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What got you hooked on gaming?

I’ve had fun hearing some of the stories of how people got into board games recently. What was it for you?

Do you have a group that you play with consistently? Are you a collector who enjoys the hunt? Was there a specific game that got you started?

I’m sure this has come up in past forums already but I figured it would be a fun way to continue getting to know the community better!

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Premium User2 months ago

I'm noticing a trend of #Dominion: Second Edition here! Okay time for my long story lol

Much like I used to play games as a kid but never had sought it out, it just kind of happened. I'm talking mass market family games like Scrabble, Sorry!, Monopoly, etc. It wasn't until much more recently (a little over a year ago to be exact lol) that I became a hobby board gamer.

When I met my fiancée's family, they would always play some kind of game. Again, mass market types but more in the vein of social party games like Taboo and Scattergories. Being pretty quiet in general, I much appreciated using board games as a means of social interaction.

There was also a long period of time where she was in grad school on the other side of the county. I'd get to visit her about once a month and it always felt like a mini vacation because there was always something new to do and places to explore together. Her last year of school, she was able to be back in NY for an externship year and the way things worked out, we were limited to seeing each another every other weekend. In trying to brainstorm things we could do together, I thought 'oh she likes board games!' and discovered a BGG Geeklist for games to play with your significant other. #Lost Cities and#Guillotine were the first two "hobby" games I purchased. While I was instantaneously hooked, it took her a bit to warm up. I think there were 2 large factors for this:

1) as the primary researcher for games, I always had a perceived advantage as I've seen gameplay, read rules, etc.

2) she's more social than I am and I think would be content playing Taboo and nothing else

Because of these things, she found us (me lol) a group locally to play games with. During normalcy, this was a great outlet to discover and play new games. Now with covid, she's stuck playing all my new purchases ;P

Supporter2 months ago

It's great you can play with your significant other! Keep it up. 

2 months ago

That's a great introduction to hobby board gaming, I love it. I'm glad you and your fiancée could find a group to play with pre-COVID. Hopefully she's enjoying the less social games now too? :P

Premium User2 months ago

Hahaha I think she does in small doses. Too small if you ask me :)

Supporter3 months ago

Too long story alert!!!!

In 2004 I played #Catan at a family reunion. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and actually ended up stumbling on BGG when looking it up online. But, I didn't buy any games, I was after all only 12, and had better things spend my limited money on. However, I came back home and spoke with my friends about #Catan and about this wierd site that I had found. At that time in my life, once a month, the church would have a potluck. And, it was our custom to stay late after the potluck. We often wouldn't leave until 6-10 p.m. And, we boys, would generally play mass market games during that time. Well, one of my friends, went and got Catan when he heard how good I thought it was. And, we started playing Catan. Soon, we added #Catan: Seafarers Expansion and #Catan: Cities & Knights. We played those and loved them. Slowly, my friends started adding other games. During a period of some years I played a lot of Catan with expansions, #Dominion, #7 Wonders, #Carcassonne, #Empire Builder and, most of all, #Puerto Rico. I played all these games, I really really liked them. But, in a sense I was still not a part of the hobby. I never sought out gaming, I just had fun when we gamed. I never bought, or even really wanted to buy games, I just played when other people had cool games to play.

This happy state of affairs lasted for 12 years, until another family reunion. This family reunion was in 2016. In that reunion my life was changed. I have a cousin who has always had a lot of games, and I would often play games with him at these events. However, two games we played at that reunion stand out starkly to me. The first one is #Power Grid. I had never seen a game with such a dynamic market and I was very intrigued. The second one was #Fief: France 1429. I count this as the game that brought me into the hobby. The broad scope of history in that game, the alliances and betrayals, the jockying for position, the different and overlapping zones of control...... All of that captured and  held me like nothing else I had ever played. I left that reunion, a gamer.

I went home, and it was my birthday the next week. I bought myself #The Castles of Burgundy and my wife bought me the gift of #Dominion: Second Edition. COB was a flop, but Dominion was, and remains, a great hit. Those games were the start of my collection. My collection remains fairly modest, and my tastes in gaming have been refined, but, since that reunion in July of 2016, I have always been a gamer, and I think I always will be.

2 months ago

Thanks for sharing that! Those are the stories I love hearing. It's even better that it started with family reunions because you have those happy memories associated with the hobby now too. You mentioned a lot of great games - you have me itching to try ones like #Power Grid and #7 Wonders even more now.

