Causeacon: Making an Impact with Desiree Christian

I think the Women’s Resource Center is an important charity since it provides shelter and counseling for not only women, but men and children too who suffer from domestic and sexual violence.

-Desiree Christian, talking about the Women’s Resource Center

I had the pleasure of speaking with Desiree about Causeacon, a charity based convention held in Beckley, West Virginia. The interview was conducted via email.

TheCharityBoardgamer: Can you tell us about yourself and how you got into the gaming hobby?

Desi: I’ve been playing games since I was a kid, starting with the classic SNES. I love all systems and game types as well as board games and D&D.

TheCharityBoardgamer: What has been a go-to game you have been playing a lot lately?

Desi: Lately my go-to games have been: Luigi’s Mansion 3 for Switch, Mario Kart Tour & Cookie Run for the phone and putting puzzles together.

Cosplay, games, guests and more and all for a good cause

TheCharityBoardgamer: Any designer that you have great respect for or a publisher that you have enjoyed?

Desi: As a music fan and musician myself, I’d like to give a shout out to my two favorite gaming composers: Yoko Shimomura & Nobuo Uematsu

TheCharityBoardgamer: Tell us about Causeacon. How did it get started?

Desi: My sister-in-law tagged me in a post on Facebook about someone wanting to start a convention in Beckley. I immediately sent emails back and forth with Dee Sizemore from the Women’s Resource Center and we met that night. I wanted to be involved since I have helped in different areas of other conventions before. She flat out asked me, “Do you want to run it?” and without hesitation, I said “Yes!” I found out later on that Causeacon was the brain-child of a parent who would take her kids to other conventions but wanted one that was closer to home (Libby Massey). That idea was brought to the WRC as a fundraising idea and 4 years later we’re still going strong.


TheCharityBoardgamer: Why is charity important to you?

Desi: I think the Women’s Resource Center is an important charity since it provides shelter and counseling for not only women, but men and children too who suffer from domestic and sexual violence. It gives those people a chance to get away from their abusers in a safe environment. I’m also an animal lover and support the humane society, they do good work there.

TheCharityBoardgamer: What is a way that we can help with the charity?

Desi: You can help out both the WRC just be attending Causeacon! All of the proceeds made at the convention from the ticket sales to selling merchandise are donated WRC. We also fundraise for Causeacon all year round, so attending any of our side events like Nerd Trivia Night and Late Night Gaming will also benefit WRC & Causeacon. We also host a Cosplay Dog Show at Causeacon where we dress the adoptable dogs from the Humane Society in costumes and walk them down the “cat-walk” in hopes that attendees would want to adopt some of the dogs.

TheCharityBoardgamer: What are some events or activities we can look forward to at Causeacon?

Desi: The most popular events would be the Cosplay Contest and our Otaku Bingo. We also host several video game and table top gaming tournaments as well as game shows all weekend including the Mario Party Game Show and Name That Video Game Tune. If you’re looking for something exciting, the Sleeping Samurai battle room, Nerf War and Galactic Rave is bound to get your heart racing. Then you can chill out at a more relaxing events like our Cosplay Ball and Zen Room where you can watch anime and read manga.

A father and daughter playing War Chest at the event

TheCharityBoardgamer: Where can we go to find more information about Causeacon?

Desi: We have a website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!
www.causeaccon.com or look up Causeacon on our other platforms. Facebook is a great place to find out about upcoming events we host all year.

All throughout the month of April, The Charity Boardgamer is donating 60% of its profits towards Causeacon and the efforts it is making for the WRC. You can click here to go to our Merch Store.

Reflecting on Extra Life with Amanda Jones

Over the years we still honor her, but we have greatly grown our cause as our friends have children of their own that have spent time at our local CMN Hospital… Seeing what impact the funds through Extra Life have done for children at my local CMN Hospital really helps.

-Amanda Lynn Jones, talking about Extra Life

We have had the pleasure of working with Amanda with Extra Life and the following interview was done over email.

The Charity Boardgamer: Amanda, can you tell us about yourself and how you got into the gaming hobby?

Amanda: Hello, I’m Amanda Jones.  A couple things about myself: I love softball and anything Virginia Tech. I’m originally from VA, go Hokies!  I’ve always like board games growing up. My first game I ever remember playing was Pretty Pretty Princess. 

