(NOTE: This is the first part of the full post that I wrote. For the entire text, please visit the Board Gamers Anonymous blog at Board Game Geek)
A few years ago, needing something to get me out of the house and way from my home business, I tracked down some local board gaming groups through Meetup.com. I started gaming first with the Staten Island group twice a week, and also made occasional trips into Manhattan for the NYC Boardgames Meetup, a sprawling group made up of some 3000 players.
One Sunday afternoon in 2011, I visited a meetup held in the back of a mid-town Manhattan Cosi. I came late so everyone was busy playing one game or another. I idly wandered from table to table, soaking in all the new games I’d never seen before (which happened to be almost all of them).
I made my way to a table of 4 playing a colorful tile-laying game where the object was to collect colors in a certain combination so as to recreate a classic painting.
“What do you think of the game?” came a voice from beneath a bushy grey beard, heavily laden with Gaelic overtones. I was startled, not because serious gamers rarely take notice of curious onlookers like me, but because the voice betrayed an earnest note of inquiry. My honest opinion was being sought!
This was when I first met John McCallion…