Hey Scott, thanks for taking time from your busy schedule to answer a few questions for us today. So let’s start out, and have you just tell us about yourself.
Well, I’ve been married to an amazing woman for more than 15 years now. We have two young sons, ages 8 and nearly 5, who are crazy and wonderful and more fun than I can describe. I work as a magazine editor for Group Publishing in Colorado. I’ve lived in Colorado all of my life, and can’t really see living anywhere else. Maybe Hawaii, but I’m not sure how I’d eat... I love to read and play video games in my spare time. And I volunteer with the youth ministry at our church. There’s not much else to tell. I’m pretty stinking boring, really. :)
I always loved games. Growing up there was another family that we’d get together with every other week or so and the adults would play Aggravation and Pepper (a midwest variant of Euchre) while the kids goofed around. I was always more interested in watching the adults play than hanging with the other kids. I’d ask them to explain Pepper to me, and then they’d start talking about the right and left bower and my eyes would glaze over and I’d wander off... Other than that it was just my sister and me, and we usually just got on each other’s nerves. So rather than play board games, I moved on to video games.
What game was your “gateway” game?
I have two. I was in a game store one day, and looking over all these board games I’d never heard of. The owner was trying to explain Carcassonne to me—which he had out on display. Then he invited me to their monthly game night. I decided to come and we played High Society (a short little filler from Reiner Knizia), and I remember thinking, That was pretty cool; it fit some real fun into 20 minutes. Then we played Goa, and the heavens parted and I heard the Hallelujah Chorus. (That’s hyperbole, but my mind was BLOWN.) I’ve never looked back...
In what way has gaming affected your marriage? Does your wife game with you? I have a weekly game night, and then we try to get together one Saturday a month for an all-day thing. My wife is gracious about these times away, but I have to make sure I’m meeting needs on the homefront end of things. My personality is “Fun first!” so I need to push against that sometimes and ditch the gaming for important stuff. As far as my wife gaming? In general, no. She’s certainly played with me, and she usually plays something with the Boys and me on Monday evenings, but she’s not really into them. For me, games are a relaxer—something to break the stress. For her, games are stressful—learning a bunch of new rules, and keeping them straight, and wanting to make the right moves. She has enough stress in her life, so I don’t often ask her to play games with me anymore... :)
It seems that your boys are following in your footsteps down the road to being gamers themselves, how does your wife feel about that? She’s great with it; she loves that the boys have something to share with Daddy. As I said, she’s not much of a gamer, so I can tell some of the games start to really drag on for her. But she knows the boys love it, so she plays. Plus, it keeps their minds active, helps them think logically, practice some arithmetic...
How early in life did you get them (your boys) into gaming, and what game did you introduce to them first? I think I started with my oldest when he was 3 or so. I bought a HABA game called Knuckling Knights that wasn’t all that good, but it had a cool punchboard dice tower that you’d assemble. We played that a lot. With my youngest it was a Go Diego Go game where you blindly drew tokens out of a bag and hoped it fit on your “bingo” board in front of you before your opponents filled theirs. It was awful, but he LOVED it. Now we have a Family Game Night every Monday, so we’re playing more and more games.
What did you think about last week’s interview; that Jeremiah guy seems pretty awesome don’t ya think? I’m so glad God brought us together. Having a friend who loves ministry to teenagers and loves board games is awesome. The fact that I actually LIKE him is just icing on the cake.
How does gaming fit into your spiritual life? That’s an interesting question. I’m coming to see how much our health is tied to our spiritual formation. But not just physical health; we must love our God with all our minds, too, and I really think that board games help keep my mind sharp and firing.
In your opinion, board games in Heaven? Yes? No? Why?
Yes. Probably not Munchkin, though...
What were some of your favorite games to come out in 2012?
Android: Netrunner Gauntlet Of Fools The Resistance: Avalon Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game Kaispeicher King of Tokyo
As we forge ahead into 2013, what are some milestones you see ahead, both in the gaming world and in your life?
Well, I’m intrigued by the explosive growth of iOS games. It’s great that we can play these games when we’re not right there with our friends, or have some downtime. But I really don’t like how it’s a move toward isolating people again. Board games are social, and slowly brought people out of their video game caves to interact with other humans. Putting board games on iPads might be a small step toward pushing them back to the caves. Or maybe I’m overreacting... :) I do know that as good as the iPad implementations are, I still rarely play them. It’s just not as satisfying to me. As far as my life? Well we just passed a milestone of finally moving to a city that’s much closer to work and where the kids have been going to school already. It has completely changed our family’s lives, and now we’re just kind of basking in that. More time for board games!
If all the games in the world were going to be tossed into a fiery furnace, except for the 5 you choose to save, which 5 would you choose, and why? Well number one is The Princes of Florence. If you have 5 players, there’s no other gaming experience like it. There are auctions and actions and messing with people and...it’s just a perfect game. Two would be Goa. It still holds a soft spot because I played it that first night, but it’s also a really great game that’s full of interesting decisions. I find myself agonizing over which decision to make, and then kicking myself for making it. That may not sound fun, but it really is. Then we have Crokinole. I’ve played this game a ton, and it never gets old. Next is Age of Steam. This is a Martin Wallace design that is so wonderfully tight and brutal. Every little decision is important, and can wreck you or help you. Plus there are a crazy number of expansion maps, and each one adds a unique twist. Finally I’d have to say Amun-Re. It’s another auction game (hmmm...4 of my 5 have auctions in them; I didn’t know I liked auctions so much...), and you’re buying pieces of land on the Nile and building pyramids. Really interesting game.
One Word Questions:
Favorite Stooge? Larry.
Favorite Star Wars episode? IV (It's not the best [that would be V], but it was so hugely influential on my life)
Favorite musical artist or group? Sunny Day Real Estate
Favorite Crossfit exercise? The last one...
Favorite Star Wars alien species?
Thanks for taking some time and answering our grilling questions!