I just recently got back into the hobby a little over 3 years ago when my local game store opened at the mall, Four Horsemen Comics & Gaming.  Now we have about 550 base games, and if you include expansions, we have over 750!  We have a bit of an addiction, gotta have them all. 

The Charity Boardgamer: What has been a go-to game you have been playing a lot lately?

Amanda: Oh man, my go to game, hmmm…. Ticket to Ride gets to the table a lot but also Mystic Vale.  Both are completely different games but oh so much fun to play.


The Charity Boardgamer: Any designer that you have great respect for or a publisher that you have enjoyed?

Amanda: I have followed Rather Dashing Games since the very beginning of the company.  One of the founders was on a tv show that I just loved Ghost Hunters and when he left the show I quickly became a fan of their games.  They have some simple games and then some dungeon crawl type games.  They are a lot of fun.I also really love Looney Labs.  I learned about them a few years ago through Extra Life.  They were one of the sponsors one year and I was able to get a couple of their games through it.  The games that I have played of theirs are a lot of fun.  My recent addition, Fluxx Marvel, is so much fun especially when the Groot card comes out. 


The Charity Boardgamer: Tell us about Extra Life.

Amanda: Sorry this is going to be a long answer. Extra Life began in 2008 in Orange, TX.    There was a little girl by the name of Victoria who is the reason behind the charity.  Unfortunately, she ended up passing away from cancer, but her legacy lives on through this organization.  You can learn more about her here.

Extra Life typically sets aside one day a year and holds a 24-hour (or 25 hours if it falls on daylight savings) event.  The best thing, you don’t have to do it that day or even for the full time.  You can even break it up and do two 12 hour days or four 6 hour days.  My team typically does an event once a quarter at our local game store and then does a big 24 hour event to wrap up the year on the nationally recognized game day.  

In 2010, Extra Life joined forces with Children’s Miracle Network hospitals and has grown through this partnership.  100% of the donations raised goes directly to the CMN Hospital that you sign up for.  In West Virginia our state only has one CMN recognized hospital, WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital which is located in Morgantown. Last year, I was able to raise personally over $1,500 dollars for my local CMN Hospital, and as a state we raised nearly $40,000 through the Extra Life program with about 383 registered participants.

Extra Life is similar to like hoops for heart or jump for heart. You sign up and say you are going to raise money through the program and then you ask your friends and family for donations, and companies may even sponsor you.  Then you just game to raise money.  You can play video games, role playing games and board games. Heck, you can even play Quidditch.  Whatever you classify as gaming, you can do it.  If you want to play baseball to raise money, go for it!  

Amanda went mad with Tower of Madness. All Hail Cthulhu!

The Charity Boardgamer: Why is charity/organization important to you?

Amanda: In all honesty, I got started nine years ago with my boyfriend as a way to honor the passing of his mother the previous year.  The first year we participated it fell during the month she was killed and we needed the distraction and wanted something to honor her that she also enjoyed.  She use to play Wii bowling a lot with Brian and I early on in our relationship.  She was a beast with it.  Brian registered that year and has participated the past nine years.  I finally jumped on the bandwagon and signed up two years later, and we have continued signing up each year.

Over the years we still honor her, but we have greatly grown our cause as our friends have children of their own that have spent time at our local CMN Hospital.  Thankfully it was nothing serious, just precautionary stuff.  Seeing what impact the funds through Extra Life have done for children at my local CMN Hospital really helps. 

One year the money went to NICU cameras and the families were given login information so when they unfortunately had to go back to work they could login and see their kids.  Another year they did a sorta Redbox that they kids can scan their hospital bands and check out video games or movies to enjoy.  The next few years the funds will be going to an education tv system that the kids can use to learn about their illnesses, since more often they are missing out on school so this is a way they can work on their education.  This will be a new system that will go along with the new tower that is currently in construction for the hospital.  It will house over 140 rooms. 

The cool thing about our CMN Hospital is a window that oversees our local Division 1 college football stadium for the WVU Mountaineers.  With this new tower, they are trying to create a mountaineer locker room on the top floor so kids can feel like they are in a locker room.  That will be a nice addition to the children’s hospital. Also, each hospital has a guild that represents that particular hospital.  Since West Virginia only has one registered CMN Hospital, our guild is WVU Children’s Extra Life Guild. 

