Today a new acquaintance thanked me for the time and grueling effort I put into working with the mentally ill back in my days as a counselor (my first career before I got into IT). Nobody has ever acknowledged or thanked me for this before and I didn't realize how much I needed to hear that. The world of mental hospitals and physical restraints and Ativan and trying to help people who struggle with helping themselves is a horror story that I'll never forget. When I have bad days at work now (which is rare btw) I think back to what it was like working in those mental health facilities - scraping human feces off the walls, dealing with violent outbursts, or trying to comfort a little boy who was kept in a cage and fed nothing but dog food and table scraps till he was 9 - and I count my blessings. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who are dealing with mental illness as a patient, family member, or health service provider.
Here’s a story of a lovely lady (spoiler: it’s me) and her pride and how it has led to the discovery of the single greatest board game I have ever played. It’s probably also a good primer for other reviewers on increasing your reach. At GenCon this year, I was perusing the wares of the various booths and my eyes caught a glimpse of two beautiful game boxes. Each had crisp metallic lettering with an old world feel and artwork that radiated European class. I made my way to the booth and waited patiently to speak to to the team manning it as there were many buyers lined up to purchase the games. I didn’t know anything about the games (Brass Birmingham and Brass Lancashire), or the publisher – Roxley Game Laboratory – but I knew I wanted to review one or both of the games. Almost every board game love story I star in in can be summed up this way: I am seduced by the artwork or theme and then I stay for the right mechanics. When the lead rep spoke with me, he gently rejected my request. He