Game N’ Lunch

To get started on part of my New Year resolution list, save a little money during the week and to just plain have fun–I’ve instigated a  Game N’ Lunch hour at work.  We all gather in the commons and pull a game out to play while we have lunch.   The guys have been pretty diligent in bringing their lunches in–so it’s been pretty successful.

Games we’re playing:

  • MunchkinConan Edition.  This is a Conan themed version of the famous Steve Jackson game.  It’s super fun fast paced action.  It can be either cooperative or conniving–or both.
  • Star Trek Uno – This has been played several times.  It’s Uno with 4 additional cards.  The best new card is “Double Tribble.”  If played against you during game play, you must double your hand.  In Uno that means you could end up with 40+ cards!  If you’re lucky you’ll be able to play the “Beam Me Up, Scotty” card to counter attack–or you may end up needing a friend help you hold all of those Uno cards you’ve acquired.
  • Carcassonne “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is “never get involved in a land war in Asia!”  This tile based game is about the building, growing and occupation of land and castles.  It’s a little complicated at first but it’s fast paced once you all know the rules.

Next up:

  • Monopoly the Card Game – a faced paced card game version of the board game classic.
  • Saboteur – The miners need to find the gold–but will the saboteurs stop them before they reach they’re treasure?  A super fun, witty tile-based card game that will keep all players guessing, “Who’s on my side?”
  • Chez Geek – A card game that makes you all roommates for as long as it takes you to kick someone out of the apartment.
  • Zombie Fluxx -  The Zombies arrive in the form of a new type of card, called the Creeper, which hangs around in front of you, preventing you from winning. The good news is, the Keepers include a Shotgun and a Chainsaw and various other things you can use as weapons against the Zombies.
  • Forbidden Island – Chosen by Mensa in 2010 as Favorite Brainy Games Winner.  You’re on a team of  adventurers with varying skills on a  mission to capture four sacred treasures from a sinking island.  Get your whole team off the island before they drown!

So it’s been really fun but I haven’t won a single game yet.   In addition to the Game N’ Lunch we’ve also taken to walking at least 15 minutes once during each of our 8+ hour days.   Let me know if you’ve got a suggestion for a quick game that we can try at lunch.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Read This Book:

My good friend, Adam V, loaned Ready Player One to me recently.  I’m embarrassed to say this is the first book I’ve actually completed in years.  Let me tell you, it didn’t take long to read. That’s because when you pick it up you can’t put it down. I read it in approximately three 10-chapter chunks (12 on the last read.) When I picked it up, I made sure I had time to immerse myself in it.

If you ever  listened to Rush or AC/DC growing up–if you ever watched any T.V. show or movie from the 80s, are a fan or Real Genius, War Games, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek, and/or any other pop-culture reference you can think of from the 70s and 80s… Even if you don’t read often or have sworn off books, you absolutely owe it to yourself to read this book.

If you’ve ever savored that last quarter at the arcade for your all-time favorite game, if you hunger for anything retro and practically make it your way of life–this book satisfies that appetite with every imaginable delicacy from your past.

If any of you kids reading this grew up in the 70s and 80s then you’ll be able to relate to the material Clive has managed to collect from the farthest reaches our memories… OK, well for most of us it may be from the farthest… but for many, we are right there with him every step of the way.  I even found myself gleefully beating Clive to his own punchlines at times. Oh not in a bad way–just in the kind of way two friends might shout the same phrase and in that same moment you both have to add, “Jinx!” to the end of your sentence.

In many ways it reads like a screenplay and some have speculated it would make a great movie.  I don’t disagree–if it’s done right.  However, if it is ever made into a movie (or 2 or 3 since they can’t possibly detail all of this in a two hour period) it will likely be plagued with copyright and intellectual property issues.  And with any book vs. movie scenario it’s probable that it would be a huge disappointment for those that read the book–and that’s putting it mildly.

Ernest’s writing is both frank and eloquent.  The story is engaging, humorous and romantic.  And the book is full of… well, to coin a phrase from Star Trek IV: “colorful metaphors.”  So if you offend easily, this book isn’t for you.  I myself am likely going to read it again… and again.  At the very least it will occupy a hallowed space on my bookshelf next to my science fiction and fantasy novels.