What is in a Game?

Boredom is a very human condition. Many animals have to spend the entirety of their waking hours pursuing food, pro-creating or protecting their territory.  Any and all of the pesky things you have to do to survive when you don’t have a supermarket to go to or a car to take you tens of kilometres in the space of an instant. Us though… the beautifully adapted and talented creatures that have taken control of the planet, somehow despite all of our technology and advancements and hobbies we still get bored.

Personally it is not often a problem for me. More often than not my “boredom” is just me contemplating which hobby to pursue. Do I read or write? Watch TV or surf the net? Play a game or do a craft? Clean the house or tidy my bedroom? Take the dog for a walk or run around the backyard? Sometimes I pick one and ta da! Boredom over. Sometimes it just leads to more questions. Which book? What craft? Laundry or dusting? Take one dog or both?

Something I cannot stand is when people look bored at parties. Surrounded by people, food, and decorations, staring blankly into the distance or on their phones. My birthday was fast approaching and I had planned yet another BBQ in my backyard. Easy, comfortable, didn’t have to worry about what to do with the puppy. But what to do? Originally I wanted sprinklers, a slip and slide and perhaps a kiddie-pool for ice and beer. When a monsoon rolled over the coast a day before the party I knew that that was not going to be.

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My second choice of fun was board games. A board game party would be wicked. Except for the fact that you can only play one game at a time with a finite amount of people. My brain began to whirl away into the shimmering void that is my imagination. How to both interact with 10 or more people and play a game at the same time? I also knew that not everyone would be drinking alcohol, so something like King’s Cup was probably not entirely appropriate.

Thus, the d20 game was born! I grabbed my favourite icosahedron from my D&D stash, surveyed my board game collection and searched my memory for ideas. What was born was a fast paced, Lizz-centric, amalgamation of fun. As people arrived I divided them into three teams (dancers, dinosaurs and dragons). Whenever someone desired they rolled the dice and played whatever game it landed on. Some rounds involved the whole party, others just one or two people.
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The d20 game was a complete hit. It was also something that was easy to walk away from and then come back to later. For almost 8 hours we ate, drank, talked, jammed, and played. Nobody got bored. Mission accomplished.

 

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