Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Giving Thanks in A Plague Year

Every year or so around this time I post a Thanksgiving-themed missive. Something like “Living Thanks,” Step Up & Give Thanks,” “Gather at the Table,” or even after-action reports like “Thankful for Thanksgiving Gaming.” Despite the positive spirit and some game-related flavoring, they only garner a few page views compared to deeper articles on game issues or product features. And yet here I sit writing yet another Thanksgiving piece for Hobby Games Recce. Rather than offer broad exhortations for thankfulness with generosity toward those in need (at least until the last paragraph), I figure I’d indulge in some personal examples of gratefulness in my life during this truly awful 2020, Year of the Pandemic.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Winning & Losing Graciously

Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Winston Churchill

Every now and then I draft some politically tinged missive, particularly where games serve as a mirror reflecting real-world events...and lessons we can learn and implement in our own lives. Games are wonderful teaching tools. We use them to reinforce academic lessons for kids. Roleplaying games help develop our teamwork and puzzle-solving skills. Board and war games teach us how to better manage resources and assess opportunities and risks. Most games offer players the chance to test and expand a host of skills. Given Kevin Maroney’s definition – “A game is a form of play with goals and structure” – achieving a game’s goal is usually a win, whether competitive or cooperative. Along with all the other lessons we can glean from playing games, how we handle victory and defeat remains the ultimate lesson in a play experience.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

10 Years Blogging

It is only through writing that I become myself”

Werner Herzog

Ten years ago on November 11, 2010, I posted my first Hobby Games Recce blog feature, a piece on the local Borders bookstore finally stocking games like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Forbidden Island. Since then I’ve written more than 400 blog articles on subjects ranging across the adventure gaming hobby: roleplaying games, board games, wargames, conventions, industry news and issues, product features, games for kids and newcomers, reminiscences of my time at West End Games, and nostalgia for the “Golden Age of Roleplaying” (for me the early 1980s). Much has changed about the hobby during 10 years and I’ve changed during that time, too. But somehow I’m still here blogging despite ups and downs, discouragement and low readership, and my relative obscurity in the infinitely vast cacophony of the internet.