Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chillin' With Traditional Games

Throughout my time in Montreal, I have had the opportunity to find unique ways of spending time with my friends. This has been especially important during the winter months. Many of us have similar interests and love to play board games and card games. Because Montreal is such a diverse city, there are many small hobby shops where our favorite games are played. We have paid several visits to stores all over the city. Some of our favorites are Le Valet D'Coeur and Carta Magica. It's very rewarding to go and play games at these locations because it allows us to interact with the French speaking population in a unique way. 

 On our first trip to Carta Magica, Dustin played in a World of Warcraft Trading Card Game tournament

 Bryan plays Magic: The Gathering against a Québécois acquaintance

Bryan actually went on to win the tournament, taking home some incredible prizes

These games allow us to bridge any language barriers because the mechanics of the games are universally understood. In addition, the communities surrounding these games are generally very tight-knit yet open and it is very easy to get involved once you demonstrate an interest in the same subject matter.

Within our apartments, we love playing large board games that span several days. It gives us an excuse to meet and share time regularly. We relax and play and share time with one another. Our favorite games seem to be space empire building games that require a ton of strategic planning and politics. 

 You can almost feel the mind-numbing complexity

We enjoy these games so much that back-room dealings often become a part of the strategy as agreements and truces are called with our allies without the knowledge of the rest of the players. 

An uneasy intragalactic truce exists between these two leaders

 Warm smiles belie cunning political strategy

As the end-of-year workload begins to increase, I'm sure that we will switch to smaller games that offer brief, yet relaxing breaks from our course work.

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