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Board Game Breakfast Segment #14: Snacks, Spills and Stains
Plays Well With Others
Updated: Thursday, Jul 10, 2014
Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise here, with a bonus segment for my recent series on running a gaming group. It’s like the series has an expansion!

Carl wrote and asked, “when playing, how do you handle food and beverages, and the ever looming threat of spills?” He continues, “Since most of the games we play come from my own collection, I’m a bit worried. I am not one of those people that seals their games in a shrine, but I would still like to be able to play them years from now.”

Excellent question. First off, at my game groups, we do snack while playing. True, there is the potential for spills, but everyone is usually very respectful and tries to be careful.

Yes, when we’re playing one of my games, I do get distracted sometimes, monitoring for spilled drinks and greasy fingers. But, I just have to remind myself that it's not really about the game, it's about the experiences we're having playing it. If I want to share a game, it's going to come with the risk of pieces being damaged, lost or spilled on.

It reminds me of a story that I'll share with you. I used to be involved in the comic book community in my state, and I'd attend a lot of the local comic conventions, where fans would bring their pristine, mint condition, sealed comics to the artists and writers for them to autograph. One time, a kid pulled a worn-out, wrinkled, well-read comic out of his bag to be signed. The artist took one look at it, and instead of signing it, he stood up, calling for everyone’s attention. Waving the comic in the air, he announced, "This! This is what a comic book is supposed to look like. They're meant to be read, not hidden away in a vault!"

I agree 100% with that statement when it comes to comics, and I agree with it 100% when it comes to board games too. Sure, if you're playing with an out-of-print collector's item, you probably want to do so in a snackless environment, and those you're playing with should be considerate enough to respect that. But otherwise, games are meant to be played, which means that some of them are going to get "battle scars". But each scar means that they've been played, and that's something to be proud of.
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