Thursday, January 15, 2015

Tough Crowds

One of my Christmas/birthday acquisitions was Libertalia. I was really pumped to play the game, and so decided to spontaneously pull two co-workers into a game of it over lunch.

As usual, gaming at lunch is a dicey proposition (no pun intended). After lunches are acquired and eaten and the game is set up, we're left with approximately 40 minutes of actual play. For three newbs learning Libertalia, that proved too little time; we had to call it midway through the second week. Nevertheless, it was a fine opportunity to learn the game. I was really happy with the (partial) playthrough; it's very impressive how much strategy is crammed into such a relatively simple structure. 

(One question though for you Libertalia players out there: what the hell are the flag tokens for? The six tokens that look like flags, one for each player color? The instruction manual does not mention them, and the run-through video I watched on YouTube made no use of them. I presume they're an organizational aid, but can anyone tell me for certain?)

Anyways, I was thinking as I played about how interesting the power of passion can be. I'm not a terribly social guy, but if I want to play a board game, I'll ask random strangers whose names I don't even know and set up the game. I'm not a terribly driven guy, but I'll host and organize a meetup group if it means getting a roleplaying game to the table, even for a one-shot. I am, largely, a creature of comfort, yet I'll stay up late, wake up early, skip meals, and walk for miles to get to a gaming venue.  I find that interesting, since there are very few other things in my life I'll do that for. My family and friends are probably the only other things, in fact. This is a facet of my life I've only discovered in the past few years, and yet it's hard to imagine myself living any other way. 

This gaming at lunch isn't working out too well for me, yet I keep trying. I send out company-wide emails and end up with one, maybe two people. I know there are a wide variety of excuses as to why people don't show, but nevertheless there's usually at least a few people who take the same lunch hour and just prefer to sit at their desks. I don't blame them, but it's always a little discouraging. Then amongst the people who do show, sometimes I get co-workers I'm simply not crazy about and I've got to put my personal shit aside in the interest of playing a good game. And I tell myself, this is a chance to get to bond with someone you wouldn't normally care about. But that's an effort of will, you know. That's hard work. And who wants to work on their lunch?

Well, apparently, I do, if the work involves tabletop gaming. Odd, how that is. 
Believe the hype. It IS that good.


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