Ten years on the 'Geek now so maybe I should tell something about myself...
There is nothing extraordinary to my story (how's that for a riveting beginning?). I doubt that there is much difference between myself and most other geeks at the site. We grew up interested in various intellectual pursuits. Doesn't have to be really highbrow, simply reading would suffice. Or collecting, or just imagining... Those were mine. Eventually gaming falls in there somewhere. But the major difference is in how you approach that game, and what type of games you gravitate towards.
Fast forward to the teen years. It is now in the mid-70's and wargaming is the craze. I am hooked by monster wargames, having discovered AH and SPI and seen "War in Europe" laid out all in its glory, all in one fell swoop. Endless hours we had to just game. Those were the days, eh?
Then came the '80s and the world expects you to become productive. Gaming takes a serious backseat at some point to College. From the mid-80's on, gaming is non-existent.
In the 90's, there is a brief resurgence as I stumbled onto some hobby shops and gaming stores. A dying breed for sure, but not gone altogether. Still, this is before euros hit it really big, so it fails to drag me back. Besides, I had a new family to take care of and no free time. But by the turn of the millennium, it is clear that gaming has made some type of resurgence.
I emerge from the fog with a little bit more free time and some disposable income. Guess I'm not alone. People like me are now feeding the hobby, the time is right. Researching some games, I stumble onto BGG and sign up. Yep, lots of people here with the same story, as I find out. And some others who maybe never left the fold.
It's strange, though, that I never recapture the gaming experiences of my youth. Time is still too short for the way things used to be. Over the past ten years I realize that games are much more a social event than they used to be. I find I require something that is a little more easily digested. Something that can be finished in one sitting, in a reasonable time. VS. something that may take forever, IF you finish at all. That's not really for me anymore. A game needs to have an ENDGAME, (and not just the one in Oakland). These days I find interaction, tension, and decisions are critical to my game enjoyment. To be sure, all are buzzwords here. I have branched out from my wargame beginnings into other genres. But they all now must have one crucial thing: they must be good GAMES, first and foremost. I still gravitate to wargames, but they now have borrowed some attributes from other genres. They have tension, decisions, and are just plain good games. Not a good simulation? Don't care! My favorites include FAB: The Bulge
, Combat Commander: Europe
, Washington's War
, Empire of the Sun
, and War of the Ring (second edition)
(this last is not really a wargame, but let's not get started on THAT!)
The lessons I have learned are that gamers are born, not made. And that everybody likes something different, and that's OK. Until you say so here on the 'Geek, because you will of course run into someone who tells you that you are fool for liking such a crappy game. And nobody is EVER wrong here. But the main thing about a game is that you like it. And if you like it, everybody who thinks you are a fool can go to