Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I adore parties. It’s wonderful to chat with people, sip refreshments, and nibble on food. During the cool months, I attend a Fun-and-Games (FNG) gathering once per month. Two friends share a large house and they have hosted this assembly for years. People bring along food to share and pitch a couple dollars into the “bucket” to pay for the cost of hosting. Very few people consume alcohol since it would interfere with the ability to play.

Some of the FNG’ers are serious gamers; they are competitive participants. The hosts probably have fifty types of board games but guests bring along others. Usually the Guitar Hero karaoke is turned on and people are transformed into musicians and vocalists. I am not a fan of karaoke unless the vocalist is good. My dear friend Walt is a wonderful person but I wish that he would not sing… There are those of us, like me, who play an occasional game but focus on socializing. We are mostly geeks.

Every January the focused gamers hold a Dune Marathon where they start the game after work on Friday and play until about 10pm, adjourn until 10am Saturday and play until the end of FNG, and finish the game on Sunday. Way too involved for me. I know that many of the attendees engage computer competitions, and on-line sport at home like World of Warcraft. I haven’t become interested in that, yet. I suppose a high-speed Internet connection would assist.

My favorite board game is Rumicube. It is basically rummy with tiles the a bit larger than dominos. It is easier for me to play because my brain has difficulty differentiating between spades and clubs due to the dyslexia. I can make faster decisions with colors. Mexican Train is okay but takes too long. I don’t really like games that consume more than an hour or are terribly complicated. One time I tried a game where a book had to be consulted for every move, it took about five minutes for each player and I got bored during the two and a half hour endurance contest.

I am shocked that few of the new games are inclusive. Fifty percent of the characters should be female and include diversity. Gamers tend to be smart people so I am surprised that the gaming community hasn’t raised this issue. I don’t like it when someone who knows the answers plays a game. Usually, it is a game that they own and have played enough to learn its nuances. They have an unfair advantage. I went to a MENSA game group and they only played brand new games. That was fun but the group was not welcoming.

The FNG gang is very convivial. There are probably about sixty people in the mailing list and twenty are regulars. We can bring along friends at any time, just need to RSVP. I usually meet a friend or two before the gathering to eat dinner and then we go to the house. There are lots of game groups in the Twin Cities area, especially during the chilly months. has a very good listing and most are free to join.

Game on!
© 2011

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