1. Introduce yourself. Where are you from? What should listeners know about you?
I am originally from Northern California and have been living in the Richmond, Virginia area since 2005. After working for two years as an inorganic chemist in Sacramento, I moved to Richmond to get my Master’s degree in Forensic Science, and since graduation in 2007 I’ve been working as a forensic firearms examiner.
I was introduced to this amazing world of board gaming in Spring 2015. I was online dating, of all things, and met a guy who happened to be a board game publisher. OKCupid changed my life, but not in the way you’d expect!! As soon as I was introduced to board gaming I was hooked and haven’t looked back. My board game collection literally went from zero to 100 in a year and a half! My life is completely different, and I’ve finally found that hobby, that passion I was looking for. That board game publisher and I are still friends to this day, and he actually invited me on to be a co-host on his podcast, which is how I got into podcasting. After working on the State of Games for a few months, I asked Brandon of the WDYPTW Podcast if I could contribute a segment and that’s how I started Highlights/Lowlights and I love doing this!
2. What games or types of games are you interested in?
I love all different kinds of games, but after I did an interview for another podcast, they helped me realize that I’m all about mechanics, so I guess eurogames are for me. I don’t need a lot of theme or story, though I don’t mind if it’s there. I love games where I kind of do my own thing, but people can’t mess with it too much, other than maybe grab something before me that I may have been vying for. I’ve also realized that I like games that are much more reactive and tactical than ones that require more long-term strategic thinking. I hate combat and attack-y games, for sure.
3. Do you have a favorite game or games you enjoy most?
As my twitter handle suggests, I am a fan of Stefan Feld’s games. I haven’t played all of them but most of the ones I’ve played I love. One of my favorite games is Terraforming Mars from Stronghold Games which is a perfect example of what I described earlier, a very reactive and tactical game. There’s a little randomness due to card draws that make you have to adjust your game plan almost every round, and I love reacting like that. I also LOVE Automobiles, published by AEG, and Thurn & Taxis, published by Rio Grande Games.
4. What are some of the most memorable experiences have you had with tabletop board games in the past?
Conventions are the best! Getting to meet other board game folks that I’ve interacted with on Twitter has been amazing, especially because they all turn out to be awesome! Now, whenever I travel, I can always meet up with folks to play all kinds of games. Pre-Origins gaming in 2016 was particularly amazing—a huge group of us playing 6 Nimmt! and Gas Out in a hotel lobby, just laughing and being silly. And that was with mostly people I was meeting for the first time!
5. What is the focus of your WDYPTW segment?
I’m not a reviewer -- I just talk about the games I’ve played, give a quick synopsis of them, and give a quick thought on my opinions of the game. Then I go into detail about which game, gameplay, or gaming-related occurrence was the highlight of my gaming week and why, and then which was my lowlight. I’m all about the fun or frustration I experienced that week in gaming.
My sister-in-law is in Forensic Science as well! She mainly does DNA analysis, but also does crime scenes. I am always shocked by the stories she tells... She really wants to get into the firearms analysis, but (I guess) it's highly sought after and once people get in that job they stay there a long time because it's so great.
Question for you: Who do you think is the most Feld-like designer that you enjoy (you know, other than The Man himself!)
It doesn't seem that long ago that Jessica joined us here on the show. When in fact episode 77 was almost a year ago at the 1:29:40 mark.
But first! Jessica was one of our Meet the Gamers in episode 74 at about the 1:06:31 mark!!
Jessica brings so much energy and so much positivity to our show, which is amazing since she is the one with a lowlight every week. It was a joy to get to meet her and hang out even if it was only briefly at Gen Con last year, one of my big regrets of that trip was trying to work too much and not hang out with Jessica and everyone else a lot more than I did! One of these days we'll have to fix that!
Thank you Jessica for everything, but especially for explaining to me why Jello Molds suck for shooting bullets into.