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The Rise and Fall of My Wife's Love for Boardgaming...or....Why I Game Alone
Ryan James
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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Professor, isn't it time for your nap?
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YES, DAMMIT!
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It started so promising. The initial buildup of the civilization. Game acquisitions were carefree and voluminous. The hobby was fresh, fun, and new. "Hey wanna play a game?" was met with a good 1/4 of the time "fine..." Then the slow onset of weariness set in. She became jaded. Started becoming angered with every new game acquisition. That 1/4 turned into 1/8, and then spiraled downward into oblivion. So now apart from game group on Mondays, game night on Saturdays, game day on Sundays, random Thursday gaming, and the three-day weekend of non-stop gaming coming up at the beginning of February, I hardly get to game at all...(cough)...

Below is the journey we took together. How it started. The games that she loved so much, and then grew to despise even harder, and the games she didn't like.

Welcome to "The Rise and Fall of My Wife's Love for Boardgaming"
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1. Board Game: Questionary [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Ryan James
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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Professor, isn't it time for your nap?
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This is where it all began. A friend of ours has this game, and my wife and I LOVED it. So much that we scoured every store within a five mile radius trying to find it! Those two stores didn't have it, so we went online. Nowhere to be found. I should say that the version that my friend has is actually called "Q90" but I believe this is the same game. Anyway, our love for boardgaming together was kindled. She was so full of life back then...in 2010 or so...incredibly happy with playing that game over and over, and always requesting it whenever we saw those friends.
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2. Board Game: Cards Against Humanity [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:897]
Ryan James
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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Professor, isn't it time for your nap?
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YES, DAMMIT!
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After the heartbreak of being unable to find Q90 wore off, we discovered the PnP of this Apples to Apples clone and have since been completely desensitized to every manner of offensive material known to man. My wife kickstarted this and we've played it many times with many different groups and every time felt the need to attend confession afterwards. She LOVED this game. Her interest in games a just budding flower in need of careful pruning and nurturing, I started seeking out lighter games to play for two.
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3. Board Game: Ubongo: Duel [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1057]
Ryan James
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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Professor, isn't it time for your nap?
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YES, DAMMIT!
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Enter Ubongo: Duel. After playing Cards Against Humanity, my wife wanted to Ubongo me. So then after we did that we smoked our Ubongos to calm down, played some beatnik music on our Ubongos, and then got ready for a nice Daedalian Opus style game of Ubongo. She thought this game was incredible. The rules are a bit daunting, but basically you fit the Tetris-like pieces into the layout so that they cover up all the space. Do it faster than your opponent and win. I know that's probably a bit confusing, but there are tons of strategy guides in the file section to make it easier. Check the 8-part video series from Ricky-Royal to fully understand.

Her gaming interest is booming at this point! It's September of 1929 and NOTHING can stop us!!! BUY, BUY, BUY!!!!
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4. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:107] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Ryan James
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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Professor, isn't it time for your nap?
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YES, DAMMIT!
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We started playing Carcassonne, and while it wasn't a direct hit, it was enough to keep the motor running. We were able to play this with my sister and brother-in-law as well, so we were spending valuable quality time with family and bla bla bla games games games!!! This couldn't be going any better. At one point my wife requested playing an old game she used to like called What's Yours Like?, and halfway through she realized that she liked the hobby style games a lot more, and didn't want to play any more.

I felt very proud, as I had just beaten the next level of Flow: Free on my iPhone, and said "What? Are you talking to me?" She told me to pay attention and then we put that game away and played more Ubongo!

This just keeps getting better. Time for...
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5. Board Game: FITS [Average Rating:6.64 Overall Rank:878]
Ryan James
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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Professor, isn't it time for your nap?
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YES, DAMMIT!
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FITS!! Tetris the board game. It was an easy sell as she could relate to the Ubongo style pieces. We played the crap out of this game with a bunch of her friends, and boom goes the dynamite. Sustained gaming desire.

I'm feeling so cocky I break out Brass and we have a great time role playing as industrialists in northern Europe, building our economic engines as we take out loans and sell cotton for three blisteringly exciting hours!!

