Hell Yes I Like To Party

This past weekend I attended a party. But not just any kind of party.  This, peasants, was a Board Game Party.  Hosted by a local company here in The South of Africa in the city of Johannesburg.  A good friend of mine and I decided to go.  It should be no surprise to you, regular and valued DWIWINS reader, that I am in fact, a HUGE board game enthusiast.  It might however come as a surprise to you that I have never been to a party of that type before, until this past weekend.

We walked through the doors and witnessed what can only be described as what I hope heaven looks like. Lots and lots of super friendly people laughing and having a genuinely good time. All of them in communion with one another, thinking with each other, and trying to beat each other, in most cases that is.

This was not a movie you go and watch with your friends, a movie where you go and sit down to watch a big screen and usually don’t say more than a few badly timed whispers to your friends. This… was table top gaming the way it’s meant to be. We walked in and paid a small fee.  The payment let us play as many games as we wanted, as much as we wanted. It also included all you can drink coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and juice.  Yes, hot chocolate.  ALL YOU CAN FREKEN DRINK.

We explored new games and made new friends. We played an amazingly fun game called Smash Up, which I actually bought before leaving.  We couldn’t spend as much time as we would have liked, but the three hours we did spend there, were arguably the best three hours of my week. Needless to say, I CANNOT wait for the next one!

Dylan

2015-08-20

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Did I Miss The Memo?

Lying on my warm, comfortable bed, listening to some smooth jazz while gently sipping from my cup filled with tea is really the way I’d love to spend most of my time. It’s the way I like to unwind.  The way I like to forget about all the troubles this world likes to throw at us. Miles Davis and some Camomile for me thanks.

There seems to be a really odd and quite frankly, silly, social stigma going around these days. That it’s okay for young people to go out and get floorfaced drunk and party till the next weekend. Now, I know how saying that makes me sound.  Like some old prune of a man who hates fun. DAMN YOU FUN. Well actually, I’m not against fun, at all.  I love fun, and I think it’s important for young dudes and dudettes to go out and live life to the fullest.

HOWEVER

My problem is not people not having a problem with all the excessive alcohol.  My problem is that people think that it’s okay, and then giving me and my friends a tough time because we don’t like to get floorfaced drunk every weekend.  It’s strange and weird for us to enjoy things like board games or cosplay, but it’s “normal” for us to go out and do things we’ve been told are wrong our whole lives.

Did I miss the memo?

Please forgive the rant.

Dylan   A.K.A. The prune of a man who hates fun

2015-08-12

Bored Game?

Yesterday night I had an opportunity to introduce my parents to a classic board game.  Having grown up in an age where Monopoly and Rummikub were the only real table top toppers, they were unfamiliar to the vast world and community of table top gaming as it stands today.  You dear reader might also be unaware to the massive renaissance that board games have been experiencing over the past few years. As Wil Wheaton says: “A lot of people think that video games killed board games, but a lot of people are wrong.”

There is actually an award (a very prestigious one at that) called the Spiel Des Jahres, which basically means game of the year in German.  Winning a Spiel Des Jahres is like getting an Academy Award in the board game world.  Just to give you some perspective, Rummikub won one way back in 1980.  It’s a big deal. A game that wins it usually sells tens of thousands more because of it.

Anyway, the game I played with my parents last night holds the prestigious position of having won the Spiel Des Jahres in the year 2001.  The game is called Carcassonne.  You and other players basically “build” the city of Carcassonne, and then score points by placing “followers” or meeples, as they are more commonly known. It’s a heck of a lot of fun! The game itself has sold over 10 million copies. Yes, you read that correctly.

After explaining the (very) simple rules, we gathered around the dinner table and started to play.  Once a few rounds had passed and everyone had the swing of things, we started laughing, joking, and just in general enjoying the game for it’s simplistic beauty.  It was at that moment that I saw a very rare reaction on my stepfather and mother’s faces.  They were surprised.  Now don’t get me wrong, they’re surprised just as much as any other person, but this time, they were surprised by the game.  Having been exposed to nothing but long never-ending tedious games of Monopoly and repetitive card games, they had unconsciously dismissed board games as simple minded games that are actually just meant for children.  Carcassonne, in a single game, destroyed that entire misconception.

It was a good night.  So if you’re looking for a new hobby, or a new way to spend time with your partner, friends, family, whatever, do yourself a favour, and try a board game.  The rabbit hole gets deeper the more you dig.

If you don’t know where to start, then I recommend The Settlers of Catan, or just Catan (the new edition but the same game) Otherwise, I’ve included an entire list of Spiel Des Jahres winners just for you!

Enjoy!

2015 Colt Express
2014 Camel Up
2013 Hanabi
2012 Kingdom Builder
2011 Qwirkle
2010 Dixit
2009 Dominion
2008 Keltis
2007 Zooloretto
2006 Thurn and Taxis
2005 Niagara
2004 Ticket to Ride
2003 Alhambra
2002 Villa Paletti
2001 Carcassonne
2000 Torres
1999 Tikal
1998 Elfenland
1997 Mississippi Queen
1996 El Grande
1995 The Settlers of Catan
1994 Manhattan
1993 Call my Bluff
1992 Um Reifenbreite
1991 Drunter und Drüber
1990 Adel Verpflichtet
1989 Café International
1988 Barbarossa
1987 Auf Achse
1986 Top Secret Spies
1985 Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective
1984 Railway Rivals
1983 Scotland Yard
1982 Enchanted Forest
1981 Focus
1980 Rummikub
1979 Hare and Tortoise

In Flux

I recently discovered a card game called Fluxx, and it instantly became one of my favourites because of one simple reason. And that reason is that Fluxx has one simple rule: Draw a card (from a deck of cards) and then, play a card.  Simple, right?  No.  The thing about Fluxx is… the rules constantly change.  That card that you drew from the deck might be a “new rule” card, which can then be played.  The “new rule” card will then change the current rules.  Crazy right! Well yeah, that’s why the game is called Fluxx, because the rules are constantly “in flux.” Cue the witty giggle.  Anyway I thought that that was quite interesting.

Apart from the discovery of a new card game, my life has been pretty busy lately. Working as a full time lecturer and studying copywriting part time is no joke.  Apart from work and studies I also have to find time to write.  I’ve recently been asked to write for a new website called Business Casual.  I’m really enjoying that because it’s taking me out of my comfort zone, writing about topics I don’t generally find myself writing about.

Apart from studies, work, this blog, and the Business Casual website, I’ve also recently been contacted in regards to a big project. I won’t go into that too much now but big things, and even bigger opportunities are on the rise.

I’m pretty much always working one way or another. In the rare moments of free time you’ll find me writing music, playing a board game, or learning Mandarin.  What I’ve noticed is that in this current chapter of my life (being busy all the time) I am actually the happiest I’ve ever been.  This constant feeling of productivity has really slapped me through the face, permanently leaving a smile on my face, and more importantly a happy heart.  Very poetic I know.

Having said all that… where I am in my life right now has enabled me to reflect on something I heard many years ago on a much deeper scale. I don’t know who said it, but it goes something like this…

“Work is more fun than fun.”

I can officially wholly agree with that statement, although I might make one slight adjustment and say: “Productivity is more fun than fun.”

Now stop reading this blog, and go and be productive. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, I promise.

 

Dylan

2015-08-09