My wife hates board games
July 07, 2015
It happened pretty quickly after I began getting into games in earnest. After buying Puerto Rico
with a friend and playing it a lot
, I started thinking, "Man these board game things are pretty great. I should play more of them
Like many of us, I went onto BoardGameGeek and started researching. Heavily influenced by the rankings, I purchased Agricola
and proceeded to play the crap out of that. My wife and I were in a long-distance relationship at the time, and I would subject her to games when she came to visit. She tried to be supportive and was content to collect all the sheep
when we played and not really worry about her score. She even bought a board game, Alhambra, to play when I visited her.
Soon after that, her birthday rolled around and I made one of those horrible "this gift is for you but it is really for me" purchases. I bought her Power Grid
. For her birthday.
Not only that, but I fell in love with the game and wanted to play it all the time every day
. We were doing a Thanksgiving weekend thing with my family, and I forced her to play it with me so much that she just couldn't handle anymore. She swore off Power Grid
for good and sent it home with me.
I've felt pretty terrible about it ever since.
Since then, it's been pretty difficult to have her even humor me with playing a game, though electronic implementations do make board gaming easier for us. We played Dominion
for a long time when it was on BrettSpielWelt - she destroyed me on numerous occasions with the money strategy. Oddly enough, we were really into Dungeon Petz
for a while on BoiteAJeux despite the incredible complexity of the game. She liked all the cute animals
and I think it helps when the game itself kind of guides you along through the turn sequence. Recently we played a lot of Jaipur
(or "Camels" as she calls it) on BoardGameArena.
Maybe it's not so much that she hates board games, but that it takes a very specific set of circumstances to get her interested in one, and even then she'd probably rather be doing something else like watching Mad Men or petting her dog
It might even be easier if she did
hate board games, because as it is, I feel compelled to buy games that I think she may like in the hopes that she'll play them with me. Once Upon a Time
, King's Forge
, Mice and Mystics
- I may have made more purchases for her than I have for myself (though never as gifts of course - I only had to make that mistake once
Not that I haven't made other mistakes to further drive her from the board game path. Back when I was developing Forge War
in obscurity with no one else I could turn to for play testing, I made her play the game with me over and over, and then I would get mad when she stopped paying attention to the game. At some point we had to make the decision for the sake of civility that I would stop using her as a play tester.
Though with the success of Forge War, other problems emerged. I often have to go to conventions or play test sessions on the weekends instead of hanging out with her and she's never too happy about that either
Not that I'm complaining, mind you. My wife is the best.
Even if she doesn't play board games with me, she has entirely too many other great qualities to make up for it. I have plenty of other people to play board games with, and her desire to see me occasionally on the weekend keeps me grounded and out of the Insane Asylum for Rogue Board Game Developers.
We each have our own interests and also have plenty of overlapping interests that are not board games. We've recently taken the whole electronic board game thing to the next level and started playing video games together. Playing the game Critter Crunch
with her has been particularly entertaining. Man, she loves Critter Crunch
So cheers to my wife for tolerating my obsessive tendencies and late-night writing sessions. I'm grateful that she still loves me after I yell at her to put away her phone while we're playing a game and that she has put extra effort into finding more activities that we both enjoy (i.e. not board games).
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