FORSGREN: The perfect way to improve your social life

The Art of Nerding Out

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Adam Forsgren, EastIdahoNews.com

Winter is coming. And no, that’s not a quote from “Game of Thrones”.

The weather is cooling down, leaves dropping off trees and harvest is concluding. Soon, east Idaho will be enveloped in a blanket of wintery white. That means it’s a great time to pick up some new hobbies that will help the icy winter months pass by faster. And one of the most fun new hobbies to pick up is tabletop gaming.

Tabletop gaming is a broad category covering everything from board games like “Monopoly” to card games to miniature war games such as “Warhammer 40,000”. Gathering a group together to play “Dungeons & Dragons” or throwing down in a “Magic” card game with a friend provide ways to sharpen your strategy skills or work out your imagination.

Just ask Isaac Beavin.

Beavin owns Gamepulse, a gaming store on Main Street in Rexburg. A lifelong gamer, he was introduced to gaming by his older brother. He also enjoys “Magic”, various board games and still plays “D & D” when he has the time. He also plays video games occasionally, though that’s not his preferred mode of gaming.

With so many different options available, the prospect of picking the right game for you can be somewhat intimidating and confusing. So EastIdahoNews.com went to Beavin to see if he had any recommendations for beginning gamers.

“For sure, ‘D & D’”, Beavin said. “By far that’s one of the easiest ones because, essentially, all you need is paper, pencil, some dice and your imagination.”

In “D & D”, players are led through adventures by a “dungeon master”, who creates the adventures and describes the events of the game. Players make choices of what they want to do and roll gaming dice to determine their success.

“D & D” works the player’s imagination and is a good way to socialize with other players.

“Magic: The Gathering” is another game Beavin recommends highly for beginners. In this game, players employ illustrated cards representing creatures, artifacts and spells in an effort to defeat their opponent. “Wizards of the Coast,” the company that owns the game, gives out little demo decks so you can just start playing.” The “Magic” community is also very welcoming and helpful to new players. More new players means more opponents and more fun.

For those who like the satisfaction of building things with their hands, Beavin suggests miniature games like “Warhammer 40,000”. The game itself employs miniatures, dice rolls and lots of math to determine a victor. It’s an involved game that requires a lot of thought and brain power, but it rewards players who persist with good times and comradery with fellow players.

Gaming may appeal to prospective players with the thrill of victory, but Beavin said the biggest reward of gaming is the social aspect.

“It’s very socially rewarding”, he said. “You get into a grind of working so long, just ‘Oh, I’ve got to go to work and make the money, then go home and sleep. But this provides a way to help other people and have a social life, and to find people who are your kind of person.”

He says he’s seen close friendships form through games.

And stores like Game Pulse and A Street Games in Idaho Falls give gamers a space to get together and form those bonds. Most stores host tournaments. Beginners can drop in and find numerous people willing to teach them how to play.

So whether you go out to a local game store or host a game in your own home, give gaming a chance.

As Beavin said, “There’s people who want to play a good game with you and have fun. And once you make that first step, the rest of it is easy. And there’s a community here to help you out.”

Click here to visit the Game Pulse web site.

Click here for more information about A Street Games.

Click here to drop by the Gameopolis Facebook page.

Adam Forsgren | EastIdahoNews.com

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