Unplugged Gaming

I’ve spent quite a bit of time away from the computer in the past week or so. It’s been pretty refreshing to get away from it, to spend some “face time” with other people and play some different games.

A while back I wrote a post about playing chess with a friend from work, Ray. Don (another friend from work) would come over as well; it happened a couple weeks in a row. We drank some beers, talked some shit, and played some chess. I mentioned in that post that I was going to try and make a tradition out of it, and though that didn’t really come to fruition, we have had a few other get togethers since.

The week after, I went to Don’s house, and Ray came along, and instead of playing chess, we played Dominoes (referred to as “bones” from here on out). It was a game I hadn’t really played before, at least not by his rules. So I learned how to play something new, and it was a lot of fun. The shit talking really gets started when you play that game, it’s encouraged really. Unlike chess, though I usually do plenty of that when I’m playing that game. The very next day, I ended up going back to Don’s again, this time another co-worker of ours (Jonathan) came. Jon managed to fuck us up at Dominoes; I came in second and Don brought up the rear. The reason for our get together though, was because Jonathan told me about a card game called “Spades”, which is much like “Hearts”. He said we needed 4 players though, so I got ahold of Ray and he came over. We played the game, and though it was enjoyable, I got my ass kicked pretty thoroughly. We haven’t played that game since, but I wouldn’t mind getting back to it.

So, shortly thereafter, I went out and bought my own set of Dominoes. That way, if we had another gathering at my house, I’d have more than one game to offer.

Last week on Thursday I ended up playing a lot of different games all in one day. John’s friend Ron came over to hang out, and we were in the garage smoking and bullshitting for most of the day. Eventually John challenged Ron to a game of chess, and I watched. John ended up winning, and then I asked who wanted to play me. Ron was game, so we played. We ended up playing Chess for a good 4 hours, somewhere around 15 games or so. Aside from a couple stalemates, I won every game. Later on, Elias came over and wanted to go out to have some drinks. We tried to convince everyone to go, but it ended up being just me, him and Gina. We went to TWH bar and got a pool table and proceeded to drink and play. I hadn’t played pool in quite some time, so I ended up sucking pretty bad, I think the end result was 2-1 in Elias’ favor. It was pretty dead in the bar though, so they ended up closing early. So we picked up some beers on the way home and played some bones. I did better at that game, and tore him up.

The following Saturday, Ray ended up wanting to come over to finish our last tourney. We were sitting at a dead even 1-1-1. The games were pretty fast, but they were all good games. I ended up taking the first game, he was completely unsuspecting. There was a stalemate, and then he took the next two games, one in only 5 moves (pathetic I know). Now we were sitting at 3-2-2 in his favor. I managed to take the next two games, and the tourney, with a record of 4-2-2. That gives me a commanding lead of two series won, to his zero won. I felt pretty good about that.

The next night, I ended up playing bones with Ron and Elias. It was a shitty game, I lost horribly. But it was all in good fun. It seems that both games tend to be enjoyed by mostly everyone I know, so it’s been fun.

Last night, Benny (another co-worker) invited me over to his house for bones and beer. I showed up at about 7:20, at which point a couple people were present. A few more showed later, and we ended up with a game of bones with 8 players. We used two sets of bones, and it was an interesting game. Personally, I prefer 2-3 players, but it was an experience nonetheless. I hung out with a few guys from work I had never hung out with before, and for the most part it was a cool kick back night. We ordered some pizzas from Pizza Hut, and there was plenty of beer to go around.

As I said, it’s been like this for a while now, where I’ve been able to get away from the computer and have some fun, but not just drinking for the sake of it. I have however, done some gaming on the computer in between visits from friends. One new game has made it on to my computer, but for once I didn’t pay for it. John picked up a copy of UFO: Extraterrestrials, which he has compared to an old game called X-COM. I never played X-COM, but after watching him play this newer version, it reminded me of old games I used to play on my Dad’s Atari ST. It’s a turn-based strategy game, and it has a lot of depth, along with infinite replay-ability. I’ve only played it briefly, just enough to figure out I could install and run the game without the cd, enabling me to play it without buying my own copy (which I would have never done, I wasn’t that interested). So far it seems like something I could play here and there, but I still have goals with EQ2, and that’s still in the forefront of my gaming.