It’s that time of year when we start loosening our belts in anticipation of big turkey dinners. Dreams of mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, and glorious stuffing fill our sleeping hours. However, it’s also the time of year when we reflect on the good fortune we’ve had, and give thanks for the thing that make life good.
Last year, we took a look at a few of the different aspects of board gaming that we’re happy to have in the world. This week, we’re revisiting that idea for CMON Feature Friday.
With both BGG Con and PAX Unplugged taking place this weekend, you could say that we’ve got gaming cons on the brain. The board game calendar year has never been more full of awesome events to take part in and celebrate the hobby. From big shows like Essen Spiel, Gen Con, Origins, and PAX, to medium-sized ones like BGG Con and Dice Tower Con, to small local cons, there are a ton of opportunities to get together with people that share your love of gaming. Conventions are great for a number of different reasons; you get to meet old and new friends, try out new titles, and leave your comfort zone. It can be easy to fall into a rut, playing the same games with the same group of people, and no matter how much you love them, a convention is like a shot in the arm that reminds you why you got into the hobby in the first place. With pride in geek fandom at an all-time high, we sometimes take for granted that not everyone has access to gaming groups and support systems that let them know it’s OK to love what they love. A convention is a gathering of people who make you feel at home, speak your geek language, and care about the things you do. We can’t state enough how valuable they are to the hobby and to individuals. We even run our own CMON Expo, taking place next year on May 11-13 weekend in Atlanta. If you’ve never been to a major convention, give it a shot at some point. Your people are waiting for you there.
We publish a lot of games with a campaign element to them. From Arcadia Quest, to Zombicide, to Massive Darkness, there are a lot of options to choose from. As you progress through the campaign, the story grows richer and the tale unfolds like the chapters of a good book. But, unlike books, you have a hand in the way the adventure progresses. Anyone who has played an ongoing role-playing campaign can attest to the fact that you get attached to your characters and their plight and want to see how everything turns out. The same can be said for board game campaigns. One of the nice thing about a group of friends or family committing to an ongoing game, is that it forces them to carve out time in their lives for gaming. Too often our routines keep us from playing regularly, but campaigns offer the opportunity to get together with the same people on a regular basis and share an experience with them. If you have not experienced a campaign adventure, find some friends, pick a game that appeals to you, and take the plunge. You’ll be glad you did.
Board Game Media
Every major industry has its own media covering the latest advances, giving their opinions on the products, and helping consumers make decisions. The media in the board game hobby is unique, because on top of reviewing games, they also play a role in teaching you how to play them. Board games are an interactive medium, and having a trusted source teach you the rules takes away a lot of the work of learning a new game. In recent years, board game media has grown considerably, with hundreds of different sources for fans to get their fix. From videos, to podcasts, to blogs, there is an outlet for everyone. Most of these board game journalists work for little to no money, and they do it simply for the opportunity to share their love of games with others. Running a media outlet is no small task. It takes dedication, talent, and thick skin to keep it up. Although there are many different sites that we have come to love over the years, we don’t want to single any one of them out. We can’t name them all, and to be honest, from the biggest organizations to the smallest, everyone works hard at what they do. We’re thankful to have a thriving board game media industry that gives players opinions, reviews, and context for the games on the market.
These are just a few quick looks at some of the parts of the industry we’re thankful for. Board gaming is a hobby that gives so much to the people that are a part of it. Reach out to us on Facebook and Twitter to let us know what you’re thankful for in gaming, and wherever you are this weekend, we hope you’re safe, happy, and able to have fun with the people you love.