I am experiencing a deep love of boxes this weekend. Really, I feel like a cat. I’ve been sorting and purging things in the living room. Many things that I’ve barely used in recent years are going into plastic totes for storage. More and more stuff has a PLACE that it GOES. Part of my gravitation towards boxing up more things has to do with my living situation: both the apartment and Suri’s job are up in the air enough that I can’t be confident that I’ll be able to settle down and stay here much longer. Boxing things up in sturdy plastic and labeling those boxes take care of that. My possessions are more organized and easy to find, but if we do have to leave, we’re that much closer to being ready.
I’m used to cold. I’m used to snow. I’m not used to this much snow all at once with no hope of melting, and the VTrans plows barely able to keep up. I wasn’t able to get the plow guy to my place until about half an hour ago. Earlier, I spent a couple of hours alternatively shoveling a path just a few feet wide and resting my tired old bones just to get my car out. With that done, the plow could do a much better job of clearing the snow out. What’s extra funny is that my door is only about 2 or 3 feet from the highway, so the door I usually use to exit the building is completely plowed in. Fortunately, the downstairs apartment is vacant, so we can just cut through there with a climb over a snowbank to make it to the perilous shoulder of the road.
There’s been a great trend in boardgames lately toward cooperative gameplay. Instead of screwing each other over every 30 seconds (Sorry!) or acting like a New Jersey slumlord (Monopoly), all the players cooperate to beat the rules of the game–either everybody wins, or nobody does. Probably the best example of this is Pandemic, a game in which each player has a different role in a small team trying to stop the outbreak of plagues across the globe.
Other good cooperative games include Forbidden Island, Defenders of the Realm, and Arkham Horror. “Adversary” games, in which one or two players end up working against the others often use similar mechanics: Fury of Dracula, Battlestar Galactica, Last Night on Earth, Descent, and Betrayal at House On the Hill. One advantage of such games that I’ve not heard mentioned by others: it makes a game much easier on new players. Everyone else really IS trying to help you, and it’s in their interest to offer their best advice when it’s your turn. I don’t know if it’s because such games are innovative by their very nature at this point in history, but I’ve yet to play a co-op game I didn’t like. So boardgame players, especially those of you with children old enough to play, get thee hence to your FLGS and pick up one of the co-op games I linked to above; you won’t be disappointed.