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2014 TABLETOP DAY AT THE DAVIESS COUNTY MUSEUM, THE RESULTS ARE IN

OK, I have been a major slacker and not posted in a long time, letting fellow gamer Travis handle all of the duties with his excellent “After Action Reports”.  No excuses, consider me kicked out of Tokyo with no life points.  I’ll try to begin making restitution today with a few posts.

About two months ago I started checking the TableTop Game Day map to see what game stores in my area were going to be holding events, secretly wishing, hope against hope, that Legends, the closest game store to me, would pop up.  For about 2 weeks, the closest event was in Evansville, at Comic Quest.  Then Game Knight in Ferdinand popped up, closer but still not Legends.  Then on a Saturday I bring up the map, and there is a golden meeple hovering over Washington!  No way!  Inconceivable!  So I clicked on the meeple and it comes up the Daviess County Museum.  A museum?  A game store, a library, a community center I get, but how did a museum find out about TableTop Day?  So I read the info on the site and find out they are looking for games, they have a few but are looking for more.  To steal a phrase from Travis, “Now we’re cooking with butter!”, because I have a few games.

The following Tuesday I stop at the museum, just to make sure its not a mistake, and to offer my services and games to the cause.  I meet Ken Graber, the Assistant Director/Docent/Man of Many Hats (Travis later told me a Docent was a person who gives tours at a museum).  After a short discussion, I was “In Like Flint” . Ken is a big fan of the TableTop web series, and convinced Vince Sellers, Museum Director, this would be a good event to participate in. We exchanged e-mails and met several times over the next month, planning and introducing games to the team at the Daviess County Museum, Doug and Joe Burke, Sarah Roberts, and of course Vince and Ken.  Many thankless hours were spent playing games that would be available on TableTop Day to make sure we would be ready.  (At least that is what I tell my wife, how much work it was to get ready 🙂 )

We really didn’t know what to expect for turnout.  Flyers were put up in Washington and Vincennes, Ken had a couple of articles in the Washington Times Herald, and Vince  talked about TableTop Day on his video posts on YouTube and on the radio show Take 5 For Your Community on WAMW.  And I talked to anybody who would listen about the event.

TableTop game day came and the museum was ready.  Joe and Doug had eleven  tables with chairs set up, Ken had card holders on each table with description and information about the games, and the games were set up in all of their glory.  At noon Vince came down to check on us and the first game began.  The first game was all staff members, Joe, Sarah and new volunteer Kim Ridge started rolling dice in Zombie Dice.  Several shotgun blasts and brains eaten later, Joe was the winner.  He asked his usual question, “What do I get for winning, a million dollars?”  Alas, I had left my checkbook at home, so Joe had to settle for candy bars as his booty.

Overall, the stats for the day are as follows:

Attendees- 20  Seven staffers and thirteen visitors played games

Games Played- 25  Thirteen different games were played a total of twenty five times

Activity per Gamer- 3.8   76 total plays played by twenty gamers (ex: a gamer plays 4 games, activity per gamer would be 4.)

Fun- Countless   Many smiles were seen, numerous dice rolled, cards drawn, laughs heard, and such things as “Don’t touch my cards, you are cursing them!”, “I didn’t see that move!”, “I don’t want to die!”, “Not another Water Rising card!”, and the often heard “I win!”

Humility- One gamer reportedly played fifteen games and only won two, including losing six straight games of Hive.  This gamer shall remain nameless, but it is reported he ate a big dish of crow when he got home, served by his loving wife.  It is also rumored he brought all of the games he lost.

The Best News- Every attendee was told the museum wanted to hold a regular Gaming Event, possibly once a month.  If they were interested in participating, there was a sign up sheet they could put their contact information on.  EVERYONE who attended signed up with contact information.  More on this in another article.

So what’s the feeling about how it went?  Was it the dream of people milling around waiting for a game to end so they could start a new one, with all of the tables full? No.  Did some people come to the museum who hadn’t visited before?  Yes.  Did the event generate any new members for the Daviess County Historical Society?  Yes.  Did the event generate any new volunteers for the museum?  Yes.  Did Joe get his million dollar prize money?  No, I still can’t find my checkbook.  Did some previously unknown to each other gamers meet and make plans to game again?  Yes.  Is the museum going to have an event they can add to their calendar on a regular basis?  It looks that way.

That’s four yes’s, a no, an “Its never gonna happen, Joe’s going to figure out another way to get a million bucks”, and an “it looks that way.”  So I guess it depends on how you look at success.  If your an all or nothing, hare to the tortoise, go big or go home kinda guy, then it was not a success.  But if you are like me, a tortoise to the hare, something is better than nothing, I’ll get better at Hive kinda guy, it was a success.

Lao-tzu, an ancient philosopher once said, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”  We have taken that single step.

Great Gaming Gang!

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