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[personal profile] alobear
Saturday was the ninth annual Annie-and-Dave-Con. I had intended to set up Galaxy Trucker on the corner table and just taken on all-comers all day. But it turned out five hours of Galaxy Trucker was enough, and there were still six hours of the event to go, so I did end up playing some new games after all.

The first was Kokoro, by the same company that makes Kodama, so the cutesy Japanese tree spirits were in evidence. The game involves joining temples together on a board, using only the route shapes that come up on the cards that are drawn. Everyone has the same game board and the same route shapes to use, but you can draw each shape anywhere on your board each time, so different players’ routes diverge very quickly. It’s fun, and quick, but requires a lot of planning, projecting and luck to do well. I was quite pleased with my final score, and enjoyed the game, so would happily play it again.

Then came Decrypto, which is a kind of Codenames variant, where two teams compete to guess words based on clues given by each team member in turn. The difference from Codenames is that every member of one team can see the same set of words, and the cluegivers have to keep getting the rest of their team to guess the words in the right order, but not give away so much information that the other team can guess them first. It’s a bit difficult to describe, and very tricky to get right, but it was a lot of fun, and I was very pleased with some of the clues I came up with.

Last new game of the day was Sixis, a dice game where you have to roll different sets of numbers to claim cards of differing values from the table. There are added complications in that you can use your turn to flip a card to make it more valuable, but that also makes it more difficult to claim, and leaves it available for other players to claim before you do. It was an interesting variation on Yahtzee, and a good, quick game for the end of the day.

On the train home, I finished reading Hunger by Roxane Gay. I can’t remember where I heard about this book, or why I wanted to read it, but it turned out to be much more resonant to me personally than I was expecting. It’s a memoir based around a traumatic event that led the author to seek refuge in food. Now, the causes and consequences of my own problematic relationship with food were much less extreme, so I certainly don’t claim to have shared Roxane’s experiences. However, a lot of the behaviours and attitudes expressed (both my own and those of other people interacting with me) are very familiar to me from a certain period in my life. The book is very good at expressing the conflict between understanding something rationally and being able to act on it emotionally, which is something I still struggle with a lot. It also talks about the importance of changing societal attitudes towards weight (which I absolutely agree is really important) versus the personal experience of being overweight and not wanting to remain that way (which I can also very much relate to). The narrative is powerful and devastating, but also relentless and repetitive - but then so is the experience of the life being described, so it’s effective in portraying that. A difficult read, but a worthwhile one.

February 2019

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