Specifically I said video games, but as this year (nearly 1/6 over already) has progressed I started to see another passion, equally worthy of my time. When I made the statement, I was pretty heavily playing Dragon Age. Addicted, you might say, like Elven crack... which may or may not be your thing. Apparently it is mine, however, since despite my best efforts with the dorky-but-attractive (as attractive as digital characters can be) warrior Alistair,
In fact Zevran was so ready to sleep with me, my propositioning him before introductions had even cooled, met with complete success. And earned me a game trophy for being an Easy Lover. Seriously.
Anyway, I wanted to play more which was the point. And since there's more coming which will surely demand my attention, namely Final Fantasy XIII, I think it's safe to say I'll have plenty to play in the upcoming months. If I have any time to play anything, that is.
So video games aside, I have been enjoying a new phenomenon lately: the joys of social-dorkdom in the form of Talisman, a fantasy adventure board game. Actually this is an old guilty pleasure, one I first played at a friend's house with all his brothers at age 9 or so. Being an avid reader, particularly of fantasy, I was completely captivated by the character building and questing of this game. I even went home an tried to create my own game of a similar variety (read: pretty much copied it in a very poorly drawn and cheap way on yellowing computer paper).
I've always loved board games. They can be great entertainment and a fun mental exercise every once in a while, although my family flatly refuses to play Monopoly with me anymore after I continually kicked all their Get-outta-jail-free trash. They're just bitter. When we were young, Amy and I searched for 13 Dead End Drive when we acquired some Christmas gift money, an odd game where you moved other players into physical death traps, like a chandelier that collapses on their piece. It was sort of morbid but we loved it.
Much later I was introduced by my friend Jennie to the thrills of Settlers of Catan in Colorado, a game that saw me through many of my mission office evenings and P-days, and continues to be a fun, and often stressful experience. I don't mind war games, Game of Thrones being my favorite, as it takes the fun of Risk and makes it manageable. Because honestly, who needs a two hour turn? By then everyone else has checked ou of the game.
The point is, I love games. And that first experience with Talisman was no exception. When I was old enough to be making my own money, I searched desperately for a copy, the game now on it's 3rd edition was practically out of print. I even managed to find one remnant, priced completely out of my range. I gave up and let Talisman go to rest, figuring I'd never play it again.
To make a long and boring story short, the game was re-released, in a random but exciting event, changing hands from its parent company a couple times before landing with Fantasy Flight Games, who've done an excellent job. Not only does the game look great, but they continue to support it with expansions. And best of all, I have people who will play it with me! (Some begrudgingly, I suspect, but play it all the same; for which I am grateful)
Game nights happen fairly frequently these days, and it is always a good time; I love what the different personalities bring to the table (believe me, it makes all the difference), coupled with snacks, a ridiculous soundtrack (don't make fun, you know you want to play board games to Gregorian Monks chanting "Losing My Religion"), and plenty of unhealthy food and alcoholic bevs. Talisman is suited to this social engagement as there is some strategy needed, but so much depends on chance and other players. If my love of promoting this game weren't enough, consider then that I, too, remade the Timescape Expansion for this game. It was a bizarre expansion released to help promote some of Game Workshop's (then the owners) other games, and took Talisman to a whole new inter-dimensional level. It was also dangerous, and completely fun. For "Super Talisman Bowl Sunday," as Capree called it, I worked to resurrect Timescape, and would say I did so quite successfully. Alas I have no pictures to share, but I'll take some next time.
Finally, since I know this post has been utterly self-indulgent, I will close with two thoughts. 1) All of my Talisman buddies should be excited... There is a new expansion being released this spring: The Highland!! Make yourselves comfortable, cuz we be playing again soon.
And 2) If you're sad about how long it sometimes takes us to play through a game of Talisman with all these expansions, consider these people. They play a game they refer to as "MegaTalisman," using a unique point system for visiting other boards, they use all expansions and a great number of home brew expansions. The game is capped at about 12-15 hours.
See? We're not so bad.