Today’s date: Friday, May 1, 2020
Another week, another blog.
I’m Alex and I’m the Short Film Programmer AFF. When I’m not burning my eyes by watching shorts, TV, and movies, I’m usually playing board games.
A few years ago I made a more conscious decision to purchase games that have a solo player mode. It’s been a good investment. Have I opened any of those boxes during this time at home? No. No, I have not. Have I finally learned how to play FreeCell? Yes. Yes, I have. I miss playing games with other people. My board game group is currently in the middle of Machi Koro Legacy. We play another round once every three months, so I guess we are still on track.
I was delighted when a friend from college told me about Tabletopia, allowing us to play higher concept board games online. The first two weeks we played Wingspan, a game in which you collect birds for a wildlife preserve. Then you get points for which kind of birds you collect, where they are placed, and how many eggs they lay. Due to its industry accolades and beautiful game design, I’d been wanting to try it out for a while. Since many of my college friends live in different locations (Austin, NY, Kentucky, and NOLA), we hopped on a video call so we could chat, catch up, and commentate on the game.
Like any game, it took some time to learn the rules in addition to learning the virtual mechanics of a board game. The first time we played, it was a 3 hour call. At most, it’s an hour and a half long game. I enjoyed every stressful, confusing, triumphant moment.
New board game tip: read the rules. Learn how to play the game. Consult the rules throughout the game. But before you start, briefly skim how to win. I’m all about strategy. I don’t have to win (I rarely do), but I hate getting to the end and learning what I’ve been doing means nothing. Unlike the unsure events of life, skip to the end of the rules and plan your long game.
Our virtual board game nights have become one of my favorite parts of the week. Is it because I won the last two games? Maybe. It feels nice to have a ‘win’ during this time. It’s a new way to continually explore one of my favorite hobbies (at a reduced cost). More so, it’s great to reconnect with friends in ways we could have for years. I hope we continue to have these virtual game nights.
-Alexandra Mitchell, Shorts Programmer