Last weekend I went to a board game convention.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been so nervous.
It really surprised me, actually. Michael already knew several people who were going. I love board games. I’ve been to conventions before, so I knew the drill, or at least an outline of it. They may have different subject matters, but pretty much all conventions have the same general layout.
Going to that convention should have been easy-peasy. But I felt like it was an entirely new level of…I’ll admit it, nerdiness…and I wasn’t sure that I was up for the challenge. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to be up for the challenge.
If I were to be totally transparent, I’d have to admit that I’ve prided myself on not being nerdy in the past.
I’ve managed to grow up fairly comfortable in most social situations, which is quite an achievement considering that I grew up homeschooled and have attended both Berry College and Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech is well-known for its high number of brilliant nerds, and the extreme imbalance between men and women at Berry College has led to the saying “the odds are good, but the good are odd,” in reference to the highly prevalent female gender.
Cosplay, video games, and gaming conventions? Nah, those aren’t for me. Those are for the “real nerds”. (Please don’t crucify me on the interwebs for that comment! Much of this article is written tongue in cheek to make a point.)
My husband love boards games (as do I), and when he found out about AndoCon, a small board game convention hosted right here in Atlanta, he thought it would be a fun thing for us to do together. He does so much for me, I didn’t even think of denying him this.
When we got there, I was in for a bit of a surprise – I actually had a lot of fun!
Although there were game-show style games, presentations and vendors scattered throughout the 3-day event, most of it was just a bunch of tables set up so that you could play games with whomever you wanted.
It’s a wonder I was actually able to choose any games at all, given the selection that they had. There were hundreds and hundreds of games, stacked up almost floor-to-ceiling on multiple walls. The vast majority of them I’d never even heard of.
Well, now that I think of it, I only choose 1 or 2 games the whole weekend…that probably explains a lot. 🙂
It’s good to know your limits. I knew that I would be no good picking a winning game out of the bewildering array of choices in front of me, so I happily let my playing mates choose and went along with whatever the majority decided on.
I have realized that board game conventions such as AndoCon are actually excellent ways to expose yourself to games that you would probably never find on your own. Below are a few of my newfound favorites. Try them out – maybe one of them will become your new family favorite, too!
This is a beautifully designed game based off of an actual Japanese pilgrimage. There are so many ways to score points, though, that you’ll probably have to play more than once before you get a handle on the strategies!
A challenging cooperative card game in which you can see everyone’s hand except your own. Good luck winning without accidentally cheating and giving more information than you’re allowed! 🙂
This game definitely appealed to my childhood dream of becoming a spy. In Codenames, 2 rival spymasters try to give their field agents the best clues to help them find and make contact with all of their agents first.
A card and dice game in which players race to be the first one to complete their carnival rides.
For being a “tiny” game (the box is only about 6″x4″), this game sure packs a punch, taking players on a complicated intergalactic quest to colonize planets and create the most powerful galaxy. Seemed overly complex at first, but was a lot of fun once you got the hang of it.
A quick, fun, lighthearted game that was a perfect follow-up to Tiny Epic Galaxies. Players have to strategically divide their cakes up so that they end up with the most pieces of the best cake at the end of the game. I definitely got hungry playing this one…
An easy-to-learn, but surprisingly challenging to win dice game, Qwixx is something the whole family can enjoy together. It’s also a good game for language learners, as it is entirely numbers-based.
The one that I picked, …And Then We Held Hands, was a bit of a dud. The 2-person cooperative part of it was fun, and I enjoyed the concept – a couple must struggle through their emotional baggage to arrive at a healthy balance – but I still think I’ll stick to letting others do the choosing in the future. Plus playing it without talking, as the rules dictate, just seems to be asking for trouble!
Overall, I had a really good time, and am thoroughly chastised about my previous misconceptions about nerds! What games or activities do YOU enjoy? Have they ever pushed you outside your comfort zone like they did with me?