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Cardboard Children: Are You Socochaga?

Hello youse.

After last week’s epic column about that epic game Civilization, I’ve decided to do a little short one to get us prepared for the run-up to Christmas. Just a little tasty one. A little bite. A little yum-yum.

I’m going to write this column as a little stream of consciousness thing. No structure. No bells or whistles. Let’s see what pops out. Settle down with an espresso and enjoy.

  • Can you ever imagine having a relationship with a sexy girl you’ve met at a board game club? No, of course you can’t. But that’s not because sexy girls don’t play board games, it’s because you’re extremely unattractive.
  • For balance, here’s that same thought from the other angle. Ladies, can you ever imagine having a relationship with a sexy guy you’ve met at a board game club? No, of course you can’t. But that’s not because sexy guys don’t play board games, it’s because all the ones who do are paedophiles.
  • If Reiner Knizia invited you to a party, he’d have you doing sums all night.
  • Soylent Green/Red/Yellow/Blue/Black is Meeple.
  • That board game you’re getting for Christmas? You won’t play it until April.
  • When you get a big group of people together, play Werewolf. I recommend the Werewolves of Millers Hollow version of the game. People will think they are going to hate it, and then they will love it. If you don’t know what Werewolf is, it’s like that Mafia game people sometimes play on internet forums. Everybody closes their eyes, and Werewolves choose who to kill. And then, everyone opens their eyes and votes for who they want to hang. If you vote for someone who is secretly a Werewolf, they will form a coalition with David Cameron and fuck you over for five years.
  • Video gaming and computer gaming is so mainstream now that it isn’t cool anymore. Board gaming is what I would like to call “Social-Cool Charisma-Gaming”. That’s the new term. Or maybe “So-co-cha-ga”. SOCOCHAGA. Are you a socochaga? Please spread the word that I’ve invented the term “socochaga”. First photo I see of a girl wearing a SOCOCHAGA self-printed T-Shirt gets rewarded in some way. “Are you socochaga?!” I wonder how many celebrities are socochaga…
  • Cosmic Encounter is maybe the greatest game design of all time. “It’s not better than Chess!” Fuck you. Away to one of Knizia’s parties with you.
  • Hey, board game designers! Can’t one of you make a game that is a total commercial flop, is hated by the majority of people who play it, but someone like me can build a case for it being a work of art? Oh, someone already did? Cool, I’ll talk about that in the New Year.
  • Imagine you had to give a rules explanation before sex. You’d inevitably rush it, then once underway you’d miss an important mechanic, and leave feeling unsatisfied.
  • I bet Beyonce is a socochaga.
  • Hey, board game designers! It’s not a crime to ask us to roll a dice once in a while. If everyone had as much of an aversion to the possibility of bad luck as you guys, half of us wouldn’t have been born! Give us some knucklebones!
  • Here’s an idea. Pick up an old copy of HeroQuest from ebay, and put the board in a frame. Stick it on your wall. It’s attractive, and makes an interesting talking point for burglars.
  • Board gaming is like swinging, but without the sex. Couples can get together and release their tensions, by swapping partners and participating in activities that seem fun at the time, but create an awkward drive home in the car.
  • Socochaga is pronounced So-Co-Cha-Ga.
  • It’s disgusting to be writing a weekly column about board games, when there are so many people in the world who can’t even afford to fucking eat.
  • Look at the off-centre, ugly banner heading picture I made. That’s why I’m a writer and not a whatever the job name is for people who do banner heading pictures. And that last sentence is why I’m amazed I’m a writer.
  • There’s this game called Jungle Speed. It’s a card-matching game. It’s a wee bit like Snap! When you match cards with another player, you need to grab the “totem” from the middle of the table before they do. It’s a rubber thing that looks a bit like a dildo. When you’re drunk, it’s a great game to play. You’ll injure yourself, but you’ll be laughing while doing it. And, hey, bruises fade. Recommended.
  • I don’t think I like Carcassonne very much. Maybe some expansions will change my mind. But Settlers of Catan is still brilliant. A beautiful thing.
  • Found this horrifying “Fun game idea” online can you imagine how that would work with your family? “Is he an alcoholic?” “Did she have an affair with a bricklayer?” “Would you let him babysit your kid?” “Did she die suddenly last March?”
  • I’ve had a strange week. So sorry.
  • I found this thing online too. It’s a beautiful thing. I love it. Take a look. Look at the big love heart.
  • I would love to see a big miniatures and dice board game in mainstream toy shops and supermarkets again. We need something that could do for young people today what HeroQuest and Space Crusade did for us. Most kids probably think board games are shit, and it’s because the ones you find in Tesco ARE shit.
    Get a big sack of dice, as many as you can hold in your hands, and throw the fuckers. Bliss!
  • If you haven’t played Summoner Wars, you’re missing out on something special. You can even buy a hard playing board for it now, so there are LITERALLY NO NEGATIVES.
  • There should be a Grindr style app for the iphone that tells you how close you are to someone with an interest in board gaming. “THERE IS AN AGRICOLA PLAYER TWENTY METRES FROM YOU, HIDING IN SOME BUSHES.”
  • Chaka Khan is a Socochaga. A Chakhasocochaga.
  • If you like rolling dice, Formula D is worth looking into. It’s a car racing board game, and you have a dice for every gear in your gearbox. The dice get bigger as you move into higher gears, until you’re rolling a big boulder at top speed. It’s a game about choosing the right racing lines, and being in the right gear as you take corners, and it’s great. The components of the most recent Asmodee edition are beautiful, and it’s so easy to learn how to play. Everybody just “gets it”. I also think it’s important to have a nice variety of games in your collection, and a racing game is something different from the FARM OR FIGHT usual suspects. Try it.
  • Everybody suggests you visit boardgamegeek when you start getting into board games. Sure, it’s a great site. But it’s a bit biased towards Eurogames, and can be a bit snobbish. So make sure to visit here regularly, for balance. They’re all sick fucks, but they like to roll dice and tend to look for games that are “fun”. Shock horror!
  • Please tell me what board games you are getting for Christmas, so I can smile or scream in horror.
  • And follow me on Twitter, if you like. I’m @robertflorence on there. I talk about board games, games, telly and myself.
  • Are you socochaga?
  • Bye!
  • That’s it, bye!
  • No, you hang up.
  • Bye!

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Robert Florence

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