Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Playing with Francie

Francie is finally back home. Tonight we played Age of Discovery again. It's an hour of crunching numbers, but I like it. I like boats.

Francie may be up for CGC game night tomorrow. It depends upon how the knee is doing. She is also worried about doing the stairs. It's in the basement of an old textile mill, and the stairs are pretty crappy. I got my heel stuck in a knot hole once. I'm worried about the temperature. It has been wicked cold here. If we go I'll have to bring gloves.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Age of Discovery and Fire & Ax

Went to Elliscon yesterday with Al and Z. Didn't get there until 4 pm because, well, I'm a slug and slept until 12:20 p.m. Bought some "used" games for $10 each - no shrink, banged up boxes, but unpunched. Mystery of the Abbey, The Hobbit, and Monster Mash I. Played half a game of Fire and Axe: A Viking Saga with the CGC guys. We had to quit before we were finished because Elliscon was closing. The CGC guys were not happy that we didn't finish, and I felt kind of responsible because I was the one who really wanted to play and talked them into it, even though it was getting late. I did point out to them that now five of us know how to play, so we can play on a Thursday night. It was only half a game so I don't know what I think about it. Raiding is fun, but it is clearly not a good path to victory.

I found out that three, yes, THREE of the CGC guys have StarCraft but NONE of them have played it yet. Gamer dudes bewilder me sometimes. So it looks like I may get a chance to play sometime in the next month. Yay!

Today I went to visit Francie. The people from work sent her a "Get Well" fruit basket with three games. We flailed through Age of Discovery. I think that I like it. We'll probably play again over Thanksgiving break.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Going to Elliscon tomorrow. Francie won't go with me because she is totally lame. I mean really lame. She's recovering from knee surgery.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And More Playing Children's Games

Saturday, Z "took a tone" with me, so I banned Disney channel for a week. If you take the TV away, you have to actually pay attention to your child for an extra hour every evening. Last night Z wanted to play Once Upon a Time, but we couldn't find it. She noticed the Icehouse stashes in the card game drawer, and decided she wanted to play "that game." So I taught Al and Z how to play a modified Zendo. I expected the game to crash and burn, but Z and Al really enjoyed it. Z wasn't too bad at it either. Z wanted to play Zendo again tonight, but my brain was too burnt from work, so we played Castle Keep and Clue instead. Al really dislikes Clue. He was so miserable.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Biting My Tongue

I'm guessing I shouldn't recommend Sword and Skull to this lady.

Mothers in Gaming
So as the Organizer of Orange County Board Gamers in California, the wife of a long time gamer, and the mother to 2 up and coming gaming boys, I spend a lot of time CHOOSING games for my kids.

I am VERY consciencious about what is "appropriate" for them to be playing, not just where their skill level is at.

My sons are 3 and 6 and we started them off with. Snails Pace race, and Chicken Cha Cha Cha. We then moved on to Jr. Labyrinth. I love the game Jr. Labyrinth for what it teaches about spacial reasoning and logic, but have always been bothered by the "pistol" as an item the kids are supposed to collect. So we just removed that token. Although it is still on the board, the kids are no longer trying to "pick it up".

But it isn't just guns. It's things that "teach" violence that I'm concerned about. Boys are all about jumping, kicking, running, climbing, throwing, moving, and playing. But in the continued effort to raise boys with good charater and values. I feel the need to be "choosy".

Recently I played Mr. Jack, and I enjoyed the game. I thought in general, it would be a good deduction game for kids. Even the "Cartoony" graphics made it FEEL appropiate for kids. HOWEVER, I was VERY dissapointed that they choose to make the villian "Jack the Ripper" instead of Sherlock (who is a charater in the game) Holmes' arch nemises Professor Moriarty. Jack, who's only claim to fame is the Murder of female prostitutes, is depicted as a dark figure with a bloody knife throughout the game. There is even a dead body on the front cover of the box.
Moriarty, although a murderer, was also a villian known for underworld crime. This latter theme could have easily been replace to make it more accessable for kids, and the murder aspect played down. I think the suggested agae of "9 and up" is rediculous. I believe strongly, content SHOULD be taken into account when these age recomendations are made. However as it is, I would definately not recomend it to other mothers for their children age 9.

Likewise am by no means a "puritanical" sexually repressed woman, but I find a lot of the disrespectful "oogling" art of women in some games not something I want my sons to think is "ok" way to represent women.

Also just to be clear, I have NO problem with these themes for adults. They have the education and maturity to understand these issues. In fact, once the kids have gone to bed I'm the first one to bring out BANG!

