The Muskegon Area Gamers are a society. Like an society, we have our own customs. We’ve had some newer players become regular players over the past few months. To them, we must seem a bit strange with some of these rituals. It might be a good idea to flesh out what some of our broader customs are. With no further ado, I give you the traditions of the Muskegon Area Gamers.
1. The Gaming Annex
As a group of gamers, we have to meet somewhere to play. Since 2012, we’ve established a meeting place tradition.
We typically meet at a place called “The Gaming Annex”. So dubbed by Elder Jon who couldn’t believe we would rent our own gaming annex. A few weeks later, it was officially The Gaming Annex.
The Gaming Annex is a gaming clubhouse. From what I can gather, it’s the only of its type anywhere. We do not sell anything. We simply meet several times a week to play games.
The upside of having my own gaming clubhouse is that it’s a good place to go to play games. It’s a neutral area to meet new people and introduce them to the hobby. It’s also (almost) big enough to warehouse all our games.
Due to its uniqueness, many outsiders find The Gaming Annex a peculiarity. They cannot grock how we “stay in business” or why we “keep the hours” we do. I can sympathize with their confusion. Hopefully this blog post will be enlightening.
2. We keep a semi-active blog
Hello Citizens of the Internet. Captain Obvious here. I would like to inform you about the Muskegon Area Gamer’s blog. The good folks at MAG keep an active blog about their Sherman Boulevard shenanigans.
Guest bloggers are welcome. The only stipulation is the topic must be gaming related. If you would like to have your essay posted here, please send your blog to Old Pink, care of the Funny Farm, Chalfont. Or send your essay to me.
3. Our social media presence is impressive
But then, we are easily impressed.
The Muskegon Area Gamers have a facebook page that is fairly active. We have a twitter page, a wordpress blog (see #2 above) and a meet up page. An entry for our clubhouse, The Gaming Annex, is on Google and Yelp!
A google search for “board game” and “Muskegon” will show our domination of the 49441 zip code*.
*Hey! That’s bigger than the Principality of Monaco.
4. Dictator Nights
We struggled to decide what games to play. Tuesday night games would devolve into passive-aggressive sighs of non-gaming. Eventually a sub-optimal game would be reluctantly brought to the table and played.
We instituted a system to try to fix this. Our Dictator Nights were implemented about a year. When you are the dictator, you get to select the games that get played. When you are not the dictator, you play the game selected by the person who is the dictator.
The system could be smoother. But it’s better than before. But I can imagine to the outsider who looks at our calendar of events, this may seem strange. “What’s a dictator night?”
5. Gamer Tiers
It started out as a joke by Elder Jon. But it soon became apparent that attaching tiers to our gamers was needed.
When someone new joins the group, they are given the rank of Tier 3. This means they are probationary. They are getting to know us and we them. It’s a chance to see if they are a good fit for us and if we are a good gaming HQ for them.
After successful graduation from Tier 3, you move to Tier 2. Which is “full gamer”. It means you like our group. And our group at least tolerates you. It usually means you have board games as one of your favorite hobbies and not just something you dabble in.
Those who fail graduation are relegated to Tier 4. This means you’re banned. Don’t get banned.
What’s after Tier 2? That would
be the super secret cabal. A mystical level of gaming enlightenment known as Tier 1.
Oh no! I said too much. Elder Dusty will make me Cross the Desert for my blunder.
6. The 30 Game Gauntlet
We play lots of different games. I play 20 to 50 different titles in any given month. Because the Muskegon Area Gamer’s taste in games is so eclectic, we need new gamers with similar diversity.
To test the mettle of new players, we rigorously enforce the Unblinking Eye. To the less esoteric, this is a gauntlet of 30 new games. The probationary player will be taught 30 new games before he/she can play a game he/she already knows the rules to.
The rigorousness of our enforcement of the 30 Game Gauntlet is debatable. But it’s a good exercise to weed out weaker gamers. Acolyte Brandi graduated recently. And we’re glad to have her!
We play games three times a week [edited; thanks Dr. Steve]. We go to as many of the gaming conventions as humanly possible. We dismiss our spouses and families to meet at The Gaming Annex to play games.
And that’s not enough. Oh no.
We then rent a cabin in Ottawa County for a four day weekend. And we play games for 16 hours each of those days. Dubbed “CabinCon”, this get together is a greatly anticipated event. We nearly wet ourselves as June approaches.
The cabin we rent is large enough to accommodate 10 people comfortably. Invitations for CabinCon are usually given to our regular members only. But pictures and blogs about the festivities will undoubtedly find their way to this website.