Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Happy New Year!!!

It's a new year, and we're taking this opportunity to reflect on our gaming goals from 2011 and set out our new goals for 2012. We're really excited to play EVEN MORE games together this year!

Katie on her goals from last year:

Katie playing MAgic with her werewolves deck!

1. My first goal was to play harder and harder games and I think I did that. Magic is harder than Settlers of Catan and I’ve been playing Magic for a while now.
2.  My second goal was to learn to read while I’m playing games. I did pretty good on that too because I can read some words on Magic cards; like “creature”, “flying”, “deathtouch”, “wolf”,  “human”, “forest”, “rats” and “zombies”.
3. My third goal was to play 100 different games with my family. Well, we kept a list for a long time and I added it up to almost 100, like 70 or so.…and then I learned how to play Magic and that’s all I mostly want to play now! I think its ok that I didn’t get exactly 100 games, because I set a really high goal and at least I got to play a LOT of different games. Sometimes its fun to play games you already know, and Magic is the best game I’ve played in my life.

Katie’s Goals for 2012:

Damia, Sage of Stone! Katie's new Commander Deck

1. Play Magic 155 times! At least 6 of those times I want it to be Commander, because I have my own Commander deck now. Collect as much GOOD Magic cards as I can, like maybe 100 different cool ones. I want to get as many cards from Dark Ascension and Avacyn Restored as I can, because those are the new sets I know about for next year!!
2. Try 33 new board games, and 33 new video games. Because I never know if I might find a game I like even better than Magic!
3. Play “Just Dance” or another exercise game 5 times a week with my mom. I love exercise, YEAH! Playing a game while you exercise is even better! YEAH!!!

"Big-Boy-Three-Year-Old" Jack:

"I am Robo-Rally!"

While Jack happily chimed in last year, he doesn’t really understand the concept of “reflecting on past goals”.

I will say though that he played with lots of dice AND cards AND robots this year, and he especially enjoyed playing with RoboRally pieces.

We’ll call that a resounding success. And he wants you all to know he's 3 now!

Jack’s Goals for 2012:

1. Learn to play Mario Kart and play lots of Mario games. Also collect lots of Mario cards. And I want to beat Once Upon a Monster!
2. Ask to play games from the shelf, say “Pleeeeease”, then clean ‘um up so I can be allowed in the game room!
3. I have a dream I can play Magic with you. When I’m bigger. (Awwwwwww!!!!)

Randy's Goals from last year:
Randy blogging

1. My first goal was to play in a Pathfinder or D&D 3.5 campaign. I am very happy to say that this was successful, and I am now having a great time playing Pathfinder! My current character is here.
2. Another goal was to help Katie meet her goal of playing 100 different games. Well... we didn't hit 100, but we had a darn good time playing the 70 or so we did play. Maybe we would have gotten farther if the last one wasn't Magic: The Gathering!
3. My last goal was to get a game ready for publication. Not there yet, but I am  working on it. Here is a link to an interview of me.

 Randy's Gaming Goals for 2012: 

Gaming with Auntie Shannon
1. Play more games with family and friends!
2. Work on my painting skills, with the hope of someday becoming good enough to do alters. Alters are Magic cards that have been artistically enhanced, and seems like a fun way to enhance a favorite card. I don't expect to ever get to the level of the guys who do this professionally; maybe just enough to have some fun with our collection.

3. Blog more. Not just game reviews, but opinions on gaming, and aspects of the hobby that get me excited.

 Angie's Goals from last year:
I got a picture with Super Mario!!!

I already reflected on many of my challenges and the things I learned in 2011 in another post, so I will just pick one specific goal from last year to focus on.  We started out the year really strong with family game nights and I really enjoyed having a specific time set aside where we all four played games together, but we got distracted with OUTSIDE when summer came around and it’s definitely something I want to bring back. Family Game Night FTW*!
(*For The Win, apparently there is another use of those letters, but not from me!)

Angie’s Goals for 2012
I love seeing my kids play games together!

1. Make more time for family gaming, and really try to say “YES!” whenever the kids ask to play a game together.
 2. Blog! I’m going to try to post something or help the kids write and post something at least once a week.
3. Get together a semi-regular group for playing Magic. In a more general sense, this goal is really just about making time to play the games we love with people we enjoy spending time with!

We Want to Hear From You!!!

What are your goals for the upcoming year? What type of content would you like to see more of on this blog? As we work to find our groove for blogging we really want to take a moment to say thank you to our readers! We would love to know what YOU are thinking, and appreciate any comments or feedback. Until next time...

Game On 2.0 Video Game exhbiti at OMSI

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Twenty-Eleven: A Year in Retrospect

 by Angie
As I think about 2011, I have been reflecting on the things I’ve learned, and how I’ve changed and grown over the year. We started this blog in December 2010 and really got going strong in early 2011. However, we finished up the second half of the year with relatively few posts. We’re still playing games, and we have a lot of fun ideas for posts bouncing around, but they never seem to make it onto the blog. This is something we are hoping to remedy this year, and so we’ve identified what was keeping us from posting more frequently and are going to try to remedy those issues.
The first major issue is that I have been recovering from a head injury and related complications, which has made it hard for me to use the computer, read rulebooks, or write for more than a few minutes at a time. This has seriously impacted our gaming, blogging, and every other aspect of our lives. I’m on medical leave from my doctoral program and focusing on getting better and taking care of myself and my family. As I continue to work on recovering, I am hoping to begin posting more frequently again.
Lessons Learned
The second thing we’ve come to realize is that we love to blog about things spontaneously, whenever and about whatever ideas strike us. As our blog started getting followed and noticed more, we began receiving (and occasionally soliciting) review copies of games we were excited about. Turns out, reviewing games on any kind of schedule is just not for us. We love to talk about games we enjoy, and we are very grateful to receive games from companies and individuals, but we got overloaded very quickly with games to play, reviews to write, and stuff to keep up on. As review games rolled in, we tried all kinds of lists and systems to keep track of what needed to be played and written about… and it became very overwhelming for us. Kudos to the prolific reviewers out there, I never realized how much effort and consistency goes into providing high quality reviews regularly. Unfortunately for us, gaming started to feel a bit like working and when we had some free time instead of sitting down to play whatever seemed like fun at the time we’d look at the big list on the wall and sigh, many times electing to do something like watch TV over learning a new game. No one wants their reviews to be written by someone in that frame of mind, and we don’t want to feel compelled to “have to” play or write about anything specific… so our new policy is that we are not going to be “game reviewers”. We will likely still review games from time to time, but it will be because we are passionate and excited to do so. We’re very sorry to everyone who has sent us a game and not seen a post about it, there are a lot of great games out there and we have loved the opportunity to try new ones out, but we just can’t keep up with playing and reviewing games like "the pros" at this point in our lives.  
One Game to Rule Them Us All
The third factor that has influenced our lack of blogging is that we’ve become smitten with Magic: the Gathering again, and Katie has discovered a new passion. We’ve been playing and thinking about and talking about Magic more than any other game, but we are such casual kitchen table Magic players that we haven’t really felt that we’ve had many meaningful things to say on the subject. Well, we’re over that, and have decided to just share our love of Magic with you all for as long as it’s what we’re playing together as a family. We’re still going to talk about board games and video games, but why not throw Magic in the mix?

Katie's first game of Commander, 1/1/2012
Thanks to all of you who have hung in there with us this past year, and welcome to all the new readers out there. We’re just a family of gamers who love playing together and talking about our experiences. Our journey as bloggers has hit a few bumps through the year, but we’re still here and we’re glad you are too!