Just some thoughts for the day.
Heather Hughes

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Z Girl

Z added all her games to her Boardgame Geek user ID and rated them all. She gave about a third of her games a 10. Kids feel strongly about stuff. There is not a lot of middle ground. She also edited her own profile. I think she was a bit nervous about my seeing what she wrote about me, but I can't fault the child for being honest. Truth is, it made me laugh. At least she didn't say I drink and I smoke and I tell dirty jokes.

The upshot of this is that I took Z's games off my account, so I can sort through the adult and family games we have a bit more easily.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sword & Skull

Played Sword and Skull with Z and Al today. Sword and Skull is a great mainstreamy, kid's game with a Talismany/Monopoly feel. I know some gamersnoots who think these type of games are a waste of time, and want their kids to play "intellectually challenging" Euro games. But kids just really enjoy these roll and move and get stuff type games. These games are really designed for kids to play with other kids. I think the -ology games may also fall into this category. I know Ghost really likes Dragonology: The Game. I am thinking of getting one of the -ology games for Z to play with the other kids on game club days.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

So Cool!

UPS arrived today. The stupid game I got looks so cool. Z saw it and said, "Ewww! That's an ugly man game." I just finished going over the rules with Al. Now he's reading Z her bedtime story. As soon as he is done, we are going to kick some ass. Total bloodbath.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Shipping Notice

I got an e-mail that our group game order shipped. Only two of the games are mine, and both are nothing really special. One is a card game to play with some newbie gamer friends, and the other is a silly, inexpensive impulse buy. But it kind of makes up for the no Mordred until December.

That reminds me, I need to invite Ron & Holly over again to play. They want to play Ticket to Ride again. *sigh* Introducing newbies to games requires some patience, but it is worth it in the long run. I think Holly will be playing Railroad Tycoon in no time. I also have gotten friendly with our new neighbors, a nice goth couple with a little girl in first grade. I'm thinking of inviting the wife to join our ladies after school game group. Too bad Holly works full time, she would be a great addition to the group. Maybe we can get together in the evenings once in a while so Holly can join us.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Family Game Day

This morning started with a flat tire, a cat with an oozeing incision, and a child that had to be picked up at Sunday school. Triple A and a vet with Sunday emergency hours salvaged the day. By noon the tire was changed, the cat was medicated, and Z was home watching Wizard Oz, while I enjoyed a well earned Bloody Mary followed by a nap on the sofa.

I was awakened by the sound of something being dumped on the coffee table next to my head, and Z poking me in the arm.

"Play with me," she said.

I opened my eyes to a large stack of games inches from my face. Well why not?

We started with Mastermind. Z had never played before. It was gratifying to watch her learn and see her excitement build as she caught on to how solve the puzzle. Mastermind was my favorite game when I was Z's age, and I believe it played a large part in developing my own approach to problem solving.

After several rounds, Al joined us, so we needed a three player game. Z choose Capt'n Clever. I beat Z by one treasure, which frustrated her to no end. Losing with grace is a skill we continue to work on.

Z and Al tried to convince me to play Twister with them. I agreed to man the spinner, but there was no way I was going to risk injury on the mat. Z lost twice, but laughed each time.

Z then pulled out O Zoo le Mio, but then changed her mind and choose Blurt instead. Blurt gives me a headache. Actually, that's not entirely correct. A small child yelling out answers 18 inches from my ear gives me a headache. I am seriously considering donating this game to Z's school. Teachers are accustomed to yelling children, aren't they.

Horse Show, O Zoo le Mio, Creepy Freaks and Sword and Skull are currently stacked up on the sideboard waiting to be played, but I don't think we will get to them tonight. I think it is bath time.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Waiting for Games

Alas, KingPut's prediction that Mordred would take so long to ship, that it would arrive as a Halloween gift rather than a birthday gift was incorrect. Halloween has come and gone and Mordred has yet to appear on my front porch. (ETA: I just read that Mordred isn't expected to arrive until late November. Looks as if it will be a December Holiday gift.)

We are trying to put together a group order in time for the holidays, and it's a bitch waiting for everything that everyone wants to be in stock. Last Night on Earth still hasn't arrived at our favorite on-line game retailer. They were promising the end of October. Also out of stock are Ingenious, Memoir '44 - Winter/Desert Board Map , and Cities and Knights of Catan.

I am hoping everything that we want to order that is out of stock comes in, before everything that we want that is in stock sells out. That was what happened last year when we tried to do a group order for the holiday. We finally had a moment in time when everything except one game was in all at the same time and hit the buy button. Too bad for Deb. She didn't get Memoir '44 for Christmas last year.