Yesterday, the husband and I actually left the house and headed south for the fine city of Columbus, Ohio where we attended the Origins Game Fair. After getting lost in the depths of the Ohio hinterland for what seemed like days -- the corn mazes appear to be growing nicely though, just FYI -- we finally made it to the convention center. We made a beeline for the exhibition hall where there were dozens upon dozens of awesome board and card games on display. We ended up going home with a game called "Dominion: Intrigue" which looks complicated in all the right ways. Also, I ended up going home with a t-shirt that reads: "Tardis Express: When It Absolutely Has to Be There Before You Sent It." I love it so much I may name it and set up a college fund for it.
"Origins" is a huge amount of fun for game enthusiasts or those who just enjoy a good round of Parcheesi every once in a while. Why? Because no matter what your interest, the breadth of games is so vast that there is guaranteed to be something you'll want to try or take home. The exhibitors, too, are terrific with demonstrations, sitting down with people to help them learn and get a flavor for a game before making their purchase. Also, it's a great place to find new games and support the very smart, very creative people who have developed their own games, independent of any large company. There's a real entrepreneurial spirit among the game creators and it's wonderful to see.
Also, "Origins" is the perfect place to join in on some mega-scale gaming with entire halls dedicated to massively complex games that I won't even begin to pretend I understand. All I know is, I saw a giant board set up to look like a World War II battle but with a menacing Stay-Puft Marshmallow man ready to teach the Nazis a few lessons -- all I could think was, who wouldn't want to get in on this game?
"Origins," too, is a great place for families -- mostly because it's guaranteed to completely exhaust your kids. That's a good thing for sleep-deprived parents, right? In fact, I realized that short of a really disreputable casino, "Origins" was the only place where I would have seen a father telling his young daughter, "We never, ever throw the dice at people!" There's also plenty of chances for kids to do faux battle with each other and some safe rubber swords. And best of all, the chance to do battle with virtual mech robots in the lobby.
"Origins" is still going on this afternoon so if you're anywhere near the Columbus area, head on out there NOW. You won't regret it.