope him into some online board game fun. Some of these same feelings are what lead me to leave the online gaming table and exclusively seek out in-person gaming.


There is much to be said about the benefits of meeting and playing games with people in person and at the physical table. Social interaction is one of, if not the biggest, reason for me being and staying in the boardgaming hobby. I have had so many cherished memories and experiences boardgaming with friends and family. I used to say that it was very rare that I do not have a game on or near my person at any given time. Chances are there is still a game always in one of the pockets of my backpack, or in the trunk of my car. The older I get the more and more I lose or misplace games and or game rules. So, These days I “try” to leave all my games and all my game rules in the game room, and hopefully the rules are also in the correct game box.


With these last two years my use of online boardgaming platforms has increased and surprisingly to me has remained at a high usage state. David and I have been playing online games continually for the last two year, I have played games with Doug and our friend Cory very regularly too.


So, what does all of this have to do with creating a monster. Well first off that monster is not me. Well, my wife and I went to see a play a couple of weeks back and after dinner we arrived at the venue, with a lot of free time to spare. So I asked my wife if she wanted to play a game online. With some gentle nudges, we had her a BGA account and we began playing our first game together. We started with a game of Shifting Stones, a simple tile shifting pattern collecting game. After explanation and some finer points we began our first online game together. We did not finish the game that night due to the play beginning, and I figured that would be the end of my online gaming with my awesome wife. She worked the next day and I was shocked to receive an email from BGA notifying me that it was my turn on our Shifting Stones game. I was way excited to get the email, but yet I was still cautious of if this was going to be a gimmick. We played through the game and I won due to some experience that gave me an advantage. I was a bit nervous, but I invited her to a second game. She accepted! She won the next game and then invited me to a third game. And then it all went downhill. We have played 10 different games, which have led us to playing some other games in person to remember or learn rules. We have played other games that are similar in style for her such as Project L and Scarabya, that are not currently available on BGA. So far for the month of August we have played 58 games together.


Each year I have a goal to play 150 board games with my wife, I also cater my 10 for 10 goal around her to try to get those games in. We also moved this year. With the stress of moving and major changes in our lifestyles I was worried we were not going to make that goal this year. Before August we had only played 39 games. But now, we are going to have to raise that number of 150 games to maybe 300 games next year. Yeah, I should not do that, but I should still be very pleased that we will reach that goal this year and that we will still be playing games more and more.


What luck have you had with getting your significant other to play games with you? Maybe BGA might help.


Until next time, we’ll see you at the game table…or maybe online.


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