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Subject: My Devious Co-Op Endeavor rss

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Woody Taylor
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I've always enjoyed various sorts of games and always had a few nearby, but I've recently gotten back into the hobby and am really enjoying it (and loving BGG too!). So when my wife made a comment that she thought our kids (3 teens) were spending too much time in their rooms on their phones, pods, and computers, I had an epiphany! Or at least an apostrophe.

I devised a plan to buy more boardgames under the premise that it would help lure the kids out of their rooms and into the living space. Of course, I explained, I would have to buy different types of games, including some co-ops because my two daughters really didn't want to kill off their dad or little brother just to "win" a game. And I'd have to experiment with a few genres to find everyone's sweet spot in terms of theme.

Even if the plan didn't work, I would end up having added to my collection. And the nice thing about co-op games is that most of them also play well solo. So even if the kids hate it, I still come out happy. Devious? Yes, but I didn't have a problem with that.

The funny thing is, the plan did work! And yes, co-op was a big part of the answer (along with party games, abstract games, etc). Even though my daughter might not always want to commit to playing a particular game with me and my son, she was happy to act as the "banker", drawing tiles, doling out resources, and offering commentary ("C'mon dad, that was a stupid move").

I just love it when I hear one of my kids say "Hey dad, let's play a game." (OK, yes, it's usually my son... it really must be a guy thing, but still, it's awesome).

And the experiment has shown me that I really enjoy co-op gameplay, more than I thought I would. I think my preconception was along the lines of what many non-fans say they don't like about co-ops... it's just a puzzle, no human opponent, too easy, too random, too something. While there is truth in all of these criticisms, my experience has been the opposite. They play just about right... or at least right for me. And more importantly, they're loads of fun.

But what I really enjoy is the extra player interaction - the discussion, the strategy, the compromises, the banter, and the humor. I found that playing Memoir '44, while loads of fun, was spent with both of us looking at our cards, studying troop locations, and deciding on our next action. It didn't seem to encourage the same type of conversation and interaction that we experienced when playing Zombicide.

I'm not advocating co-op over competitive, I'm just saying co-op exceeded my expectations and has been a big win for the family. YMMV, but that's been my experience.
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Mario Cortez
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I can't help but wonder if this is stemmed from the recent "I don't get the concept of Co-op. Am I missing Something?" thread.
 
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Woody Taylor
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Mariolls wrote:
I can't help but wonder if this is stemmed from the recent "I don't get the concept of Co-op. Am I missing Something?" thread.


Well, I've been following several threads on co-ops, including the one you referenced. But this actually started as a response to the "Coop Games - who's playing them?" thread... when I realized I wasn't answering the question as much as pontificating on my experience. I decided not to post it as a reply but didn't want to lose what I had written either. So I posted it here. I hope that's not bad form.
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Christopher Scatliff
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I think starting a new thread was fine.

I think your experience is more a testimony for combining co-op gaming with breeding. Non-breeders are probably more likely to gravitate towards competitive games.
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Kevin B. Smith
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Nice post.

I think of family cooperative gaming as being kind of like going on a camping trip together. Spend time together, laughing and talking (both about the task at hand, and about whatever else comes up). When camping, you might work together to inflate and maneuver the raft, or to find the best birdwatching spot, or to scramble up the side of the hill to catch the sunrise. You might huddle together for warmth in the rainstorm, or work together to build a fire and cook a nice meal.

A camping trip isn't more fun when the family next to you is trying to ruin your day! Or when each of your kids is trying to "win" the weekend by having the most fun at the expense of the rest of the family.

Yes, I admit it: I'm a co-op fan, despite not having kids around the house to play them with. Fortunately, my wife also loves co-ops, and some of the local gamers enjoy them as well. It helps that more and better co-ops are being released each year.
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Barry Hood
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woodshow wrote:
I've always enjoyed various sorts of games and always had a few nearby, but I've recently gotten back into the hobby and am really enjoying it (and loving BGG too!). So when my wife made a comment that she thought our kids (3 teens) were spending too much time in their rooms on their phones, pods, and computers, I had an epiphany! Or at least an apostrophe.

I devised a plan to buy more boardgames under the premise that it would help lure the kids out of their rooms and into the living space. Of course, I explained, I would have to buy different types of games, including some co-ops because my two daughters really didn't want to kill off their dad or little brother just to "win" a game. And I'd have to experiment with a few genres to find everyone's sweet spot in terms of theme.


I'm approaching it from the other direction, my plan is to build up a family so I have more justification to my other half for all the games I've already bought - I'm expecting my first new opponent in February
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Woody Taylor
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delinear wrote:


I'm approaching it from the other direction, my plan is to build up a family so I have more justification to my other half for all the games I've already bought - I'm expecting my first new opponent in February


Many congratulations! Kids can be useful justification for many things. Especially LEGO. And Star Wars. But you may also find yourself involved in an occasional game of Candy Land. Occupational hazard of parenting.
 
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Barry Hood
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woodshow wrote:
delinear wrote:


I'm approaching it from the other direction, my plan is to build up a family so I have more justification to my other half for all the games I've already bought - I'm expecting my first new opponent in February


Many congratulations! Kids can be useful justification for many things. Especially LEGO. And Star Wars. But you may also find yourself involved in an occasional game of Candy Land. Occupational hazard of parenting.


Haha, thanks - it's funny you should mention Lego AND Star Wars, because I definitely need some extra justification for Lego Star Wars. At first my one or two Lego Star Wars minifigs were cute and ironic, "but look, it's a tiny Lego Admiral Akbar, what's not to love". Now I'm approaching triple digits it's starting to look a little bit like an obsession whistle
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