The guild is structured with a leadership team that consists of our hospital representatives, a president (which I am currently holding for our state, setting up meetings for the entire state, a kickoff meeting to bring all Extra Lifers together to come up with goals for the year and be the face for the hospital with local companies and businesses), a vice president (that typically reaches out to local conventions in and around the state to set up appearances) and a secretary position (takes minutes for our meetings as well as being our book-keeper of conventions attended and what not).  The guild helps give information to the rest of the registered members in the state so they know what is being done with the hospital and sort of the in-between person if something comes up and needs help throughout the year.

The Charity Boardgamer: What is a way that we can help with the charity/organization?

Amanda: One way is to personally sign up at extra-life.org.  Even if you don’t raise anything, signing gets you emails with updates about what’s going on with the program and your local CMN Hospital.  Donating is always good.  Every little bit helps!  Spread the word about Extra Life.  When one person hears about it they tell others, and it will grow and impact more people.

The Charity Boardgamer: Where can we go to find more information about Extra Life?

Amanda: You can go onto www.extra-life.org to learn more about the program and to register.  Each hospital has their own Extra Life guild as well. West Virginia, only has one hospital so our state only has one guild, so check out WVU Children’s Extra Life on Facebook. 

You can see some of these crazy people April 25th at The Four Horsemen raising money for Extra Life.

 
The Charity Boardgamer: What were some things from 2019 that you enjoyed? What did you learn?

Amanda: Oh man something that I enjoyed from 2019, hmm, I really enjoyed going to larger conventions. I was able to attend Origins 2019 in Columbus, OH and PAX Unplugged in Philadelphia, PA through a board game organization I am a part of Double Exposure Envoy.  I got to demonstrate games from publishers for the convention attendees and it was so much fun presenting a game one after another to people that were genuinely interested in the game(s).  Through this, I was also able to talk about Extra Life with a number of companies that had never heard of it or have but did’t really know what all it actually was.  It was nice seeing the ins and outs of larger conventions.  It gave me ideas to help grow some of the events that my Extra Life team does throughout the year as well.


The Charity Boardgamer: What do you hope to accomplish this year?

Amanda: This year my personal goal is to raise $1,500 for Extra Life and I’m hoping that our state as a whole can meet or surpass our total from last year which was just shy of $40,000!  I’d also really like to attend Extra Life United which is a gaming convention for Extra Lifers to try and raise money for their local children’s hospital.  It also falls during the CMN Hospital week, where they gather the “Champions” of CMN Hospitals and do lectures on what impact CMN has been doing the past year and how it has grown.  It looks like it is a lot of fun.  Here is to hoping at least.

After this interview, Amanda was given the chance to go to Extra Life United. She will be representing all the children affected by WVU Medicine from April 7th-9th, raising money #forthekids! You also can donate to her 2020 campaign by clicking here.

Drawlab Entertainment’s Legendary Metal Coins Season 5: Preview

We were given samples of coins for the upcoming Kickstarter March 10th, 2020. This is not a paid preview. Our opinions are our own.

So we had the chance to look at the latest coins for the current Kickstarter for season five. Here are our thoughts:

  • The coins have a nice weight and feel to them. They feel like you are holding a thick coin similar to a nickel. I am pleased with the quality of what I’ve seen and would recommend these for upgrading one’s collection.
  • The textures and designs are unique and have some small details. This is especially true with the train coins as they made it a point to have the 1800’s represented in the trains designs, even the one point coin shaped to be a ticket.
  • The Elements have beautiful colors and I would like them for first player markers alone or could even use the death ones to mark anyone killed in a game of Werewolf.
  • Space has the variety of normal and sci-fi, from space buggies to aliens.

Link to the Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/drawlab/legendary-metal-coins-season-5

Real Women of Gaming: Talking about Three Events that are Making a Difference

Margot holding Baby Groot at You’re Not Alone

“Several of us are bullying and suicide survivors. We still face bullies as adults. Suicide is the second leading cause of death from 10 to 34. That is unacceptable and we want to do what we can to help in anyway possible.”

Margot Shenton, speaking about You’re Not Alone

I had the pleasure of speaking with Margot of Real Women of Gaming in January of 2020.

The Charity Boardgamer: Margot, thank you so much for meeting with me today. Tell us about yourself and what brought you into the board game hobby.

