I remember when Kiko and Greeb got super into Pokemon TCG, they were listening to podcasts and stuff, and because they played the game on a card table in my office I had a chance to watch their friendship stretch and become taut in real-time. The card game has incredible heft, actually, on multiple axes: toy collecting isn't something I honor essentially, but there are cards in this game worth hundreds of thousands, even a million dollars. But the game itself, even though it is largely concerned with tussles between colorful beasts, has a couple really unique dynamics that are not only really interesting they also keep it from being Just Magic Again, which is a genre dense with the ruins and gnawed bones of many Noble Attempts.
Having a tabletop game store open up just minutes from my house has been fun and expensive. I can’t run up to the grocery store for milk without having to walk past Over the Brick and its shelves of minis, cards, paints and games.
Game of Thrones, at its apex, had the cultural torque of a global religion. It's hard to imagine that time, for a variety of reasons. I feel like its self-immolation was fairly complete; it had good bark, and a pronounced smoke ring. Trying to bite this particular apple again seems like the opium dream of a diseased and desperate mind.
In the sun-dappled Elysia of the before-times, Kiko and I used to go over to Gabe's house and play a game called Dust. One of the cleanest, most fun wargames of all time, it was a very solid place for Gabriel the Younger to start the hobby. The legibility of the system and the celerity of its resolution - for example, it's played on a massive grid instead of measuring arbitrary distances - means that you can go four player and play two games in an hour and a half. Maybe you haven't played a wargame. Just so it's clear: what I've just described is not a thing. I once played a game of Warhammer 40k with four people that lasted twelve hours. I didn't play again for about fourteen years. I liken it to when one of those big snakes eats a gazelle.