Supporter2 months ago

I can take or leave 7 Wonders. It's a fine game, but it hasn't aged ss well for me. 

Power Grid is a great game. Some people don't like the rubber banding, but I sorta enjoy it. 

Supporter2 months ago

Mmm Power Grid

2 months ago

I think I've had a fairly typical introduction to boardgames - namely playing Cluedo with the extended family over holidays or Risk with some family friends - I count myself lucky that some older school friends were able to introduce me to meatier, longer games; I wouldnt be the person I am today without my uncle's ancient, battered copy of Risk and I'm so glad I had the chance to develop my love for games!

Supporter2 months ago

I've always loved games. Video games mostly but also games like Axis and Allies and later on Settlers of Catan. I didn't get clued into modern board gaming until I stumbled across a regular column on Rock Paper Shotgun called Cardboard Children. This column on a video game website opened my eyes to what was going on in board gaming. It was a whole new world and I couldn't get enough of it. After reading every single column and still wanting more I eventually stumbled on Shut Up and Sit Down. From there my collection has grown exponentially. 

2 months ago

I relate to that love of video games and then transitioning to include board games. That's cool that you found it through normal browsing!

2 months ago

Always enjoyed board games, playing a lot of the classics growing up. Then proceeded to the occasional Catan games with friends. Then a few years ago I believe I came across TableTop on Youtube with Wheaton and the #Tokaido gameplay made me realize there was much more out there. Loved Tokaido and eventually found it on BGArena while discovering some other games in the process like #Takenoko. Finally decided to get some of our own over the past years like #Codenames , #Risk: Game of Thrones and #Sushi Go!

Wasn't until our purchase of #Disney Villainous a couple years ago that we thought we could eventually have a small collection one day. While we did make a few additions over time and loved playing, it wasn't something we looked into much. Fast forward to 2020. Being someone who plays and follows a lot of sports, obviously many things were paused due to the pandemic. While unfortunate, this gave me time to look into other things, like board games!

I went back and continued to learn new games to me on BGArena like #7 Wonders , #Lost Cities , #Puerto Rico among many others. Being someone who loves to plan and research, found myself learning a ton in such a short time as I continued the deep dive into my newest hobby. Learned about content creators, got TableTop Sim to try out stuff, and of course added to the wishlist and the collection. 

These days our collection is taking shape slowly but surely (budget and room). I'm usually the teacher now so I do like to cater it to games I enjoy that I know my GF and friends will also like. Don't see myself having hundreds of games or anything, but plan is to start adding some variety in weight as well with games like #Architects of the West Kingdom , #Viticulture: Essential Edition and #Spirit Island high on the wishlist. Weight doesn't matter though as I will enjoy and have fun with any and all games as long as our group is having fun. I find myself learning more about the industry now to maybe take part in things like rule book writing when I can. The board game hobby and its community has been a joy to discover throughout the year and has def been the bright spot of 2020. 

PS. Still plan on owning Tokaido someday :)

2 months ago

Totally know what you mean about planning and researching different games, I'm the same way. It's nice how 2020 has opened up opportunities to try a lot more board games. Having that variety in weight is a good idea!

Premium User2 months ago

BGA is such a great site for discovering new games. 

Premium User2 months ago

For me I was at a point in my life where a lot of my friends had moved away or were at different life stages.  I saw a group of people I used to work with on Facebook having a game night so I asked if I could join.  I had done a lot of board games and RPG's pre-kids so it was something I was comfortable with

 

I think our first game was Power Grid but it might have been something else.  I enjoyed the game but also just the people and the atmosphere.

2 months ago

Nice, it's great having a welcoming group. The people and atmosphere definitely add a ton to the games.

Premium User2 months ago

Agreed.  It's really not about the game but more about hanging out with the guys.  It's the modern version of poker night with the boys.

Owner2 months ago

"Hooked"? Hmm I'd say it was around 2 years ago for me. I had some modern board game encounters such as #Ticket To Ride, #Sushi Go!#King of Tokyo, and #Dominion: Second Edition prior to that but while I had fun, it was far from becoming my hobby.

