Board Games

As part of my degree in Video Games development, we were required to play some older game and also look at the rules on Board games. We tried a number of Board games and had to write up our thoughts on that aspect of gaming. This was the result of my rambling thoughts.

At the dawn of time, when the world was flat, people used to gather in each other’s houses, huddled together for warmth with maps of foreign landscapes spread before them, as flat as the earth. They prepared to do battle with hordes of warriors and win honor or glory. Probably.

But the earth is round and we now have televisions and video games. However many people still gather to keep the tradition of the board game alive, and win respect and admiration amongst their peers. And so it was on the cold winter day, Friday the first of October, the year 2004, that 4 intrepid adventurers gather around a table to battle for an eastern country in the war-gasmic frenzy that is Shogun.

“Cool, swords, ninjas, armies” I thought, and indeed the game offered thus. With my army spread before me and my noble sword at my side, I placed my troops in the countries, ready to hammer seven shades of **cough**, stuff, out of my friends. My excitement level peaked, and I eagerly awaited the first move.

One hour later, after digesting many rules involving numbers that I have forgotten to compute in my head I was waiting for the end of the first move. And here is where the problems lie. This is not my first introduction to board games and indeed will not be my last. I took up Warhammer in college years ago as a way to socialise, and indeed it is that, a wonderful way of meeting people. However I underestimated the dedication it takes to play one of these games. You have to be very patient and be willing to learn many rules. Many rules as well have sub rules, often held by the Games Master which can be pulled out at any time to stop you using all the experience you have gained to defeat another player. That being said, it is the initial struggle that gets me first.

Many years ago I was thought how to play snakes and ladders, which I will admit, was fun. Then there was monopoly. Ahem, well this was another story altogether, after a few hours play I resorted to using dice to attack my opponents houses which each throw, when arguments ensued I defended myself with the “Act Of God Argument”. Barred.

Years later I played a Star Trek board game. After the explanation of the lengthy rules and talking notes, I started with a ship on the board. After 3 bad dice throws I was dead. I started the next round keeping to the rules, with a ramming tactic on another ship. I rolled my dice with a shout of “Set Phasers to Maximum Insult”. I destroyed the other ship. Barred.

I started to learn chess, but my teacher was not patient, the rules are quite simple, but I have a cavern where my head should be.

“Where can I move the prawn again?”.

“For the umpteenth time, it’s a Pawn you (deleted for publication reasons) “.

“Er, it kinda looks like a prawn to me”.

Barred.

I have learned rules for a few different board games, and I have little interest in them. I see the video game as the replacement for board games, where the rules are already in the system and you have to beat them to continue on your quest. I might seem biased and indeed I believe I am. But now in my closing paragraphs I must digress and make a little confession.

Some of the happiest memories of my childhood were when my parents and I stayed up in the evening around an open fire and played Snaked and Ladders. And many people I know who I quizzed on this whole phenomenon of the board game said the same. Indeed you, the reader might have similar memories. I am not prone to be stricken by nostalgia (I took my tablets) when I see a picture of an Atari 2600 or an old Snakes and Ladders board. And to those who say things were better in the old days, well, they are pretty awesome now.

The Catholic Church has a saying “A family that Prays together, stays together”. I would like to say that a family that plays together stays together. There is great social benefit in Games. Board games brought many families closer together, and as board games become less common in the home and the PlayStation generation (perhaps us) are raising children there seems to be less and less time spent playing together even though there are many video games on the market that are fun for all the family. Perhaps however, the video game will become to my descendants what the board game has become to me.

Ironing board – Chase the crease out of the clothes.

Board of Directors – Fight the bosses to secure your budget for the year.

These are but 2 boards, and to me the rules of these boards and Board games generate about equally as much fun. Ill stick to my video games. I hate to sound negative, but I found it very hard to find the positive inspiration to write at length on this, im just bored with board games. Now, where did I install that Chess Game on my PC?

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