If you consider Monopoly to be a complex board game, you are sorely mistaken.  The world of board games goes much deeper than you could ever know.  I walked into Game Nite in St. Louis and immediately became aware of how small my gaming world was.  Upon entering, a long wall stacked with hundreds of unfamiliar board game titles invited me to a world that I’d never before known: the world of the hardcore analog gamer.

St. Louis Board Game Meetup | Community: Stories of STL

 

In my youth, I was all about video games.  Age of Empires, Starcraft, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Madden, Halo, GTA, and Vigilante 8 were staples of my childhood and I spent countless hours at the keyboard and joysticks gaming to my heart’s content.  Never before had I really given any thought to board games as anything besides drudgery or family bonding.

Board games line the wall at Game Nite in south St. Louis

Board games line the wall at Game Nite in south St. Louis

Board games line the wall at Game Nite in south St. Louis

There exists a separate universe of gamers whose enjoyment comes from forms of non-electronic stimulation.  There are card game players, board gamers, role players, traders, and duelers who prefer their games to take place outside of the electronic realm and instead in person.  I can certainly understand the appeal in seeing the anguish flood your opponent’s face as you make a move that dooms his civilization to die.

Timothy, the founder of the St. Louis board game meetup

Timothy, the founder of the St. Louis board game meetup

It is non-electronic entertainment that is the core of this group’s activities.  Started by an Englishman-turned-St.-Louisan, the group grew from a small band of friends to a lively community that meets for as many as 17 events a month, all around the St. Louis area.  Attendees bring their own games and dozens of different games might be played by different members of the group on any given night.  No matter what your experience level, time commitment, or game preference, you will almost undoubtedly find something that suits you.

The accessibility and openness of the group was striking; there certainly exists a stigma around gaming that keeps rookies away from what seems to be an intimidating culture.  Participants both green and seasoned were playing games together; the more experienced players willingly helped the uninitiated along and introduced them to new types of games.  Anybody is welcome; you’ll quickly find something that interests you and a friend willing to teach you.

Chris, owner of Game Nite off Watson Road

Chris, owner of Game Nite off Watson Road

For more about the group, visit their meetup website at http://www.meetup.com/St-Louis-Board-Games/ and stop by an event any time!