As a young boy growing up in America in the 90’s, there were a few things that I was required to be well educated in. Namely: Pokémon, Video games and Star Wars. I would spend hours with my San-Diego friends discussing the best Evee evolution, or the best way to clean our Nintendo 64 game cartridges. Watching the Star Wars movies on loop for a whole weekend was not uncommon either. These things became a part of me, and I still have brief moments of spontaneous excitement when someone brings up a lightsaber, or even Pikachu.
There was however, another love. The love of board games. And while Star Wars, video games, and Pokémon stuck with me, board games seemed to lose their charm. Why? Heck if I know. Maybe I grew out of them, or maybe I just stopped seeing the appeal of what was usually, quite a repetitive system of play.
Recently however, I discovered a show that would change everything for me. TableTop, a YouTube show on the Geek and Sundry channel, which is hosted by one of my favourite actors: Wil Wheaton. It’s basically just celebrities playing a board game. It’s a different game each week, along with different players. It’s actually a ton of fun to watch. Give it a try.
Before I carry on, you should know this: Board games have really developed over the years. It’s not all about buying property or capturing Australia anymore. These days, board games range from simple family games, to complex tactical fantasy role playing games.
After watching enough TableTop and deciding on which game I was going to spend my hard earned money, I opted for the classic: Dungeons and Dragons. I cautiously opened the box, which revealed a bible like rulebook filled with every possible scenario the game could ever put you through. I giggled like a little girl. I unpacked everything and then convinced my little sisters to join in on a game. Sadly, the rules were so complex that we had to stop just to allow a chance to make sure we all knew the rules. It was fun spending time with family around a table with nothing to guide us but our imaginations though. We laughed, a lot. These days, not enough people play board games. While watching a movie with the family is always nice; playing a board game provides a whole other level of bonding and simple satisfaction. I think that were going to start having a family board game night, once we learn all the rules that is.
It felt really good to connect to an element of my past with elements of my present, in the form of my little sisters. They couldn’t wait to play again. I don’t know why I lost interest in board games. That doesn’t matter anymore though. Playing Dungeons and Dragons with my little sisters made up for all those lost years. It wasn’t just a simple board game in that box, It was a part of my childhood that I hadn’t seen in years, and golly, did we have a lot to talk about.