I got into it after enlisted me to help him out with art on a board game he had been designing. He introduced me to several games at the time while working on the game together. And I got introduced to more games like #Azul, #Santorini, #Welcome to..., #Viticulture: Essential Edition, and #Root after I started helping him out with the website in its early stages. It made me realize it's a great way to bond with my wife, and now I'm knee deep buying games just for the solo experience sometimes lol

2 months ago

So board game design and developing the website got you deeper into gaming as a hobby, that's really cool. I love how versatile it is - the fact you can bond with your wife, play solo, with large or small groups of people, etc.

2 months ago

ah I love these stories.

When I was 12, Hotel most have been the best boardgame I knew.
I knw there was MORE though. more obscure stuff, exotic games nobody of my friends ever heard of.

It was 1994, I had no access to internet yet.

How could I know? 

About that time a friend of mine got us into playing Hero Quest and somebody else convinced me to by a 2nd hand classic Axis & Allies. Both games aknowledged that there is a lot more out there besides the games you saw on TV Commercials.

Axis & Allies became our regular game after exam periods at school.

Meanwhile, I dreamt about expanding Hero Quest with my own ideas.
New items, new mechanics, ...
i even made a little knock off starrting sonic the hedgehog, Tails and Knuckles.
My Nephew and niece fondly remember that so I must have struck something there with my enthousiasm.
There the game designer in me was born as well.

Last 2 years, the ideas for game design re-emerged but i'm all in for the mental and creative fun of it.
custom dice + card mechanics are my favourite thing to dabble in and in the meantime I explore and explore.


Recently, we started playing the Early Access pc game of Gloomhaven over the internet and discord to talk to 3 other friends. We're having at least 3 gloomhaven sessions a week now.
I am actually gaming MORE than pre-covid!
We are all fathers with households so it works to stay at home AND game in a way :)

I follow board game news, i listen to game designer podcasts, since recently, I participate in this community to share my enthousiasm. Looks like the love is only growing.

 

2 months ago

I like the idea of a Sonic the Hedgehog Hero Quest haha, that's great. How far have you taken game designing since you first started?

Also glad you're able to play more Gloomhaven online with friends now!

 

2 months ago

I'm working on a dice allocation driven dungeon crawler concept but I'm lending the dice mechanic to work on something with exploration, area control, cards and dice.

it's on and off periods  but most of it are finding fun mechanics that makes sense thematically, without being a watered down knock off of something else.

Premium User3 months ago

#Candy Land

 

Just kidding.  I played #Magic: The Gathering since 1994 and played in several tournaments and had a lot of fun with that.  I didn't dable in boardgames too much until one day I was at my brother's and he introduced us to #Dominion: Second Edition.  I really liked it and that set me off on chasing board games.  I'd played #Catan but didn't really like it.  It was really Dominion that sold me on boardgames being fun.  

2 months ago

Ahh Candy Land, the ultimate gateway game haha.

#Magic: The Gathering seems really cool, I've never played it but I've had a lot of friends who were into it as well. It's cool that you got to play in tournaments! I relate on #Catan for sure - honestly it was probably what turned me away from board games for a long time, but in retrospect I think some of it had to do with the groups I played with in the past. Much better experiences more recently.

Owner3 months ago

I used to play #Magic: The Gathering for about 3 years and enjoyed it a lot but really only had 1 or 2 friends I could play with and over time played less and less. I ended up getting #Sheriff of Nottingham for my brother for Christmas one year and later played #Dominion: Second Edition and started to see how board games give a lot of the same feelings as MTG but I can actually play with most of my friends in some capacity. Plus financially I get a lot more for the same price I'd spend on a couple cards.

2 months ago

That's funny, I actually bought #Sheriff of Nottingham as a gift for someone too! I believe I got #Dominion: Second Edition as a gift for one of my friends as well. I didn't even know what they were at the time so I was just going off of the fact that they had been talking about both games for a while. I only played them once or twice but now I want to go back and ask those friends to try them again!

3 months ago

For me it was #7 Wonders, then buying a couple of more modern games, namely #Evolution: Climate, that kicked it off for me. Evolution had a theme that I thought was just so cool, and had never really considered that you could make a game about it.

I do have a group of friends that all play games together - I think there are about 8 of us total, so the actual group on the day varies, but I'm really blessed to have that group of friends, and the fact that we all enjoy games (to varying degrees) is an awesome bonus.

It's really been fueled by the fact that I expressed to my wife how much I enjoyed playing games, and we then made an effort to play them more. She's been so great about being willing to invest in my hobby. She was really not into games at all before, and would actively avoid them, so that fact that she'll sometimes suggest a game now makes me very thankful.