Origins 2005

Keith and I took half of the day off from work and headed down to the Columbus Convention Center to attend the Origins 2005 convention. Origins is held in Columbus every year and is the 2nd largest gaming convention in the United States.

We arrived around 1:15 and waited in line about 45 minutes to get our registration badges for the exhibit hall. On entry to the hall it became immediately apparent that it was going to be different than I imagined. I’m not sure what I was expecting but I didn’t expect to be able to purchase knives and swords, armor, and historically accurate leather goods.

I also realized that my calibration was off concerning the ‘interest level’ in what are classified as ‘table-top’ boardgames. Table-top games comprised only 30% of the booths in the hall. I was expecting something on the order of 75%-80% with the remainder relegated to collectible cards, D&D, historical miniatures, etc. I was way off, concerning the collectible card games. I would estimate that 60% of the exhibit space was occupied by cards, dice, and D&D items. As a table-top gamer, I was a definite minority.

I did, however, end up purchasing a copy of Alhambra and a copy of Oceania. I spoke briefly with Jay Tummelson from Rio Grande Games concerning my potential purchase of Goa. He said, if I wanted it I should get it now since they’re out of stock but that they’ll be printing more in the fall.

All in all, I think the trip was worth it. I wish I hadn’t wrenched my back in the morning (making sitting playing games more than painful) but I suppose I’ll go again next year. I’d like to stay longer (without the back pain next time) to attend the gaming sessions in the war rooms in the evening to get some experience with some new games before buying. Thanks for going with me Keith.

A few images are available in the Gallery. Enjoy.

Monopoly gets a facelift?! Oh please….

I ran across a recent article that cited facts concerning new/updated versions of Monopoly. Parker Brothers has revamped many of the non-US versions by increasing the denomination of the money, modifying the real estate on the board, and giving the tokens a fresh and up to date look. For example, they’ve replaced the boot with a roller blade! Wow, that ought to make the game play more intense…

Monopoly was invented in the United States but, with its competitive, capitalist ethos, soon caught on around the world. It is now licensed or sold in 80 countries and printed in 32 languages including Hindi, Icelandic and Catalan. Parker say that since it was launched, some 200 million Monopoly sets have been sold worldwide and the game has been played by an estimated 500 million people.

© Reuters 2005. All Rights Reserved.

It’s a really sad state of affairs that Monopoly still dominates the market because the game totally stinks when compared against “eurogames”. Hasbro and Parker Brothers have completely warped the minds of most kids and parents in the US into thinking that Monopoly, Battleship, Twister, Sorry, and Clue are the only games worth selling and playing.

For a taste of some really great games that you can get if you look past the old standbys clogging the shelves, take a look in my game cabinet or the games we play during Game Night. And for your browsing pleasure, jump over to The Geek.

Don’t spend your money on the lame games. Instead, spend it on some games that you will enjoy playing as much as (if not more than) your children. Boardgames are cool so take some time out of your hectic day and just try to beat your 9 or 11 year old….I dare you.

Analog Game Weekend 2005

Months ago I hatched the idea of having a gaming weekend for our AnalogGame Group but the idea kind of fizzled. Rich secretly brought the idea back tolife and scheduled, with the help of Lisa, a gaming weekend (dubbed theAnalog Game Weekend – AGW.) and they worked to make it a surprise for my 40th birthday.

When I got home Friday night, my gaming group was standing in my livingroom, Lisa had packed my bags and my group threw me in the car and weall caravaned to Deer Creek State Parkfor an entire weekend devoted to Analog Board Gaming!

It was a fantastic weekend and I’d love to make it an annual event. Besides the 2 tons of food we dragged down there, we all contributed games tothe cause. Lisa had surprised me with a game order that included:

I think this is a comprehensive list of the games that we playedover the weekend by one gaming table or another.

Pictures for Analog Game Weekend – AGW are also available in the Photo Gallery.