When Nick was young he attended Drift Creek Camp for one week every summer. Each evening all of the children came together to play some large group game such as Capture-the-Flag. It was the highlight of the day. One year there was a new camp pastor who didn’t believe in competition. Instead of Capture-the-Flag he had the kids play co-operative games. For example, one evening the group took hold of the edges of a giant parachute and each kid got a turn to be in the middle, being tossed in the air by the others. The kids hated it. The new pastor was gone the next year and Capture-the-Flag was back.

I’ve begun to do research on games that Kris might enjoy. It’s difficult, though. I was under the impression that she enjoyed the games that we were playing. This isn’t the case; she wants games that are less competitive, where there’s less “screw your neighbor” type activity.

The greatest difficulty is that the games that I find most enjoyable feature a high level of player interaction. Without player interaction, a game is generally sheer luck. Admittedly this is not always the case. For example, Boggle has very little player interaction yet is based entirely on skill. Boggle might be a good option.

Dane suggested Baron Munchausen and Once Upon a Time, both story-telling games. These sound fun, actually, but I’m not sure how a group would like them, and I’m not sure how Mac and Pam would like them. (Mac and Pam are our primary game-playing partners, so it’s important to find games they’d like, too.)

I need to find games that feature either strong elements of player interaction or strong elements of skill, but not both. Most of the games I own feature both, and these are the games that are causing Kris such frustration. Luck and interaction, or skill and no interaction. Or something completely different. These are my choices.

Jeff and I had a good shouting match this morning. We started at the top of our lungs, swearing, each accusing the other of gross negligence in performing his duties here at Custom Box Service. By the end of the discussion we were talking calmly, trying to determine what we could do to make the other person happy. We’ve both been trying to be more diligent since February but feel the other is still slacking. Obviously we’re not paying attention to each other, giving proper credit for changed behavior. Now we’re going to each try to be more diligent and to be aware what the other person is doing.

The joys of a small family business…

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