Tuesday, July 5, 2016

LS: Let's Talk Travel

There are certain words in the English language that, while they seem like they would mean the same thing to everyone, somehow have slightly different connotations.  Gaming for example. 

Here we are referring to tabletop games, but others may assume all gaming takes place on some sort of video gaming console.  Even tabletop games can mean something different to everyone.  One may assume that only role playing type games are included, while others count anything that can be played on a table and do not care who stares at them strangely as they set up Candyland for a tabletop session.  But today, I am going to talk to you about a different word, a word that at first glance has absolutely nothing to do with gaming.  


My family has spent the last few years living in Europe.  There have been many wonderful things about it, not the least of which is the opportunity to see a large variety of places.  Sometimes we took a road trip, other times it was a short flight.  Either way, we would have limited space to carry anything we would need for the duration of the trip.  

So what does this have to do with gaming?  I mean, we are traveling, as a family.  Who needs a game?  Well, picture this.  You have traveled to your dream destination.  You check into your hotel, get your comfortable clothes and your camera and prepare to do some site-seeing, only to look out the window and see the rain pouring down.  Sure, you could still go out and hope it passes, or check out the local cable.  Or, you could pull out a game.

Let’s take another example.  You just spent the day site-seeing.  You come back to your hotel (or whatever) exhausted, happy, but a little too keyed up to sleep.  Wouldn’t it be great to play a game or two to relax?

For the last few weeks, my family has been traveling.  We’ve been living out of our duffle bags, and hotel rooms.  I’d like to say it’s all for fun, but no.  It’s a work thing, and sometimes we have been exhausted and stressed out.  These are the times when we have been happy we brought a couple of games with us.  As soon as we sit down, and pull out that game, we forget it all.  We are no longer on the road, or worried.  We are just a family, playing a game.  In that moment, we are home again.

So yeah.  Take a game when you travel.  Anywhere.  Go to see the Eiffel tower, or to Graceland.  Stay in a five star hotel or a pup tent.  But bring a game.  

There are a lot of options as to what kind of game to bring of course, and what you choose depends on a lot of factors.  First of all, what kind of games do you enjoy?  How much space to you have?  How old are the players?  Will you be meeting up with someone you don’t normally see?  How long do you want to spend playing each day? Will you be upset if you bring the game and never play?  Think about these things before you make your selection.  There are no wrong answers here.  It’s all for fun.  But here are a few suggestions, no ‘travel’ versions of games required.

1)  Fluxx

 This is defiantly a family favorite at home, or on the road.  We own several different versions, though our younger one prefers Zombie Fluxx.  If you have never played this game, check out MK’s post and you will see why.  This game is perfect for travel.  Fun, compact, and can take anywhere from one minute to an hour to play.


2) Basic Deck of Cards

Flexible, compact, and versatile.  Don’t make the mistake of thinking these cards are just for playing poker.  Everything from solitaire, spoons, bullsh*t, garbage.  Seriously, what can’t you play?

Okay, I am not even going to pretend to be an expert at Dungeons and Dragons.  I have played a few times, and I know, there are lots of books.  The Dungeon Master’s Guide, Monster Manuals, pre-done adventures, books I do not know.  But I also know you can create your own adventure.  

This one might take a little advance work, but if you plan right you can do this with some graph paper and some dice.  Simplify your game if you need to for your crowd.  The more you leave to your imagination, the less you need to bring.  You can also plan this game around the time you think you will have.  Make a short game if you don’t want a big commitment, or a longer game if you think you want to play a little every night.  You can even play in the car on a road trip, as long as you do not distract your driver.  Get a dice rolling app or bring along a plastic cup.

4) Trivia 

Take your favorite trivia board game.  Pull out the trivia cards and leave the rest at home.  Count points, don’t count points.  Play it in the car as you drive.  Turn it into a drinking game, just not as you drive.  Come on.  Be sensible. 

5) Consider this Shameless Plug

There are lots of card games in the world.  I haven’t played anywhere close to all of them, but any of them could be your perfect game and there are quite a few through MK Tabletop.  Looking at the games is free, so there is really no reason not to at least look.

And now, if you will excuse me, I have people waiting for me.  The cards are laid out, and I have a game to play.  Happy gaming, and happy travels.