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Subject: Blokus: my parents' gateway board game rss

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Christina Ng
Singapore
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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I developed a passion for boardgaming in 2009. My Significant Other and I have since been expanding our collection of board games. It ranges from heavy Eurogames such as Agricola and Twilight Struggle to lighter abstract games such as Blokus and Ingenious. The thought of introducing board games to my parents has always been on my mind but I was unsure about their receptiveness towards it. The plan was repeatedly shelved due to my fear that they may react strongly against it.

I finally decided to give the idea a shot last Sunday. Shortly before that, I had shared the idea with my Significant Other and my brother, in the hope of getting their buy-in and help. Both of them were highly skeptical about the chances of success , especially with my mum who is more conservative and therefore less willing to explore new ideas. Despite their discouraging reactions, I persisted with it and informed my parents about the plan to bring some board games over to their home for gaming before a meal together.

Last Sunday happened to be Father’s Day and my mum suggested enthusiastically about having steamboat at home instead. I went along with her idea, concerned that my parents seemed to have missed my point about the board gaming totally. In the meantime, my brother, who is still staying with my parents, tried to open them up to the idea of board gaming.

After some thought, I decided to bring Blokus, Ingenious and Hive over. Hive was meant to be a ‘backup’ in case my plan backfired, i.e. my Significant Other and I can still entertain ourselves with it. Before reaching my parents’ home, I sent an SMS to my brother to check if he was home. I would need him to be my other ‘helper’ to persuade my parents. He happened to be out running an errand, but promised to be back soon. I began to feel worried during the bus journey and developed a negative feel about this whole plan. The prospect of failure is highly plausible.shake

When we reached my parents’ house, my dad was watching the telly while my mum was on the phone. She put down the phone shortly after we have arrived. I seized upon the opportunity to announce that we have brought along board games to play with them. My dad’s immediate reaction was he wanted to watch the “live” badminton while my mum started to come up with ‘excuse’ that she was busy and need to wait for another call. Feeling disheartened , my Significant Other and I nonetheless went ahead with setting up the table and game (I picked Blokus). I continued to bug my parents to come over and give it a try. I must have looked rather upset as my mum decided to try the game. Needless to say, that perked me up immediately! However, my dad still insisted on watching the match so we decided to go ahead without him.

The 3 of us started on a Blokus game with each of us taking turns to move for the fourth player. I explained the rules to my mum and my Significant Other gave her guidance as we proceeded with the game. I cannot help but observe that my Significant Other gave way to my mum while blocking me aggressively. Despite that, I am grateful to him for slyly assisting me in maintaining my mum’s interest. Indeed, that was just what happened as my mum started to ask rule and strategy questions.

Halfway through our first game, my brother returned home. The first game ended with my Significant Other being the winner. This despite his giving way to my mum. My mum was by now showing much enthusiasm in the game and urged my brother to join us for a second game. He gamely did, and was also quite surprised to see mum’s quick warming up to the idea of board gaming. It was a case of striking the iron whilst it was hot! We got the second game going in no time.

There were a lot of jibes being traded during the game. I remembered I was commenting jokingly that everyone was all trying to block me out and how upsetting it was. My dad looked in our direction and asked lightheartedly why get upset over a game. I realised we may have just stoked his curiosity in the game after observing our obvious enjoyment from a distance. My mum went on to win the second game, with some help from my Significant Other but mostly making her moves independently.

After this, we decided to give Ingenious a try. Throughout the game, I observed that my mum was quite engaged and attempted to improve her position independently. I was elated by the outcome thus far, though my dad has yet to join us. The game ended with my brother as the winner.

After the few games which my mum enjoyed immensely, she started to badger my dad to join in. My brother also chimed in and eventually, my dad relented. I did not even have to say a word! We went back to Blokus since it was my dad’s first time. He picked up the game fairly quickly and we helped by being lenient with the first-time player. As the game proceeded, my dad started to get under the skin of it and gave each of his moves much consideration (first signs of AP?!). The game was won by yours truly, with my dad finishing a close second. After the game, I asked my dad for his comments about the game and he told us that it was engaging. We had to stop there as it was time for dinner.

Overall, it was a hugely successful board gaming session with my parents, with much credit also going to my Significant Other and my brother. This, despite their initial sceptism. whistle I suspect there will be many more board gaming sessions with my parents in the near future!
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Keng Leong Yeo
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小富靠勤,中富靠智,大富靠德。
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Re: Converting my parents into gamers
Auntie, I stand corrected (on my sceptism of your parents' willingness to try out boardgaming).

And a big *salute* to your efforts in managing to convince your parents. thumbsup
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William Hostman
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I've been Banished to Oregon... Gaming in Corvallis, living in Alsea... Need gamers willing to try new things...
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Good Job! Congrats...

Now... you have to remember to take the games next time...
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K.Y. Wong
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Well done! Just curious.. do your parents play mahjong?

I've always thought it strange how mahjong is almost 2nd nature to a lot of elderly chinese and yet they can be so resistant to learning other "boardgames".
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Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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chromaticdragon wrote:
Well done! Just curious.. do your parents play mahjong?

I've always thought it strange how mahjong is almost 2nd nature to a lot of elderly chinese and yet they can be so resistant to learning other "boardgames".

Yup, my parents know how to play mahjong but they seldom play it. I feel that it may be a case of them being resistant to explore new ideas or there is a limited view among the elderly chinese that boardgames are meant for children. *shrug*
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Chung Chit Hang
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i also play games with my mum and dad, their favourite games are

1) ticket to ride
2) lost cities the boardgame
3) survive ! escape from atlantus
4) for sale



games that were a bit of diseaster
1) snow tails (too complicated for my mum)
2) the amazing labyrinth
3)
 
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Christina Ng
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说了又不听,听了又不懂,不懂又不问,问了又不做,做了又做错,错了又不认,认了又不改,改了又不服,不服又不说,那你要我怎麽办?
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littlegorgor wrote:
i also play games with my mum and dad, their favourite games are

1) ticket to ride
2) lost cities the boardgame
3) survive ! escape from atlantus
4) for sale



games that were a bit of diseaster
1) snow tails (too complicated for my mum)
2) the amazing labyrinth
3)

Wow you have introduced quite a number of boardgames to your parents. That is great! I hope to introduce carcassonne to mine in future...
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Chung Chit Hang
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i'm chinese and just like what you have said, they were skeptical about my gaming hobby. They they demand to play game games every week laugh
 
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