Don’t Be a (paper)Bag Lady

By Claire O’Brien

Don’t do what I did and carry your games around in a paper shopping bag. I learned my lesson the hard way recently when I was on my way to meet a date.  I had brought 3 games (JohariNuns on the Run, and Family Business) with me, in a paper shopping bag from some clothing store.  Unfortunately, I had forgotten an umbrella which meant it HAD to rain. It wasn’t a downpour, but there was enough rain to soak my bag. Before I reached the coffee shop, my bag ripped open and my games went crashing into the street. I found myself battling the wind in my frenzied attempt to scoop up all the pieces that were literally everywhere. I had nuns flying in the wind (and no, Sally Field wasn’t there), mobsters swimming downstream (face down of course), and a few nobles stuck to the windshield of nearby parked cars (a Mercedes Benz and Ferrari of course). I was late for the date, frazzled from my experience, and I had lost 2 action cards. The date went downhill from there… it was like a dark force had descended on me. I looked over my shoulder but Angus wasn’t there.

I’m not one to cry over spilled milk (spilled lemon grass perhaps, but not spilled milk). I realized I needed a sturdy bag for carrying my games. Anything will work really, from duffel bags to backpacks, as long as what you use isn’t going to rip apart and send your games flying. I would recommend a waterproof bag though to protect your games from getting soaked. Unless you want to feel like the dark servants from Witch of Salem have descended upon you, invest the money and buy a decent carrying case to protect your games!

Happy travels (with that nice, sturdy, waterproof game bag)!

Share

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
rssyoutubeby feather

Corporate RETREAT, RETREAT, RETREAT!

By Bob MacWordell

We have a corporate retreat coming up soon, and needless to say I’m NOT looking forward to it. The last time I agreed to participate in one of those trust-building exercises, I was to let myself fall into Angus’ trustworthy arms. Yeah, I trusted him to catch me – fool that I was. He walked away to get a cup of coffee so he’d be alert enough to catch me. #EPICFAIL! What a stupid, useless, arcane exercise! I’m not married to Angus, I work with him. Why do I have to trust my life to him? Believe me, if one of the studio lights starts to fall, Angus won’t be rushing in to push me out of the way. He’ll do me the courtesy of yelling “Timber,” but that’s it. This Catch Your Partner exercise is for the birds, not partners and especially not co-workers. I’m willing to bet Laura wouldn’t be dumb enough to fall back, counting on Angus to catch her. She knows him too well!

This last retreat took an interesting turn when we started the Get To Know You exercise where we each wrote three things about ourselves on an index card. One of those things had to be a lie. Once the team leader gathered the cards, Angus shouted, “You have all the spells, I win.” Of course, at this point I had to tell him we weren’t playing Elixir though it certainly felt like it at the time. While the spells in Elixir cause a lot of confusion, so does Angus. At this point, everyone started splitting off into groups of 2 or 4, running to their rooms only to re-emerge with games such as Heart of Africa, London, and Mesopotamia. The games they chose were a clear albeit subtle sign that everyone wanted to be anywhere but at this retreat. And who could blame them? Have you ever been to a retreat that wasn’t a complete waste of time, not to mention painful when your so-called-partner whom you are supposed to trust to catch you DOESN’T? Well, as it turned out, we had a lot of fun playing games that night and into the next day. We didn’t do any of the ‘required’ exercises. Instead, we bonded over the games, teasing one another, admiring strategy and doing what we always do when sitting around a board game – we had a ton of fun!

Despite the fact that this last retreat was saved by all of the games we played, you already read how I dread this upcoming retreat. That’s because we’ve been forewarned that our luggage and cars will be checked for games, and all games – board, dice or otherwise – will be confiscated at the gate. Just emptying my trunk of all my games is a chore that makes me not want to attend. Manual labor aside, this weekend will be torturous without our games to save us.

So, here’s my advice to anyone who has a corporate retreat coming up… RETREAT, RETREAT, RETREAT away from that retreat! Call in sick, schedule your vacation, change jobs, even get married if it will get you out of going!

Share

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
rssyoutubeby feather

Glitz Kits CrowdStarter Campaign goes LIVE!

By Claire O’Brien

Holy Glitter! I’ve done it! My CrowdStarter campaign is LIVE! Check out the video:

I’ve taken that step from dreamer to entrepreneur. With your contributions and support, we’ll beautify the gaming world!

My product, Glitz Kits, will give gamers the glitter and customized, step-by-step instructions they need to beautify their game boxes. Glitz Kits will turn those drab boxes into showpieces that can be proudly displayed throughout the home, on mantles, coffee tables and alongside family photos. No longer will gamers have to hide their game boxes from company, or shrink of embarrassment from the plain cardboard boxes.

