Friday, November 2, 2012

Discovering Board Games for the First Time

By Chua Sii Inn, Diploma in Business Enterprise IT , Year 1
I was invited to Settlers Café, the first board games-themed café located at Clarke Quay, along North Canal Road, to meet the awesome Discover NYP writers and the Social Media Gurus. Settlers Cafe provides friendly game hosting services that is suitable for social gathering. It’s not only the first time I’m meeting these people, but also my first time in a board games-themed café.


The first thing that caught my attention was the warm greetings from the cheerful staff, followed by the tall racks of games at the side of the door, all of which I’ve never played before. Believe it or not, I have never played any board games before, not even Monopoly! Maybe it is due to my circle of friends, who are more interested in video games and outdoor activities, and my assumption that board games are boring and repetitive.

Kenneth, Jerrelin, Mirrah (back row, left to right) and Dedrick (foreground) try to guess each other's identity in BANG!
We first had a round of self-introduction while waiting for our lunch to be served, and then played BANG! (a Western-themed, card game) as an ice breaker. This game was really interesting, players have different roles and objectives, but aside from the Sheriff, everyone’s roles were secret, so you need to infer who they were based on their actions.

 My character card allowed me to take the remaining cards of whichever players was “killed”, but ironically I ended up being the first person to run out of lives, so I went around taking photos while waiting for more mates to join me.

Kenneth (left) and Shahril (right) plan for world domination!
When a few other players joined me in the ‘afterlife’, we decided to try another board game, RISK, a strategic game where the primary objective is to occupy every territory and by doing so, eliminate all other players. The issue was that we spent more time figuring how to play, instead of actually playing, because we were confused by the staff’s explanation.  We had a winner, Shahril, who, I presume, is proficient in playing strategic games as he was playing international chess most of the time.

Don't let his smile fool you. He wants to rule the world!!!
While strategic games are good for the mind, too much thinking can make you tired! After playing for about 45 minutes, all of us were mentally exhausted, and we decided to join the other group, who were playing a mindless game called UGLY DOLL. This is a fast, action card game where everyone turns  over cards, one player at a time, until three matching UGLYS (monster-like characters) appear, we then have to slam our hands on the matching cards and yell “UGLY UGLY UGLY!” in order to claim them. The one with the most cards wins the game!

(Left, foreground to back ground) Lionel, Jerrelin, Mirrah, (Right, foreground to background) Dedrick and Hwee Ming play a game of UGLY DOLL.
Out of the three games I’ve played, this frenetic game of fast reflexes was the first game I actually won multiple times! It makes me wonder:

I enjoyed myself at this gathering and I’m glad to have the opportunity to play board games and meet new people, some of whom I still keep regular contact with. This opportunity has also changed my perceptions of board games completely, and I’m able to appreciate them better.
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Sii Inn is a Year 1 Business Enterprise IT student who enjoys detective fiction and mystery novels. She enjoys picking up new skills,learning new things and feels that food is the most primitive form of comfort. She also loves to indulge in the best entertainment and appreciates idiosyncracies, theatre performances, martial arts and piano melodies. Her dream is to go on a backpacking journey around the world to meet people from all walks of life and understand their cultures.

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