Margot: Thanks for having me. My husband introduced me to a few YouTube videos about some extra nerdy board games and we both fell in love with the idea of playing Betrayal at House on the Hill. It was out of print at the time but I watched for it and once it was out again got it for him for his birthday. I can’t even count the amount of times we’ve played it. 

The Charity Boardgamer: Did you do many board games when you were younger?

Margot: Honestly I have Complex PTSD so I don’t remember. I assume I played the typical board games that children do. I remember my father teaching me Chess and I think I owned Candy Land. 

The Charity Boardgamer: What have been some that you have enjoyed a lot lately? Any publisher or designer that is a go-to?

Margot: After Pax Unplugged in Philadelphia we have a plethora of new games. Recently I’ve greatly enjoyed Fire in the Library by Weird Giraffe Games and Crazier Eights: One Thousand & One Nights by James Gray. I don’t typically focus on the publishers or designers, at least not previously. I would gravitate towards games that captured my interest. However that has changed, if I love one I am sure I will love more. Oh, also Danger The Game by Origami Whale Games. Great party game. 

The Charity Boardgamer: Love Fire in the Library.

Margot: Amazing game, amazing designer. I got to meet Carla she is wonderful and I adore her. 

The Charity Boardgamer: Tell us about Real Women of Gaming. What brought this into fruition and what are some of the things that the organization does?

Margot: In 2013 I was surfing Facebook and looking for a page that I could interact with that represented gamer women like myself. At the time I was over 30, married and talking about a family. All the pages that I came across were hyper sexualized ‘girls’ OR a cacophony of men saying that there were no such thing as a gamer girl, only fake gamer girls existed. So I grabbed a couple of my friends and we started a page called Real Women of Gaming, to destroy Fake Gamer Girls. It kind of spiraled from there. We never planned to be more than a Facebook page but then we started a website with articles. Then YouTube, why not streaming, how about charity events too? So we tried it all!

Cosplayers making a difference for a good cause.

The Charity Boardgamer: That is what I wanted to talk with you about today: Charity. You have three major events coming up and we would love to hear more about them in detail. 

Margot: I love talking about our Charity events. Our first of the year is Be Someone’s Superhero. Planned for February 29th this year. Our team spends 12 hours relay streaming video games. Each streamer plays for about 2 hours before handing off to the next streamer and so on. I will be spending the day in Uncanny! Comics at the King of Prussia Mall (Largest Mall in the Country) in Pennsylvania for 11 hours with some cosplayers and talking to people who come in to raise funds there. This event is to raise money for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia via Extra Life. 

All set up for Be Someone’s Superhero at Uncanny! in King of Prussia Mall

The Charity Boardgamer: What is Extra Life for those who may not know about it?

Margot: Extra Life is an amazing foundation that partners gamers with hospitals to put all those hours of sheer dedication and streaming to good by helping them raise money. They have an amazing website that does almost everything for you. All you have to do is sign up and promote it. They take all the donations online via paypal, credit cards, etc. 100% goes to the hospital of your choosing. Since most of us live around here we chose CHOP. We’ve been doing this for over 5 years, have raised thousand. Won several Gold Medals (for raising over 1k in a year) and even won an award last year for being one of the Top 30 teams to raise money. 

Margot: CHOP is special to me because I have a 5 year old daughter and if anything happens to her there is a center right down the street. Also, we got to learn that all of our donations go to helping the kids while they are in the hospital. 7 weeks old or 17 years, the hospital is a hard place to be. Our donations help them with tablets, toys, gaming consoles, movies, actives, whatever the kids need to continue to be kids while in the hospital.

The Charity Boardgamer: Any video game that you are eager to play for the charity?

Margot: I won’t be playing video games for Be Someone’s Superhero. I get to explain what we are doing and Extra Life for 11 hours in a mall to pick up some extra donations. However, I am excited to watch them play Jackbox that night and see if we hit our goal. We have extra incentives this year beyond giving away games and such online. I think if we hit goal I have to eat hot sauce or a spider. I can’t remember. 

The Charity Boardgamer: A spider?!? That sounds amazing! What is your goal for that day?

Margot: No. LOL It’s a terrible idea but I get REALLY competitive when it comes to raising money for charity so I will pull out all the stops to hit our goals. I think we are hoping for at least 1k for the day tho 1.5k would make me really happy!

The Charity Boardgamer: For that stream, do you have a link for it? What platforms will we be able to watch it from?