This isn’t one of those other crappy campaigns that people use to fund their favorite hobby. I want to beautify the world through glitter. Believe me, if I could come to your house with my glitter, I’d beautify your game boxes for you, but there are too many board games boxes out there in need of glitter and I can’t afford to give up my day job! So PLEASE support my campaign!

Pledge of $2 or more

Personal thank you email from me.

Pledge of $5 or more

Personal thank you email and a swatch of pure white wool from yours truly.

Pledge of $20 or more

You get to choose a game for which we’ll make a customized Glitz Kit, receive a personal thank you and a swatch of pure white wool (at least until I get too cold to donate further).

Pledge of $25 or more

In addition to all of the above items, we’ll add Swarovski Crystal to your copy of Glitz Kits!

 The world needs glitter! Please support generously today!

Share

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
rssyoutubeby feather

Rx: Best Board Games To Fight Boredom

By Angus McPeters

I found myself in a doctor’s waiting room just this past week.  How I got roped into driving Laura’s mother to the doctor’s and being stuck there I still haven’t figured out.  One minute Laura’s mother was piling a basket of fruit on her head and singing “Bananas is My Business,” and the next Laura was pushing me into the driver’s seat as Carmen Miranda hops into the back like I’m her chauffeur.  As the GPS is scolding me left and right for missing my turns (as I was supposed to go right then left), Mrs. Fruitcake clucks on and on about how she wouldn’t have a foot abscess if I took better care of my lawn. Well, that was the last straw.  Really, it was, since she had just finished off the last bit of lawn that was in decent shape following one of Ewan’s little ‘parties’ with the young rams from the hood.

As if having to listen to the old sheep carry on and on about her foot abscess for the next twenty minutes on the way to the doctor’s office wasn’t bad enough, I then had to wait for two hours with nothing to do but leaf though a bunch of outdated, boring magazines that have nothing to do with sheep. How hard would it be for the office manager to buy a few board games to leave in the waiting room so patients don’t die of boredom before getting in to see the doctor?  Patients could pass the time enjoying themselves instead of worrying about some depressing diagnosis they’re going to receive.  Isn’t that worth placing a board game or two in the waiting room?  And don’t tell me there’s not enough time to play a game while waiting for the powers that be to finally call your name and let you see the doctor.  Balanx has an average playtime of 20 minutes while Gemstones can be as short as 10 minutes!  Or for those times when the doctors are running behind (and when aren’t they?), games such as Mad City: Plan as Fast As you Can and Oceania rarely go beyond 30 minutes.  For experienced players such as myself, I’m sure you can even squeeze in a game of Catan with some amended rules. Of course, there’s the Catan Dice Game that only takes 15-30 minutes and has the advantage of allowing a player to play by him or herself… a particularly nice feature when everyone else in the room seems to be hacking their brains out.

If you’re not convinced, think about how many times you’ve spent waiting in a doctor’s office, avoiding eye contact with the other desperadoes, while you twiddled your thumbs (okay, I don’t have thumbs to twiddle, but I would if I could) wondering why you must sit there like a lamb waiting for slaughter? Instead of complaining to the office staff about the wait time, demand they place a few games in the waiting area. You have the power to change the way the medical profession treats us, so rise up and insist upon the proper amenities in your waiting room. I’ll insist upon the same… right after I’m done driving Miss Crazy home.

Share

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
rssyoutubeby feather

Best Board Games for a Date

By Claire O’Brien

If you’ve read my previous post about playing a board game on your date, then you’ll know what a great ice-breaker a game can be, especially for that first date when you need a way to relax, have fun and just be yourself. The first time I tried this new approach to dating, my date and I played Balanx. We had so much fun that we never got to the other games I had brought with me.

Our second date was when things got a little awkward. My date was interested in zoology, so I grabbed the only animal themed games I own, Antler Island and Karnickel, and headed out the door. We had finished setting up when I remembered that Antler Island could get a bit racy, given that the stags are getting ready for the rutting season. I made it through without embarrassing myself, despite some suggestive looks from the other side of the table. Needless to say, we arranged another date, and I was asked what other games I know how to play. I don’t think I was being asked about board games…

I learned a valuable lesson that night. Put a little bit of thought into choosing your games when you’re heading out on a date. I mean, if you’re shy, you may not want to play a game like Antler Island that gives many opportunities for suggestive remarks. Of course, if you want a great game that can set the mood for serious flirting, go for it. If you’re the sly type and want to see if your date squirms at the mention of the law, play FBI. Or if you want some easy-going fun for all, try Shear Panic (also a good way to see just how brave or skittish your date is when the threat of shearing comes up!) And don’t forget, if you get to the point in your relationship when a double date will work, there are numerous games such as Settlers of Catan which are perfect for groups of four.

The right board game can set the mood for your date. Give some thought to the games you choose, but most importantly, let loose and have fun.

Get down and dirty and “Rut Your Stuff” with Antler Island!

Share

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
rssyoutubeby feather