the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


Game Night at Rosie’s

So I found this game– Pirate's Cove — Search for the treasure for an absolute steal ($5.55) at our local warehouse-style grocery store.  I was pretty excited, since most board games for kids that are of the caliber worthy of our local group, Columbia Basin Board Game Society (CBBS) cost up to 4 or 5 times that much.

It went pretty well, although we were late and most of the group were already busy with other games.  I felt a little put out, because the group for the most part isn't welcoming to young children (Monday nights at Rosie's are a small exception) and the founder/host for weekend games didn't even seem to notice that we were even there.  But I did show it to a few people, and our server seemed interested (I think she has young children), especially when I said where I got it and for how much.

The game has a few snags with the rules so I just looked at some ideas for rules variants.

Anyways, I think we'll renew our efforts to go as a family for these Monday night things, if only for the importance of the social interaction.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

1 Comment

Radcon 5

Radcon…is over.

What a wild ride.  If you follow the link, you should see on a quick glance that it's a local SF/gaming convention.  This was my post on 43 Things about it, as it was quite the workout:

I took my entire little family to Radcon 5 (a local gaming convention) yesterday.  I attended a wee little bit on Friday, too, after registering, etc.

Sit down?  Ha, not all that often.  Not with a 5-year old.

Was there all day, almost, from about 10 am to midnight, with a small break to take wife and kids home, hit the gym, and swim a few laps before returning.

Exhaustive, but fun!

It was really nice and more family-friendly this year (at least, compared to a few years ago as I missed last year)– Saturday had some activities for kids.  Princess and I attended the "Kid-Friendly Science" and Craft panels, the latter which involved painting balsa wood boxes to look like pirate treasure chests, which we filled with "booty".

Shortly thereafter we caught up with our board gaming group and played a new game while Princess amused herself with an animatronic toy macaw one of the members had brought.  Cimmorene easily doubled the size of her dice collection; she bought a new 30-sider I knew was going to catch her eye.  Most of them were in a drawstring bag with a skull pictured on the side and since she stuffed it pretty full with her other dice, it started looking like a skull, hehe.

My sister is on the Planning board as she's been for many years now, and so we took a few opportunities to catch up with her, mostly because my daughter had been missing her cousin (my sister's son, i.e., my nephew).  I am still quite amazed she went because her daughter is due in less than a month.

We failed to take pics at the convention itself but I will post some photos of loot and such fairly soon. There is more I could write about; but I'm just really fatigued a lot with the therapy and exercise I'm doing for injury recovery; but perhaps I'll write more later as well.

Read and post comments | Send to a friend


GamerDad website and forums

Hey, I thought I'd take a moment to spotlight one of my links– the GamerDad website.  A friend of Cimmy and mine referred us to the site.

GamerDad is a proud gamer father who runs an awesome website with reviews on games appropriate for children.  If you want some info beyond what the ESRB decides, and you game with your children, nieces, nephews, etc. this may be a *great* website for you.

The link is right there in my blog sidebar.

(p.s. I would like to see what northerngeek thinks.  *startles*  Oh, hi!)

Read and post comments | Send to a friend

Leave a comment

The light side of the gaming culture.

While trying to explain the concept of Live Action Roleplaying Games (LARP) to a friend, I came across the Wiki article for role-playing games (RPGs), and the URL for The Escapist, a gaming advocacy website.

Here is a quote from What Games Are on the website:

Games are educational:
        Used to teach many lessons in the classroom
        Basic concepts of strategy, accounting, budgeting and mapmaking are taught in everyday play

Games are developmental:
        Reading skills developed with reading rule books
        Memory skills developed with memorization of rules and background
        Writing skills developed with writing character backgrounds and adventures
        Basic math skills developed with many in-game calculations

Games are social:
        All require fellow players or opponents
        Contain both cooperation and competition
        Conventions encourage strangers to get together and play

Games are fun:
        Wide variety of settings and genres
        Hours of entertainment with minimal expense

This is just a summary; the points are elaborated further on the webpage.  But I will touch on a few points here for each category, as follows:

Educational- Some RPGs delve into actual history for the game setting, and many role-players will delve into historical references (outside the gaming books, even) to fill out character backgrounds.  As far as educational points that have already been mentioned– Camarilla players reading will be familiar with the "Min/Max system", which is a system designed to spend the minimum amount of character points in one area to maximize points in another, i.e., a system of budgeting.  Most gamers must keep a careful accounting of such points on their character sheets, and most organizations and gaming circles will police themselves on such.  There are consequences for a player that cheats in this area, as well as abuse of the rules.

An astute gamer understands probability in a game for what it is, and how it is used.  Dungeon Masters and players of Dungeons & Dragons understand chances of obtaining treasure, and usually understand the dice they will need to calculate such chances.  Moreover, the dice used in determining various actions lend a degree of chance in regular game situations.  It is the same if other means, such as cards, are used.  I remember a Runescape player who explained the probability of various rare and semi-rare drops– i.e., if I was to try for a particular item, there were certain rates of probability to get it, and he also explained the probability of drops that would likely come before it.  There is no conspiracy theory or 'worthlessness' of items such as 'the ring of wealth' or 'The Stuff' (when brewing for various drinks)– each modifies the probability involved by a certain percentage.

Developmental- Besides reading the rulebooks, many gamers will also draw upon various books of fiction for character names, concepts, and inspiration for their respective backgrounds.  In short, it is not unusual for gamers to be well-read.  Granted, I have met gamers that did not seem particularly literate, but a certain amount of literacy is required .  Furthermore, memorization of rules is required, which can be quite extensive for some games; and basic math skills are often required.

Social- This is the sticking point for a lot of us.  Although gaming, it seems, on the whole, draws in some fairly anti-social people, I'd argue that such people do come into an environment where they must be social, even if they stumble along in a dysfunctional way.  Eventually, those of us who have higher expectations will leave for a venue where the social interaction is better.  Furthermore, it should be noted that many gamers can laugh at themselves.  "Hackmaster" is a humoresque game that takes on the stereotypes of D&D gaming.

For those involved in prose-based/freeform online, gamers must learn the balance of give and take since elements of probability (dice, cards, etc.) are removed; game masters and players must let go as each participant takes control, in turn, of the direction of the story.

Fun- Ah, this is the main point, in my opinion.  I do know gamers (some of them friends and family) who buy large swaths of rulebooks and reference materials for the games they play, but in all honesty, only a few are really necessary- "the corebooks/core rule books".  Those that are involved in prose-based/freeform online need even fewer materials; usually, all that is required is either pen/pencil and paper, or a community forum system (ezBoards, phpBB, etc.)

Read and post comments | Send to a friend