Margot: We will be streaming on Twitch http://twitch.tv/realwomenofgaming only for this event. It will begin at 9am EST and run till about 9pm EST.

The Charity Boardgamer: Will there be a way to donate on the Twitch Stream?

Margot: Of course! Our amazing Gaia the Gamer Bot will be putting out the donation link for our Extra-Life often as well as our amazing Mods who will make sure that if asked for the link will be there.  https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.participant&participantID=402282#donate.

Rogue scouting out the prizes at You’re Not Alone

The Charity Boardgamer: That is awesome! So tell us about the next event after the 29th.

Margot: After that is You’re Not Alone, our biggest event of the year. Typically in July because that is our anniversary month of when RWoG was created. You’re Not Alone is our Anti Bullying Event. We’ve raised money for a few charities but have kept with PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center of the past few years. We aim to raise awareness of the growing epidemic and to tell people there is another side to being bullied. Several of us are bullying and suicide survivors. We still face bullies as adults. Suicide is the second leading cause of death from 10 to 34. That is unacceptable and we want to do what we can to help in anyway possible. If I had taken my life I wouldn’t have a warrior princess daughter, amazing husband, this wonderful organization & community. All of the friends that are my family nor any of the work that I do. We are taking all that pain that we went through and turning it into good. 

Margot: This is an 11 hour event. We will be in Uncanny! Comics in the King of Prussia Mall and streaming from the Mall. Our streamers will play game, we will have raffle items to help us raise more money. We’ve had Doomtown, Cards Against Humanity, Steve Jackson games all donate items to us in the past. Alone with more amazing people who send us everything from dice to hand made jewelry. It’s a humbling experience that makes me emotional every year to see these people put forth their work to help us. We’ve raised thousands and we hope to raise thousands more. Our date this year is not yet determined but we will start planning the moment that Be Someone’s Superhero is completed. Our goal for You’re Not Alone is also 1k but I’m always looking to go bigger. 

The Charity Boardgamer: Where could one go to learn more about You’re Not Alone?

Margot: You can keep tabs on all of our social media or check out  https://realwomenofgaming.com/youre-not-alone.

The Charity Boardgamer: Also, do you have a link for PACER’s if someone wanted to donate and learn more about them?

Margot: Of course!  https://www.pacer.org/bullying/

The Charity Boardgamer: So we have February and July. What’s after those events?

Margot: Oh Chris, than comes my FAVORITE EVENT! Charities & Champions! I grab a bunch of my internet friends with followings, youtubers, podcasts, comedians… and I make them sit in a room and play Dungeons and Dragons for 12 hours while we stream it! This year will be our 4th year and I AM SO EXCITED! We are raising money for CHOP through Extra Life and we create crazy incentives for the event. You can HELP or HURT the players with your donations! It is literally exhausting for us but so much fun at the same time. It’s 6 people hanging out playing something they absolutely love for charity! This is our Fall event. Sep/Oct depending on schedules. Last year we included special one shots that people could donate to get into and I’m hoping to take it a step further this year. Vel, our Dungeon Master for the L.O.S.T D&D Streaming show, who also happens to be my husband, will be running it again and I can’t wait to start pulling at people to come play.

The Charity Boardgamer: What is your go-to class in D&D? What are you thinking about being this year?

Margot: I’ve been playing for over 20 years and am currently in 3 games and run one in our discord server. I don’t know anymore. I play in every Charities and Champions. I’m the only constant lol so the first year I played a rogue I think, than a bad ass barbarian ( I am itching to play another one ) and in 2019 I played a Paladin. So maybe something magical this year? Who knows! Maybe I’ll get to play a Drow again or another Aasimar. There are so many amazing options. I tend to stay away from Clerics since that is my L.O.S.T character and that’s gone on for over 4 years now, however a Grave Cleric would be nice or maybe a Bard from the College of Nightmares. 

Taking a break during the livestream for Charities and Champions

The Charity Boardgamer: This sounds like it’s going to be a great year for you all. I cannot wait to hear more about these events as they come closer to their dates. Margot, It was a pleasure speaking with you today and I wish you success as you continue this work for great causes.

Margot: Thank you so much Chris for helping to get the word out about our amazing events! 

Reflecting on Extra Life 2019: An Interview with Joe Madigan

“The kids. It’s as simple as that. I have 3 of my own with one on the way. I want to know that if something were to happen to them, there would be amazing people out there supporting us in our time of need.”

