My blog: http://spielfreude.blogspot.de/
My first gaming experiences reach back to my childhood. I always had a strong leaning to fantasy and science fiction topics and therefore read a wide variety of books/comics and watched the corresponding movies (as far as possible at an age of about 12 years). Therefore it is no surprise that the first game that really hooked me to the hobby was HeroQuest with all its expansion (which I, by the way, still own even if in bad condition due to tons of plays). As most of the kids I also played other games like Game of Life, Risk, Monopoly and so on. But HeroQuest was the first one I played day for day for day, inventing new rules, campaigns, heroes and lots of other stuff. The only reason causing me to stop playing HeroQuest was that I bought StarQuest some time later (naturally with all expansions). A multitude of games followed including Claymore Saga and several DSA and D&D boardgames.
A few years later Magic the Gathering became more and more popular and with the new third edition I started playing it myself. My friends and I played this game for many years sinking a really large amount of money (up today I am still happy not to know the exact number). Nonetheless I never regretted the investment as I had a really great time playing Magic.
As it happened to most of us at some point Magic started to lose its fascination. The new cards were either to week or to strong, no new ideas (or, even worse, bad ideas) and in addition two things happened. First I started playing tabletop games and second I found my personal grail game: Warhammer Quest. This game was like HeroQuest besides that everything was plain better. More monsters, cooler heroes, tons of equipment and 10 levels of awesomeness per hero. Damn, I loved this game and still do it even if there are better games today. This game finally fully addicted me to boardgames. For some years I played boardgames, tabletop and roleplay games every spare minute I had. But then something bad happened. My academic studies came to an end and for my doctoral research study I had to relocate from my hometown (Eberbach) to Göttingen being more than 300 kilometers away. I tried to find a roleplaying group there but without much success. In addition I lost interest on tabletop. Therefore, once again it was down to boardgames.
Luckily I have met a girl a few years earlier. As I she was used to boardgames from the childhood on and always supported my hobby. Ramona was (and still is) may main playing partner for years and she always supports me in my (I should better say: our) hobby. I therefore never get to know the feeling how it is to sneak at home with a new game. I just go through the door showing my honey the new acquisition and waiting for her to clean up the table for the board while I read the rules. Marrying her 2008 was the best choice I ever made and I still have no idea why she agreed to live with me.
Enough of that, back to my gaming career. As I found out in the following years moving to Göttingen was the best that could ever happen to my further understanding of the world of boardgames. What I found there was a FLGS I haven’t known till then. “Die Spieleburg” is focused on board- and roleplay games even if today there is also lots of other stuff included like puzzles or puppets. However, everyone working there has a strong addiction to boardgames and I stayed there for hours and hours just talking about games. In addition I met Benjamin who became my main playing partner for years. He is as crazy and addicted as I am and therefore we never had problems to find games to play against each other.
After several years in Göttingen I was so used to the “Spieleburg” that I explained and sold games to customers without even working there. I was more like some kind of furniture and if I was interested in a new game I just took it with me at home, played it and brought it back a few days later (or, much more often, bought it). Therefore it was no surprise that I was asked to help out on Christmas. Later on I officially worked there while I was searching for a new job after my PhD. Till today I still help out during the SPIEL in Essen or during Christmas.
However, nothing holds forever and I again had to relocate due to a new job. I now live in Bonn since April 2012 and already met some new gaming buddies. I really love this hobby. It is incredibly easy to find new people (in Bonn it took me about 3 days) and till now I rarely met someone I didn’t want to meet again.