LEADER: Pub games

This week, ToyNews' Rob Hutchins reports from a Christmas themed Board Game Club, an emerging hot bed of inventor relations.
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Never let it be said that the game inventor community is a dull one.

If you aren’t busy cooking up games in which players reveal the true depravity of their imaginations (we’re looking at you Cards Against Humanity/Bucket of Doom), or scenarios that will contort your body beyond recognition (delete those photos, In a Bind), then you are probably busy playing them.

In a nutshell, you inventor folk are an odd bunch. And thank heavens for it, because who else is going to force us to put on our best Hungarian accent to recite poetry (stand up Accentuate), or sell the benefits of Badger Glitter to an insomniac (take a bow, Snake Oil) all in the name of fun?

And if it’s a journey down the rabbit hole in to the weird and wonderful world of party gaming that you’re after, then you can't do much better than to start with Board Game Club.

They say there’s a fine line between genius and madness, and - run in partnership by Toyology’s Peter Jenkinson and Playtime PR’s Lesley Singleton - Board Game Club is where the two come to meet (we're not saying which is which).

While Professor Robert Winston would be rubbing his hands together at the sight of the human activity taking place in London’s The Jam Tree each month, for many of its patrons our hands are far too busy tentatively shoving sticks in to balloons or frantically scrabbling for false moustaches to care.

Because we are party gamers.

Last week Board Game Club held its first-ever festive frolic, titled Christmas Unwrapped, an evening of fine food, themed drinks, nauseating Christmas jumpers and importantly, good, honest fun.

But perhaps more striking than the knit wear on show this month, was the popularity that the event now enjoys, especially within the inventor community.

In a matter of months, Board Game Club has evolved from a gaggle of gaming enthusiasts, to a hot bed of games company execs, industry personalities and emerging inventor talent.

Here, social constraints are shrugged off for the sake of a fifteen-minute game of Who Put the Marmite in the Fridge? and marketing executives rub shoulders with the brains behind the latest Kickstarter successes, if only for a brief demo.

The arena has become a testing ground for new titles, a networking opportunity, a chance to talk to the guys that have made it, and moment to see what makes an audience laugh or enjoy a game and of course the setting in which to enjoy a few hours of unadulterated, silly fun.

So, scribble that idea for a game on the back of a beer mat, grab your prototype and head to the pub with it, because who knows who you might bump in to when you’re there.

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