-Joe Madigan, speaking on why he supports Extra Life.

I had the pleasure speaking with Joe Madigan on November 18th, 2019 about his experience running a charity event for Extra Life, an organization that helps Children’s Miracle Network.

The Charity Boardgamer: Joe, Thanks for talking with me today. Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into gaming.

Joe: I got into gaming as a young child with a pong system my dad brought home when I was about 6. After that, it was Atari, then NES through pretty much every system through my current PS4.

I didn’t really get into the board gaming hobby until about 9 years ago, with my introduction to my first hobby board game, Ghost Stories. I had never played anything like it before in my life; it was cooperative, and difficult, but a ton of fun. At that point, I instantly fell in love with the hobby, and I have my brothers to blame.

Since that point, I’ve been playing board games almost every week; trying new games and expanding my breadth of what I feel comfortable playing.

Now, I’m going to GenCon every year and have gotten my wife and daughters into the hobby as well. I love that I get to see their faces light up when figuring out strategies, especially ones that beat me.

Tables set and ready for the 24 hour event.

The Charity Boardgamer: That is a great feeling as a parent when the little ones have that sense of victory.What has been the go-to game with your family?

Joe: Can’t Stop is always a great game for the kidsWe also have started playing Stuffed Fables as a familyI think that is their favorite game right now. They really like the story aspect and the cooperative nature of the gameeveryone wins or loses as a teammy oldest is almost 10, so I’ve been trying to push her comfort zone with some more complex games

The Charity Boardgamer: Joe, tell me about Extra Life. What got you involved with the charity.

Joe: I first heard about Extra Life from my new neighbor, shortly after we moved into our current house. I was extremely interested by the premise of the charity. Gaming. As I mentioned early, I have been gaming my entire life and this charity felt like the perfect opportunity to do and share what I love to help children and families in need.

I have three beautiful girls and with another child on the way. I want to be able to help however I can. I want to be able to show my girls that you can do amazing things to help people in need, while still having fun.

Games, anyone?

The Charity Boardgamer: How many years have you been doing Extra Life?

Joe: This was my first year doing Extra Life. I had initially set a goal of fundraising $200 for the charity, but by leveraging some advice, I quickly re-set my goal for $500 and raised more than double that amount.

The Charity Boardgamer: Doubled the amount? That is great.How did you accomplish this? What were some of the things that made it a first year success?

Joe: It was great to see and more than I could have hoped for my first year raising money for Extra Life. I’m already looking at things I would change and do better to hopefully double that amount next year.

The Charity Boardgamer: What were some of the goals or incentives you had for those attending the event?What all did you have at the event?

Joe: There were two things that I had that I believe helped make the event successful. First, I was able to secure a grant from Thrivent Financial to provide food and drinks to everyone that attended. The participants donated what they wanted for eating and drinking and all that money went to Extra Life. The second thing I believe made the event successful, was the raffle. I was able to find some great deals on Mansions of Madness and The Game of Thrones Card Game and had a few more games donated by a couple game companies. Those two things alone created more than $600 in donations.

The one other thing that made it successful was I engaged our church to host the event. This gave us a great space to have multiple games going at the same time with no shortage of tables. I’ve already received feedback that they want to host the event again next year.

24 hours of fun while raising money for a good cause.

The Charity Boardgamer: Now, if I’m correct, Game Day for Extra Life is 24 hours. Did you do the full 24 hours?

Joe: I did do 24 hours. I started playing on Friday at midnight and played until after midnight on Saturday. There were 7 people that showed up right at midnight and we played 7th Continent and Just One. Everyone left around 3 am. I was by myself from then until 10 am playing Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Baseball Simulator on my SNES Classic.

The Charity Boardgamer: A Link to the Past is so good!

Joe: One of my all time favorites! That’s when people started to show up. We had about 50 or so different people throughout the day, maxing out around 25 in the afternoon. I thought the hardest part of staying awake was going to be that 4-5 am time period, but it was right around 9 am. Right before people started showing up. I think the anticipation made that part the worst.

The Charity Boardgamer: So did you do anything crazy for hitting your goal?

Joe: Not this year. We have baby #4 due any day now, and my wife didn’t want me to do anything crazy. We will be having family pictures done in a few weeks and wanted to ensure that I would look normal for the picturesAt least as normal as I can look.

