I went to PAX East for the first time this year and it was great. I am largely unaware of the video game business but PAX focuses on video games. My dad had an Atari, I had a Nintendo, I played Wii when it first came out and I played with a Kinect on a friend's Xbox years ago - but really I haven't used a controller (other than to navigate to Netflix) since the Nintendo. So running around PAX East playing video games was eye-opening. But this was also the first time that I had real life, non-work friends at a convention with me. Normally I am working, demo-ing games, having meetings - and I did all of that last month - but I was also able to meet up with my cousin to play video games and my friend, Matt, to go to panels. And the focus on video games made the tabletop area intimate. I played games from a bunch of other companies. It was just fun.
I went through the program book and circled all of the panels that I was interested in and showed them to Kristin & Andy (the Looneys of Looney Labs), to see if they wanted to attend anything. Andy saw Mike Selinker's panel, The 100 Games You Absolutely, Positively Must Know How to Play, and told me he thought he might have a game on the list so we went. It was exciting to hear everyone boo or cheer in reaction to each game revealed on the list... but I had only played 33 of the 100 games. And hearing Mike describe each of them felt like the list was a syllabus to an education in gaming. He explained that he hadn't tried to list the 100 best games or the 100 most fun games but rather the 100 games you really must play.
So I've decided to play through the list - as a way to play more, to learn about video games and to try more tabletop games. It's going to take years to get through the list but I'm excited to learn so many new games. I'll post my progress here along with some photos and Mike's pitch for the inclusion of the game. I'd love to hear what you think if you play along!