Thursday, July 21, 2016

My RuthCon Summary

My friend, Ruth, recently celebrated her birthday in the most awesome way. She has a nice, large, home, and opened it up to friends for a 2 1/2 day gaming convention! And not only were we just able to game, but we had badges to wear, programs to peruse, adorable cats to cuddle, and amazing food to consume, some provided by attendees and some expertly prepared by Ruth's very good cook of a husband, Kit.

I had such an amazing time, and since I got into bullet journaling recently, I made a nice summary spread of my time down in North Carolina at this little con. A lot of it is inside jokes.

  • Memories
    • Chris Mosley laughs with such child-like mirth when Chris Kirkman gets frustrated in games. It is an utter joy to observe this.
    • Every time Kirkman got up out of his seat and then returned, a cat was sitting in his chair. It was an interesting phenomenon, and I laughed soooo hard when that quote came out of his mouth on Saturday night.
    • "Pikachu's Butt" became a "thing" at Origins. A huge inflatable Pikachu was used as a landmark at the 2016 Origins Game Fair. Our group always congregated "behind Pikachu's Butt." When I arrived at Ruth's house, a hole in their ceiling (which was present due to a re-wiring project) had a small stuffed Pikachu dangling from it. Hence, again we would congregate around "Pikachu's Butt."
  • The question marks near Rococo: That game ended up being my least favorite game of the con, but the question marks are in reference to the 5-player note--the high player count may be why I didn't enjoy it as much. I'm curious to play it at perhaps 3 players.
  • Butt pads (seat cushions) because of gamers with bad backs (me being one of them)
I'm super proud of this crafty-ish spread as I'm not a crafty person at all, but thanks to Ruth (who got me into bullet journaling), YouTube videos, and some washi tape, this is how I documented my recap of this fun, small birthday party/convention. Something I can look back on to fondly remember this awesome little con.

Open Wide!

This post is just a personal musing...

Why?... Why?... Why is this a thing?

You know how some people can't stand looking at or touching peoples' feet? Or how some people can't stand the word "moist"? Or how some people get grossed out sharing drink cups with someone? Well, I know that some people also have issues with looking into peoples' mouths. And now there's this new trend of games using a device which, in my opinion, keeps your mouth open so wide that we can imagine what your skeletal skull looks like!!

Gaaahhh!!! Again, I ask, WHY IS THIS A THING?

The game Watch Ya' Mouth was the first one I saw like this on Kickstarter, which I mentioned on the State of Games Podcast, Episodes 107 and 108. I only mentioned it because I thought the game was kind of weird and silly. In this game, a plastic device called a cheek retractor is used to hold back your lips and cheeks so far that you can't bring your lips together to form coherent words, and teammates have to try to guess what you're reading off of cards provided in the game. And if you see pictures of people using these things, first off, people wonder about hygeine; but secondly, it just looks insane to me. I can see every tooth bump on your gums! No! I never needed to ever see this! This game funded on June 24th and earned over $27,000 of its $6,000 goal. The game is currently available for pre-order, and is expected to be shipped to backers by August 2016.

Now Hasbro, in the wake of the successful Pie Face, recently announced a game that they will be releasing in August called Speak Out, which is very similar to Watch Ya' Mouth.  It uses the same cheek retractor and is similar in gameplay in that it involves players trying to interpret the person speaking with their mouth held open.

And if you search Kickstarter today, you'll find TWO MORE games with this same cheek retractor and similar gameplay! Gobby comes out of Australia and is unique in that it comes with an adults only version of crude cards. This game is over half-funded with 23 days left on the campaign as of the date of this blog post. The expected delivery date is September 2016. The other game is called Words are Hard!, which includes a game board which players must traverse. This campaign has just begun, but has an expected delivery date of October 2016, should it reach its funding.

Four versions of the same, weird, gimmicky game to be available within a three month span.

Again I ask...Why??

Oh! And to assuage some peoples' concerns about hygiene, the cheek retractors have been said to be dishwasher-safe.

open mouth image: <a href="">WorldArtsMe</a>

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Newbie Perspective

I remember, around the back-half of the year 2014 and into the front-half of 2015, complaining to myself about something specific: I wish I had something I was "into", something I'm passionate about. Other people have hobbies that they're super amped about. How come I've never found that thing that I'm obsessed with?

Ha-ha! Hahahahahaha! Now, just over one year after discovering the world of hobby boardgaming, here is a newbie boardgamer, producing a boardgaming podcast on which she is a co-host, contributing to two additional podcasts, and a member on a panel at this year's GenCon convention. Craziness!

I can't believe that before June 13th, 2015 I had no idea this world existed and now it's such a huge part of my life. I hope that every person finds something, their niche, where they feel they belong and where they not only feel that they can make a contribution, but they strongly desire to.

I'm no game reviewer. I'm just not. Most of the time I can't even tell you why I like or dislike a game. But if I love a game, I'll tell you. If I have an amazing time with friends at a game day, I'll tell you. If there's something I find confusing in the hobby community, I'll tell you my thoughts from a newbie's perspective.

One thing I can say is that I absolutely love this hobby. I get to play boardgames, which are just fun! I get to play them with so many cool and interesting people--I've met some of the best people ever through this hobby and I hope it's a part of my life for the rest of my life. I love being on the consumer side and the inside-baseball side of things. I get to just enjoy good boardgames, but I also get to meet the people who are so creative in their thinking and so incredibly smart in the way they put ideas to cardboard, and I get to see their process. It's such an honor to be privy to that. Through this blog I'm gonna just put thoughts to internet. It's really just an outlet to express my love for this hobby, but I hope anyone who comes across this blog just enjoys my ramblings.