Journey of a Gaming Geek

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A Lost Love Found Again

Richard Herrera
United States
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I am and probably will forever be a frequenter of the website "Penny Arcade." It is because of these two gentlemen that I began to come back to my long-lost gaming habit. Now in the time since college, I continued to play traditional card games as well as lots of video games, but it wasn't until PA talked about a card game called "Flash Duel" that I clicked on the link to see a colorful box with characters I knew noting about. I clicked on a few other links and they led me to "Watch It Played," a show that shows not only the setup and explains the rules of games, but they play them as well and invite the players at home to participate with decisions that affect gameplay.

As I watched the host explain the game and play it, something inside of me grew excited. In order to understand my excitement and love for this show, I have to go back a bit and explain something crucial.

About 2 years ago, possibly 3 this May, my roommate, R told me he was gathering together with an older group of gentlemen to play "Dungeons and Dragons." Growing up in the south, I had heard of the game, but had never played due to many people believing the game to be "evil." But hey, I was on my own, living in the northwest and I decided to see if I could join. R showed me the basics, but I didn't really understand what I needed to do as the book was over 200 pages long and had rules for different situations. You might as well have given me the same book in Chinese because it didn't make any sense to me. However, I began to play and with encouragement, help, and a fun run-in with a "Deck of Many Things," I enjoyed my sessions of D&D and eventually got the hang of it.

There were still many aspects of the game that didn't make allot of sense and an idea came to me. What if my R and I decided to make a video series to teach people how to play D&D. While it was good in my head, the idea never came to fruition and so I sit here now with my knowledge, as little as it is, and I haven't played since our group broke up 2 years ago (we played for 9 months every other weekend for about 6-8 hours a night). However, the thought of someone explaining the rules of games, whether pen and paper RPG or not still sat in my head.

Now we flash back to the present where I just finish watching this video series. I immediately run to R and tell him that he needs to watch this series and share it with his customers since he works at a game store. He checks it out and enjoys it as well and passes the link on to his boss. This is what I had been looking for as there are many board games out there and I didn't know which ones were really worth my time. I was immediately hooked on allot of his videos since he not only played the game, but corrected errors in each video so that we could learn from his mistakes. This was a remarkable show and I will admit that it influenced me to purchase a few games I may never have played (Mansions of Madness, Flash Duel, Small World, Summoner Wars, etc).

Thanks to this show and of course the wonderful site of BGG, I have rekindled a flame for gaming. Not only that, but my fiance now plays with me, she is hooked on Summoner Wars and Flash Duel, and I am looking to expand with my in-laws. So thanks to this one gaming site, I have began seeking out games that aren't the norm. Eventually I would like to play a pen and paper one again (I have D&D 3.5, World of Darkness, Vampire the Masquerade, and GURPS), but for now I'm enjoying the fun I'm having watching this show and playing those games.
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