Nahhh, instead I introduced her to...
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6. Board Game: Dominion [Average Rating:7.78 Overall Rank:30] [Average Rating:7.78 Unranked]
Ryan James
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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Professor, isn't it time for your nap?
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YES, DAMMIT!
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Dominion! Another win! We played this a bunch when I first got it. I knew it'd be a game she'd like, and boy was I right!


...then it happened...


I won about six games in a row and something happened that never really happened before. Frustration. Aggravation. Anger. I was SO pissed off that she couldn't compete that I was frustrated, aggravated and angry.

jay kay.

She was very irked that she kept losing and started to get "tired." We haven't played Dominion since, and it's now been traded away.

I tried going back to Carcassonne after this and every time I asked her to play, she would just get more and more annoyed, to the point that she now despises Carcassonne with a passion and the next time I ask her to play it she's going to kill me and dispose of my carcass(onne) on a farm so I can get three points for each city I'm touching.

Never fear, this probably isn't the catalyst that pushes the tiny snowball down the hill...
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7. Board Game: Flash Point: Fire Rescue [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:168]
Ryan James
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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Professor, isn't it time for your nap?
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YES, DAMMIT!
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Not wanting to spark her sudden bout of chronic narcolepsy, I decide that she needs to try a game where we're on the same team, so I bust out Flash Point. She was initially disappointed that the game wasn't about sudden nudity, but calmed down after I told her she could flash me throughout the game if she wanted.

She really took to this game, and her favorite thing was choosing who we were saving from the fire at the beginning. We've gone through all of our friends' families and about 20% of them have perished...none of which were the cat of course.

She actually still loves this game. So okay! We're back on track! Let's get back to a bit of competitiveness and see what happens.
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8. Board Game: Lost Cities [Average Rating:7.12 Overall Rank:261]
Ryan James
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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Professor, isn't it time for your nap?
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YES, DAMMIT!
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I get this popular two player card game and tell her it's something we can play in bed. She surprisingly doesn't make any inappropriate comment and we're off! She claims to like it at first, making me think that I've done it again, but after about the third hand, or first game, she's had enough. The scoring at the end has her using strange words like "stupid" and "really stupid," and it turns out she's not a fan...she was just being polite. She, again, didn't like the frustration of losing, or the "mean" play of these games.

I say okay, not everyone likes everything, how about THIS!?
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9. Board Game: Morels [Average Rating:7.18 Overall Rank:413]
Ryan James
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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Professor, isn't it time for your nap?
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YES, DAMMIT!
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I tell her it's another card game like Lost Cities but it's not really as "mean" or tough to score, plus it's about disgusting mushrooms. We played it once, she absolutely obliterated me (normally a recipe for a successful impression) and then when asked about it just said, "Eh. It was fun."

That means it's not fun. She then said some sort of devastating comment along the lines of "I think I'm gamed out for a bit" or "I hate your family and I hope you die." Something like that.

I say, "Of course. I've been throwing a bunch of new games at you lately, let's take a break for a bit."

Little did I know that was it. There's really been no activity since. That was about a year or so ago. Every time I've asked her to play a game, it's just been excuse after high school nerd date excuse. The most recent game I had her play was Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small, thinking maybe, just maybe she'd get back on track. If anything that just pushed her away even more.

So where did things go wrong?
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10. Board Game: End of the Line [Average Rating:6.31 Unranked]
Ryan James
United States
Garden City
Michigan
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Professor, isn't it time for your nap?
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YES, DAMMIT!
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I tried playing more cooperative games with her to keep her interest alive, as it seemed as though she wasn't a fan of the competitive aspect. It turned out she really just isn't as into games as I am, and was just being awesome and polite, giving them a try. I love her for that. I wish she was more into gaming, as I've taken off and really gotten way into the hobby, but for her it's something she'll do once in a great while, and she likes having more options to choose from than the old Target style games. That's about as far as it goes tho, and that's perfectly okay.

She did it all for me, had some fun along the way, and eventually got burned out. Maybe someday in the future we'll collapse another building on some loved ones in Flash Point and make our more conservative friends feel awkward and a bit scared in a game of Cards Against Humanity.

Until that day comes I'll have to settle for playing more than most other people get to with my gaming group.

Poor me. devil
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