Next year, all bets are off. Dyed hair, shaved beard, who knows?

The Charity Boardgamer: So tell me what was one thing that made this worth doing. Why should others support Extra Life?

Joe: The kids. It’s as simple as that. I have 3 of my own with one on the way. I want to know that if something were to happen to them, there would be amazing people out there supporting us in our time of need.

The Charity Boardgamer: Joe, Thanks again for telling us about your experience with Extra Life, and congratulations on the new baby on the way!

Joe: Thanks, Chris. I appreciate everything you do for the hobby and for charity.

To find out more about Extra Life, go to Extra Life’s Website. If you want to raise money for Extra Life, please do so. It is a great cause.

Joe and the Madigan family with their newest addition.

Exploding Kittens: This Place is About to Blow!

Game: Exploding Kittens

  • Publisher: Exploding Kittens
  • Designed by: Matt Inman, Elan Lee, Shane Small
  • Illustrated by: The Oatmeal
  • Ages 7+
  • 2-5 players, more with expansions and party version
  • 15 minutes

Kittens, Explosions and Cheetah Butt.

Yes. I said Cheetah Butt.

Exploding Kittens is a game that brought the art of The Oatmeal to life. In the game you are playing a game of chance, playing cards against each other and praying that the card you draw won’t be your last.

In the game you and your opponents are trying to avoid drawing the Exploding Kitten. During your turn you will have the chance to play any number of cards against your opponent. You also have chances to steal cards, look and alter the future, skip drawing cards and more. When you play actions there also may be NOPE cards to block an action. After playing your cards, you will draw a card. If it is an exploding kitten, you are eliminated, unless you have a defuse card in hand. That card can help you survive and place the kitten somewhere in the deck. (Note: NOPES cannot stop defuse or Exploding Kitten cards.)

When there is one player left standing, that person wins the glory of not being blown up.

Manatees are better looking with a Fabio haircut.
Components

There is something nice about seeing a fun card game. What makes the game an exciting experience is the images on the cards. There are so many cards and the artwork is hilarious. There also is flavor text on most of the cards to add to the humor of it all. The card quality is well made. We had a small spill in one game, and the cards that got wet dried out and didn’t lose shape.

Defuse Cards are your best friend. They could lead to you having a closer chance at winning.

Abigail: I like exploding kittens because you get to blow each other up and after try to avoid getting blown up yourself. I don’t like how some of the cards are really weird and kind of disturbing. I like how you have a chance with the diffused to put the exploding kittens back in the deck so that you can live a bit longer and continue playing. It’s not too long but it’s not too short so it makes for a good amount of playing. It’s definitely one of my favorites and I’d say buy it. Recommendation: BUY IT!

Beth: This game is just messed up. I can have fun playing it, but let’s be honest it’s disturbing. Seeing as that was most likely the intent of the creators I think they succeeded! It never fails to make us laugh and even to groan in a little bit of disgust. I would not say it’s for everyone, but it definitely has its place! Recommendation: Try it.

There is something magical about wearing the cone of shame. It’s a reminder to pay attention to others and to the game. Forget and pay the consequences.

Chris: Oh, I love this game. This was a gift that my sons gave to me as a belated Christmas gift. After playing this, we added the Imploding Kittens expansion and the Streaking Kittens pack. There is something so rewarding when you watch a friend or family member put on the cone of shame. It is hilarious! Recommendation: BUY IT!

Daniel: I like the exploding kittens because well it’s just a really fun game. I like all the different cards and I also like the see the future so you can know what’s coming next and I like the nope cards so you can cancel the other people’s like catermelons or hairy potato cats and stuff like that. And I like how there are several expansions that can make the game a lot more fun and funnier. And I like the picture of one of the exploding kittens it has a cat chewing on Dynamite. Recommendation: BUY IT!

Elijah: It’s fun. There’s a card that will allow you to alter the future five times. I like the streaking kitten that will allow you to hold one exploding kitten in your hand so if someone says a favor you know what you will give to them, an exploding kitten. One of them has a kitten who took over driving and running off of the cliff. Maybe Try it. Recommendation: Try it.

There is nothing better than stopping someone from doing some devious deed to you. Even more when they now have to draw that Kitten card on the top of the deck that you know about….bwahahahaha!
This is a fun elimination game that will make you laugh and smile as you look at the hilarious images and watch your friends and family explode.