by Sam Desatoff
Deciding which game to buy is one of the most agonizing decisions we as grown adults can make. I mean, do you go for another worker placement game, or should you branch out into the exhilarating world of economic engines? This choice sits atop the list of agonizing decisions we are forced to make as functioning members of society. Seriously, it’s right up there with “Should we have a child?” and “How are we going to afford our mortgage payment this month?” The upside of this nightmarish Sophie’s choice is that you get to bring a shiny new game home and open it up. Here are 4 favorable side-effects of a new game purchase.
1. Removing the Plastic Wrap
This fiery crucible we call life offers few genuine pleasures. We can take some solace, however, in the fact that many of the things we buy are covered tightly in a layer of plastic wrapping. Few things match the satisfaction of tearing into this clinging film and slowly peeling it back until our prize within is wholly exposed.
…and proceeds until the entirety of the game is unwrapped.
As an added bonus, the discarded plastic wrap makes a great children’s toy or supplement to a healthy meal for a loved one.
2. Punching Out the Cardboard Bits
I don’t know how you like to spend a Friday night, but nothing gets me more amped up than seeing a stack of cardboard sheets with tiny pieces ready to be punched out of them. Throw in a mild mineral water and you’ve got the makings of a party that would put Animal House to shame.
The click sound that accompanies the release of each piece as it is broken free from its cardboard prison is so satisfying that I wish I could make it my ringtone. Oftentimes during this process I lose myself to a frenzy. My eyes glaze over, time loses all meaning, and I begin to believe that surely the dark lord has an eternity of torment planned for me; why else would he present such a magnificent opportunity to one as unworthy as myself?
When I come to (usually two to three days later), the table often looks like this:
BONUS ENTRY: That New Game Smell
3. Reading the Rules
This may not be everyone’s favorite part of opening up a game, but there is a special kind of fun to be had when learning a new set of rules. First, I tend to obsess over the rulebook. From game setup to end-game scoring, I make sure to memorize every rule. The book tends to dominate my life for a solid couple days.
Once you have familiarized yourself with the rules, the next step is…
4. Actually Playing the Game
Time to put all your efforts into action. Now, as the person most familiar with the rules, the entire table is going to be counting on you to teach the game. So it obviously falls to you to vaguely explain the goals of the game and instantly get angry when Michelle, that idiot, doesn’t immediately grasp every intricate detail. Feel free to gloss over important scoring goals so that your competition flounders long enough that it is no longer possible to catch up to you. When you win, stay humble, but not so much that your friends think that you’re not better than them.