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Games in the Independent

Yesterday's Indie had a big two page spread on Essen, the enormous games convention in Germany that happened recently, and on Saturday they've got a piece on the best 50 boardgames. D&D even gets a mention but the picture doesn't look much like our games.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
viscount_s
Nov. 4th, 2009 08:06 am (UTC)
I love Spiel, its absolutely fantastic. Sadly I missed it this year, for obvious reasons, but I hope to go back again at some point!
hybridartifacts
Nov. 4th, 2009 10:08 am (UTC)
On those rare occasions where I got to play d&d with people I had not introduced to the game, I gained a strong impression that other peoples games hardly every look 'like our games'. The games that used to happen in the local games shop especially.
Come to think of it, even our games after a while didn't look our games... We started with the ol' basic Blue Box and played with the whole family (my gran was, I think, a cleric), then it just became my friends and I and suddenly I discovered I could spend all my savings on lead figures, so we gamed with those until I realised it was a silly thing to spend my money on since we only used them to inspire characters to use as NPCs and to look nice on a table as we had got bored with actually doing miniatures based play after about 15 min.
After that our games became a bunch of friends lounging about in a nest of game books in the living room, then a bunch of friends of friends (and a lot of Cthulhu amongst other games), then a bunch of new people who actually bought snacks into the game, then it became a sort of snacks and talking about books with a bit of gaming thrown in, then a sudden massive horde wanting to do large scale battles (certain Forgotten Realms adventures kinda asked for it) so we used laminated squared paper to draw maps on had hundreds of crude cut outs representing characters, monsters and so on, then we stopped, had less players and no longer bothered with the armies and ended up playing Vampire for years, and then we just sort of stopped almost completely.
Throughout that time, depending on the game played, sometimes we would have a lot of books everywhere and a ton of dice (insanely so when playing Vampire, along with lots of red florists beads for blood pools and journals for people to record game events and secrets in), sometimes none, sometimes maps would be everywhere as well. Sometimes we played at a table, sometimes we just sprawled. We played Cthulhu (actually the single game that got played consistently through the years) by lamp or candlelight with spooky music or with the lights on as brightly as we could, depending on who played.

Now, the few games we play look increasingly like they are going to feature packs of Tarot cards and printed discs glued on old freebie cds or dvd burn fails, and maybe (if people enjoy it) lots of material for playing around making photo montages - so a mess of scissors, old magazines and print outs of vintage photos and glue sticks. Probably best not to ask. I went completely insane after a traumatic encounter with Yog-Sothoth years ago.

Which is all a very long winded of saying I have no idea what a game should look like in practice - but that picture you linked to is certainly what Wizards think it should look like because it involves people buying lots of stuff which keeps them happy - and I gave up on that in, oh 1978. I don't think I am their target market, and I introduced several generations of players into rpgs that probably are not either. I'm proud of it too ;)

So- what have your games looked like over the years? I'm intrigued.
gbsteve
Nov. 5th, 2009 08:52 am (UTC)
My games are almost invariably played round a table in someone's house. There's a tupperware container full of dice and rulebooks lying about as well as cups of tea and possibly some snacks. These days we have a proper meal halfway through our game, last night it was leg of lamb on bulgar wheat with onions, tomatoes and peppers.

Occasionally we play in the pub where it's pretty much the same but with glasses instead of mugs. When I was a student, it was also ever thus although when I lived in France, we did play in each other's rooms so there was some lounging on beds as well.

We occasionally use maps and figures, the last time was for 3:16 and 4e before that, but usually it's all in the mind, with the occasional GM scribble or perhaps some preprinted handouts.
hybridartifacts
Nov. 5th, 2009 09:34 am (UTC)
The meal partway through is an interesting idea. Normally we just make do with eating badly.
We tend to find a table a bit too 'formal' (though we have sat round them at various times we tended to abandon it after a while and lounge) but if you are going to have a proper meal as well it makes a lot of sense.


gbsteve
Nov. 5th, 2009 09:52 am (UTC)
I don't think simonjrogers would put up with eating badly. The only time we have lots of gamer snacks is when Ben visits from France. He doesn't think that snails and confit de dinde is proper gaming food the way Pringles and Diet Coke are.
hybridartifacts
Nov. 5th, 2009 11:17 am (UTC)
We go for a mix - some veg/dips and crisps. The principle drink is always tea.
Is Simon a food tyrant? He must be very healthy!
gbsteve
Nov. 5th, 2009 12:37 pm (UTC)
Simon is more dedicated to good rather than necessarily healthy food but his wife is a nutrionist so there's always some pressure.
hybridartifacts
Nov. 5th, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC)
That makes sense.
undyingking
Nov. 4th, 2009 11:09 am (UTC)
Pretty good article, I thought!
w00hoo
Nov. 4th, 2009 12:34 pm (UTC)
The photo looks like someone was primarily using the old Heroquest boardgame pieces, possibly on the board with some additions from other florps.

When I clicked I'd imagined I was going to see the classic posed racially diverse group of twentysomething men and women all looking like they've just got back from their wind down evening at the wine bar after their busy jobs in the city...

And, no, none of my games ever look like either of those things!
kruku
Nov. 4th, 2009 04:56 pm (UTC)
Games and gamer geeks becoming fashionable... the end times are truly here.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )