Doug starts off the new year with some reflection on the previous year and a resolution to do one thing: play more games!
Hello to all of my readers, and welcome to 2016…a few weeks late. I wanted to get an article out sooner, but as you can probably tell, the store’s website has changed, and I did not want to flood Tyler with more work to do on top of getting the new site set up.
So I guess I might as well write about what I wanted to write about thirteen days ago and talk about resolutions. Now, I’m not one for making promises I know full well I am not going to keep. If I am not going to do something, I am not doing it. Yet millions upon millions of people make promises to themselves, loved ones, and friends that they are going to do something to change their lives. It can be going to the gym to lose some weight, or try to save more money for that vacation to Fiji, or write an article on time for a website… you get the point. I’m not here to judge, after all the Two Scoop Zone is a judgment-free zone, unless you are totally wrong and then I’m going to point it out. Then the judgement will be fast and swift. Actually I am going to make a resolution for once in this new year, and that is to make a resolution to make the resolution, and after that, make another resolution.
One of the greatest myths that I find people have about me working in a game store for the past decade and half (mumbles), is that I play games all the time. That after I work and finish my daily tasks of refilling the soda cooler, helping customers and making orders to restock the place, that I just have free time to bust out a game or paint up some minis. Oh how I wish that was true…but it’s not. There is always something here at the shop that needs to be done. Even in the past month, we had the holidays, a site relaunch and preparing for big events in January, such as an X-Wing Store Championship, a Magic and Pokemon prerelease and also a Yu-Gi-Oh! Sneak Peak. So needless to say, there wasn’t much time to wedge in a game of Age of Sigmar let alone a quick round of A Game of Thrones LCG. “Wait Doug, what about your time off the clock?” you may be asking to me through your computer screen. Good question, strange disembodied computer voice. That time is usually spent going home and falling asleep watching hockey or while I try to write an article. Sometimes you’ll find me sleeping on my keyboard in front of the World of Warcraft loading screen.
There’s also the feeling that developed in an era before even working at Dream Wizards; one that came from years of working in the music record/cd business. I would spend my whole day listening to music in stores such as Waves and Tower, and then when I left, I would go as far away from music as I could, especially opera and jazz. This didn’t mean I started to hate music; I just needed a break from it. The same goes with me here with gaming, thus I became the hardened, cynical store keep you know today. I still end up buying models, making plans to play in events and working on decks, but it always ends with half built decks, half constructed armies and plans cancelled.
So let’s go back a few weeks ago to a few nights before New Year’s Eve. 2015 was drawing to a close, and it was a Monday night where I was supposed to head over to a friend’s house to play a game. We had not decided on what to play, but it was most likely going to be Warhammer 40K. Then real life happened and I had to email him, telling him once again I had to bail. A few hours (and a few adult beverages) later, I found myself with a legal pad of paper, a few lines written down and a lot of them crossed out. I had somehow over the course of the night decided to make some sort of list of what my goals would be in the near future. I then tossed the pad aside and decided to get some sleep.
It would be a few days later on New Year’s Eve when I came across the same list and looked over it. In the mess of resolutions that I had no intention of keeping, was a common theme of gaming more. Then I remember something that I had started in May, which was recording all the gaming I had done. Every D&D session, every figure I had worked on, all the matches in tournaments. This is what I had down on my Excel spreadsheet, from May till the end of December.
Games of Games Workshop (40K, Age of Sigmar, etc.): 3
Sessions of D&D: 6
Matches of Sanctioned Magic: 22
Matches of Conquest LCG: 3
Games of Heroclix: 5
Miniatures built/painted: 9/0
Games of Force of Will: 1
Games of X-wing/Armada: 1/1
Matches of A Game of Thrones LCG: 8
Board Games played: 1
I looked at that list proudly, and sadly. In that period of nine months, I realized two things. One, I recall that was the most gaming I had done in any period in years, and most likely since I started at the store. Second, most of these games were played in research for articles for this blog. So looking over my gaming bucket list of sorts and this, I came to the conclusion: I needed to play more games, not only for the articles, but because I felt I lost something in the way when I started to work at the shop. The need to find enjoyment in the hobby, and not just see it as my livelihood. The year 2016 has already started off on a gaming note, in which my mates and I met up on New Year’s Day for a game of D&D. It was a lot of fun, and while I would have timed it better so I could watch the Winter Classic somehow and GMed the session, I got to teach one player a valuable lesson: never go drinking with twins, because one could turn out to be a murderous doppelganger.
So to keep this resolution I may need you the reader to help out. I know looking over this list I have some pretty grandiose ideas, such as going to both the Magic Grands Prix in Montreal and Manchester, UK, and getting my Raven Guard ready for Novacon. Those are some long term goals, but I am also looking for ideas from you. So in the comment section below, you can add some ideas and recommendations, and I will see if I can do most of them (if reasonable) this year. Please keep them to the realm of gaming. “Try to be a better person” is laughable, so I am not wasting my time on that pipe dream. You can also follow me on Twitter at @djmaclure if you want to keep updated on my successes and most likely failures in making 2016 the year I play one more game than 2015.