I always thought of myself as someone that both loves and is good at playing board games. I am a fairly quick strategic thinker, blessed with good reflexes and a healthy competitive spirit which may be disputed by some of my dearest and closest - who on occasion have given me rather... unflattering nicknames for being a little bit too passionate about winning. My collection of games and passion towards them spilled over in Playground and started covering shelf after shelf with both all-time classic boards like Monopoly and Scrabble as well as modern weird and wonderful games like Patchwork and Munchkin. I took pride in our collection and slowly built on expanding it whilst enjoying the illusion that I was a real gamer. Well! That really didn’t last very long.
As Playground grew and extended its reach, I started meeting people that both really love their games and are pretty damn good at winning when playing them. They had nothing to do with me. They were much better versed in both what is available out there and had spent literal hours and days of their lives developing strategies that were almost unbeatable to my amateur eyes. Looking back, I almost feel uncomfortable about my pride in taking credit for practising an art I didn’t possess. Take ‘Settlers Of Catan’ for example; an easy going entry level strategic game that owes its fame to the easy mechanics behind its inception - or as I would have claimed a year ago, a real strategy game.
Games like Scythe, Terra Mystica or Terraforming Mars were unfamiliar and would have been really daunting when my experience would not go further than ‘7 Wonders’ & ‘Ticket To Ride’. Has this changed? Sure – to an extent!
I realised how much I didn’t know and started investigating the games world - kind of the way an explorer treats their first Arctic expedition. Where did I start? Facebook groups, blogs, Boardgamegeek.com! I was the outlier exploring from the outskirts. What did I find? Some awesome people and loads of hours of pure fun!
This hasn’t made Playground a real board game café but rather made me realise how important our place is in introducing people to this wonderful world of games. Most of our regulars are not board game experts but rather like a good challenge and are generally happy to listen to my random game recommendations.
Stay tuned while I explore this ride and enhance our collection with wonderful recommendations, or even better, please join me and educate me! Message us with game suggestions or even better bring games in and teach us! J You never know if playing games can change your life unless you give it a spin and see what happens!
With love from Playground,
Artwork by Sani Amani https://saniamani.deviantart.com/