Here's an interesting story about board gaming which has made me think, and also got an annoying song stuck in my head. When I was at uni there was a student in the year below me who lived at the same residential college. Because of his haircut we called him Feargal Sharkey. I never had much to do with him, but I met him again at a barbeque a couple of years ago. He has kids now.
Not long after that, or maybe even before that, it's all hazy now, Feargal also turned up to a Critical Mass day of games, as he's a long-time gamer buddy of one of the Critical Mass stalwarts. So, although we don't see each other so much, Feargal and I are basically friends.
Anyway, on Sunday at Gencon Oz I was playing games with some little kids (aged 7 and 8) while their dad was playing Chaos In The Old World. Feargal had temporarily lost his kids in the seething maelstrom of geekness so sat down to play Giro Galoppo with us. I cafrefully explained the rules to the kids, with special emphasis on the Things You Should Not Do, i.e. you should not play a card which lands you on a jump or the river or the moors. The 8 year old totally got it, the 7 year old totally did not. The 8 year old rushed to the front, the 7 year old lagged sadly behind. I was in second place with a slight chance of catching the 8 year old, so I set out after her. Feargal was at the back with the 7 year old.
As the game rushed to its quick conclusion, I noticed that Feargal was making some bad moves himself. Awful moves. Even worse than the kid who totally did not get it. In the end, the little girl won and Feargal came last. I mentioned later "Mate, you are the worst Giro Galoppo player I ever saw." Feargal just smiled.
I wonder whether Feargal knew that the 7 year old had just won Viva Topo! and totally flogged us in two games of Whirlpool?