Board games have always been special to me. That was always the exciting present at Christmas ... the big box under the tree. Out of those magical packages have come "The Dark Tower", "Olympics", "Bloodbowl" and "Basketball Strategy".
I would would think nothing of playing out full NFL seasons in Paydirt as a kid or NBA playoffs with Statis-Pro Basketball (neither of which were particularly well known in the UK in the early 80s). I'd happily spend a weekend covering the room with a Sorcerer's Cave layout or a 20 lap race of Waddingtons Formula 1.
Then I grew up (a bit!) ... went to University, got a job, got married, and discovered computers and consoles. However, the latest games machines were relatively anti-social - and while I was happy to play Resident Evil or the latest EA NHL game all evening, my wife was less thrilled!
I rediscovered board games as a great social way to spend an evening with her and with friends, and soon we were spending weekends playing Formula De, Lord of the Rings, Warhamster Rally and Kill Dr Lucky until the earlier hours of the morning.
I've now got young children - and have loved introducing them to board games as well. We all enjoy playing on the Wii or PS3 ... but they still view it as something special when dad gets a game out of his cupboard.
The fun of being beaten by a 6 year old at Buccaneer who doesn't realise you deliberately discarded half your crew, seeing them work out whodunnit in Clue, or the look of excitement and concern on both childrens faces as we defend a final tower in Castle Panic is something I wouldn't have missed for the world.
I now have a pile of well over 100 games, and my son would happily sit and play through all of them ... I hope he also carries this love and enjoyment of board games with him for many years as I have.