Star as in wars, Fluxx as in capacitor... maybe! Star Fluxx as in one of the versions of great Fluxx games from Looney Labs
Todays short story has been written by a recent convertee to the world of table-top gaming. Recently introduced to the team at Imagination Gaming and invited to join in some local games sessions, this is her account of her experience. Whether she was a willing participant to start with or coerced into it, everything seems to have worked out in the end. Maybe games aren't that frightening after-all?...
As a 40 something woman of the world, I thought I’d tried most things at least once and yet I seemed to find myself in the unenviable position of ‘newcomer’ to games despite spending my formative years desperately trying to beat my brother, (4 years my senior), at Monopoly and Scrabble.
How dare they label me a newcomer? I’m an old hand at this feeling stupid and being ridiculed malarkey!
Sure enough, when I sat down to my very first game, (DC Deckbuilding Game), with 3 'gamers', (technical term for people who seem to have a clue what they're doing), all the old negative feelings flooded back. I was completely bewildered by it all, didn’t understand the rules and even questioned my grasp of the English language as my fellow gamers seemed to be using words I’d heard before but they simply weren’t making sense in my head. I wasn’t exactly in a state of blind panic, but I wasn’t far off. Why on earth had I agreed to this? What was I thinking?
So, there I was, out of my comfort zone, out of my depth and wondering if I could feasibly get out of the door without attracting attention to myself. At this point, Nigel took over; maybe as a seasoned professional he was able to pick up on the panic pheromones I was giving off like a distress call only audible to Imagination Gaming staff. He suggested I try a different game and reassured me that I wasn’t going to take to them all straight away. I simply needed to try a few until I found something that suited me.
Sure enough, the next game, (Machi Koro), was right up my street and I even went on to win! Yes people, you heard me, I won a game! I sat amongst accomplished gamers and I won! To be honest, even if I hadn’t won, the fact that I understood the rules and enjoyed playing the game were enough to turn my head.
And once a girl's head is turned, there's no stopping her. The next game I was introduced to, (Quiddler), appealed to my love of words and quickly became a favourite. Then came Dead Man's Draw which I think may have phased me at one time but not now, oh no, I have no fear now, (well, very little). Perhaps the biggest test was Ankh Morpork which is by far the most involved game I've tried but my love of all things Discworld served me well and the fact that I knew all the characters spurred me on. I'm amazed at my own progress and feel I should mention that on the three occasions I have played Star Fluxx with Nigel, I've won every game! He's not very happy about it but I think he may be secretly proud of being such an effective tutor.
So now I speak to you as a regular player. I wouldn’t describe myself as a ‘gamer’ as I’m still not overly confident with some of the more complicated games but at least I’m giving them a go now. My confidence is growing in spades and I’m slowly adding more and more games to my repertoire. I’m no longer gripped by fear when someone suggests we play and I’ve even been known to make the suggestion myself. Oh, and did I mention Star Fluxx?
I guess thanks are owed to Nigel and the team at Imagination Gaming for adding a new aspect to my life which challenges me, builds my confidence and gives me a great sense of achievement, (even when I don’t win!).
It may surprise you to hear that Alison is still playing games. Clearly the long-term risks of this kind of fun, face-to-face interaction with other people may yet to be conclusively proven, but the future looks bright. This has not affected her standing in the community and she continues to be healthy... although she has got a 'bug' and if you come into contact with her playing games, she may well be infectious...