I’ve always really loved games. From playing Yahtzee with my family at holidays to staying up late and playing Uno with friends in the study lounge at college, I always found ways to make it much more of my experience. That being said, my transition into hobby board gaming actually took a little bit of time.
I was actually into video games a lot more than I am now. I was born in 1985 – which is totally the year that the original Nintendo came to the United States. My mom was young, so we had a Nintendo in the house from the beginning. I loved playing games on that and any other game system that I could get my hands on as well. I am still a very firm believer that one of the best video games to have ever been developed is Super Mario Brothers 3.
Anyhow, we played board games at family gatherings, which was a lot of fun and made socializing with my family much easier for me. I’ve always been a little odd and awkward – as I grew older, I found out that this was because of a disorder known as social anxiety disorder. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my 20’s, but it affected my life for a very long time before that.
That’s why board games were so popular with me when I was in college. I always had a deck of cards or something else with me so that I could play games while talking and socializing with people. College is where I learned games like Catan, Munchkin, and a variety of others.
When I got out of the college scene, I became a lot more secluded because my social anxiety was getting worse, and after losing my mom in 2010, I basically became a hermit other than going to church. Let me tell you, my social anxiety was a big part of why I played video games. I was a devoted World of Warcraft player for a long time – my main is still a dwarf warrior named Faridoon. I used to raid and do all of that – it was my social outlet and there are a lot of things that I got out of playing. I made a lot of great friends and got to keep in touch with my best friend, Gretel, and her hubby, Brad, who lived a couple hours away at that time (now it’s more like 3 hours).
When I would visit Gretel and Brad every couple of months, they started introducing me to other hobby games. Ticket to Ride was my next one. Then they started adding in Hanabi and other games. I was hooked.
As I grew older, I became known for always having a bunch of games on hand at church stuff. I switched churches in 2013, and started getting treated for my social anxiety around the same time, which lead to me becoming a lot more social – and that’s when board games really became part of my life.
Now, I live with my partner Sarah in Virginia, and we regularly listen to podcasts and watch a lot of YouTube videos related to board gaming (we love The Dice Tower and the podcasts in their network- they are one of our main information sources). The hobby is a big part of our lives and we regularly hang out with people from our church to play games as well. We currently own around 100 games (including a handful of expansions) and we’re always adding more. I love going on Kickstarter and backing things as well.
And that’s how we got to this point. I’m The Fluffy Meeple (represented by a fluffy yellow meeple pillow) because I love all things furry, soft, and fluffy and I always play yellow if it’s an available color for me to play. You can learn how Open Seat Gaming came to be by clicking the link, and we hope you stick around the site to see what Scott, myself, and our contributors have in store for you!
Marti – The Fluffy Meeple