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On the Lighter Side Ė Lunch Time Gaming by John P.

There have been articles in Counter about introducing others to gaming and recently on the Internet there has been discussion of gaming at lunch.  Iíd like to share with you my experience of the combination of both topics.

 For years at work a group of 4-6 of us have been doing (American style) crossword puzzles at lunch.  Prior to that we had played Euchre, some Hearts and even a brief foray into Bridge.  One Friday last December I decided we needed to play games instead.  Since Iím the supplier of the crosswords, the others had no choice but to humor me.

 I think knowing the group of people you are introducing games to is the most important part in selecting a game to play.  I knew there would be good-natured complaining about the change of pace as well as no interest in sitting through a long-winded rules explanation by me.

So I chose Fluxx for this first game.  Now I know many of you are shaking your heads at that, but itís an ideal game for lunch.  The rules are always right in front of you, the game only lasts a few minutes, so anyone walking up can join in quickly and no one really minds losing since everything is pretty much out of your control.  Well it went down wonderfully, so much so that Fluxx Fridayís became the norm with crosswords the rest of the week.  Part one of the master plan was complete.

 It wasnít long however, before everyone realized the lack of control factor inherent in Fluxx.  Thatís when part two of the master plan springs into action.  Now everyone's asking for new and different games!  Since then weíve played 6 Nimmt, Drahtseilakt, Family Business, Formula Motor Racing, Frankís Zoo, Gargon, Knights, Lost Cities, Mamma Mia, Mystery Rummy: Rue Morgue, Nicht de Bohne, Ohne Furch und Adel, Plague & Pestilence, Rage, Take It Easy, The Shadowthief, Whereís Bobís Hat and even a 7 player Bohnanza. 

 Nowadays crosswords have gone by the wayside and there will be anywhere from 2 to 9 of us gathered in the break room eating lunch and playing games.  One of my coworkers has joined our gaming group (the Cincy Gamers, http://cincygamer.tripod.com).  Several others have purchased 6 Nimmt, Family Business, Formula Motor Racing, Frankís Zoo, Gargon, Lost Cities, Mamma Mia, Mystery Rummy: Rue Morgue, Nicht de Bohne, Plague & Pestilence, Rage, The Shadowthief and Bohnanza to play with their friends and family.  Darren even reported that his boys are playing the games instead of watching TV or playing video games, a rarity in todayís modern household.

 On the internet, other games (besides those above) mentioned for lunch time play include Big City, Carcassone, Draco & Co., Dragon's Gold, Don Pepe, Durch die Wüste, Five Crowns, Guillotine, Hare and Tortoise, Hornochsen, Ivanhoe, Metro, Modern Art, Pig Pile, San Marco, 
Settlers of Catan, Starship of Catan, Settlers Card Game, Space Walk,  Showmanager, Web of Power and Zero.  Obviously, some of these are only played by an experienced group, I know I couldnít teach and play most these in just an hour.

 Hopefully someday Iíll write about part three of the master plan, moving everyone from the card games to the board games!

This article originally appeared in issue 17 of Counter Magazine.