A Happy New Year
Posted by sodaklady on January 2, 2008
I’ve never been one to become pensive or nostalgic just because the calendar says I should but I do want to wish everyone a happy, healthy, peace-filled new year anyway. I don’t make resolutions for the new year but I hope to start writing more even if it isn’t about board games. I hope you’ll bear with me if I just write about whatever is on my mind.
For Christmas my wonderful husband bought me Rock Band, which I had been obsessing over ever since my friend, Mike, brought his Xbox 360 and the gear over to show it to us. On New Year’s Eve, we invited 4 people (2 men and 2 women) over who were interested in trying it out. One of the guys was also intrigued by Richard’s description of a couple of my games, Wings of War and Bolide so that’s how the evening started.
Richard and our 4 guests, Jeremy, Elizabeth, Jenna and her boyfriend, Patrick, gathered around the pool table downstairs to try a one-lap race. I knew that each additional player would greatly increase the playing time with so many new players so I declined my husband’s invitation and continued watching the Twilight Zone episode I was in the middle of (a wonderfully done episode where a German concentration camp commander returns to his camp years later and finds the ghosts of the people he’d tortured and killed).
Fifteen minutes later when I went downstairs, they were making their way through the first turn of the British track. Patrick picked up the concept right away and was in the lead. Jeremy and Jenna got the idea after the second turn but, sadly, Elizabeth never did understand. It didn’t matter how many times I showed her or in what manner I tried to explain the concept that the “pin” was simulating, by the last corner of the race, she was still trying to put her car wherever she wanted with no regard for where the pin was located. Oh, well, everyone said they enjoyed it—but maybe some of them were just being polite.
After a break for snacking, it was time to start Rockin’! Richard and I played one song to show everyone what the screen looked like and how the instruments worked then handed over the guitar and drumsticks to someone else. At first, they were reluctant but we finally got everyone to try something at least once. Patrick, who had said earlier that he just came to watch, found that he loved the guitar. In fact, by the end of the evening, he was getting more than 90% of the notes even on the harder songs. I think the fact that he’s an avid video gamer helped him pick it up so quickly. Jeremy sucked at the drums the first time he tried but before he left, he’d managed to get through the hardest songs and wanted to get the game for himself. Jenna did pretty well on both the drums and the guitar but enjoyed the drums more. She really excelled at singing even though she said she didn’t like to sing and thought it was kind of boring. Elizabeth turned out to be our biggest fan. Yeah, she didn’t enjoy playing any of the instruments but she had a great time watching and listening to us yammer on about how we did on the last song.
The evening finally broke up about 1:00 and everyone had had a great time. I also found out that Patrick’s dad is a board game collector and has about 900 games. I’m not sure what they are but Patrick has played Carcassonne, Age of Empires, Civilization, and Axis and Allies. He’s interested in coming over to try some of my collection so I’m looking forward to a game night with him and Jenna when we can get everyone’s schedule coordinated. I think this was one of the best New Year’s Eves I’ve ever had, full of fun and laughter and good people.