Chess: Not Just a Game

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/224405146/CWTTG_SoundSlides_Chess_Story/soundslider.swf 

Special Thanks

I would like to thank Al Bond and Lynn Schober for there time and patience during the interviews. I would also like to thank Jadeco Hobby, Galaxy Comics Games & More, as well as the members of the Deviant Art Community for photographs.

Music:

“Gymnopedie No. 1” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Copyright Law & Fair Use Doctrine

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Inflation: Is it Affecting Traditional Gamers?

Meanwhile In Economics

Recently, in a New York Times article that outlines the current  inflation rate; which is at 1.2% and has been slowly rising like a sloth in the Amazonian jungle. 

The New York Times article stated, that the federal reserve has worked for decades to suppress inflation and that Janet Yellen, the presidential nominee to lead the Federal Reserve next year stated in the article that,”Rising prices help companies increase profits; rising wages help borrowers repay debts. Inflation also encourages people and businesses to borrow money and spend it more quickly.”

Current Inflation Rate

Current Inflation Rate

Experts also said in the article that low inflation is not good for the economy because very low inflation increases the risks of deflation. However the outcome for increasing profits for larger business entities.

In a Hobbyist’s Opinion

However, the price of a product is everything thing to anyone that is a hobbyists, both non-traditional and traditional, though raising the inflation rate could be damaging or beneficial to the hobbyist community. One has to understand that a majority of the products today are much more expense than what they used to be.

I asked Lynn Schober, an employee and particle owner at Jadeco Hobby shop in Stevens Point, for his opinion about the Federal Reserve raising the current inflation rate from 1.2% to 2%. He thought that it would be a not be a good idea and that it will probably impact the hobby. Schober has 45 years as a veteran hobbyist and he has seen the rise and fall of prices in the hobby industry.

“What used to be a $20 dollar model, is close to $60 now and the 1/32nd scale stuff, bigger planes and stuff like that are $150,” Schober said, “who can afford that?”

Schober states that prices of products in the scale hobby such as: military planes, trains and automobiles, as well as board games have gone up over the years. Making it very difficult for people in the traditional gaming hobby to buy certain models and games.

The price of this game is $84.25

The price of this game is $84.25

“We see a lot of people  that come and look and say, ‘Oh man, I love this, but its going to take me 6 months to be able to come up and buy this,” Schober said,  “I know a lot of our games, were people get together for a small gaming group and will pool their money to be able to buy a game, because they just cannot afford it.”

Halfway through interview with Schober, a couple had walked in and wanted to purchase a game called, Lord of the Rings Stratego, but did not have enough money to purchase. The price of the game was $100, due to its rarity. The intensity of the young couple’s gaze was similar to anyone who has ever wanted anything in their life. After brief exchange with the couple, Schober told them that he would go down to a more affordable price. The couple was relieved and then promptly left to return later with the money.

That orange sticker does not lie, it really says $100.

That orange sticker does not lie, it really says $100.

After witnessing this event, Schober stated that what had happened was perfect example of what was happening to hobbyist.

“If everyone had an extra $50 dollars in their pocket, I could make $1000 a day,” Schober said, “because people could come in and make the impulse buys. Impulse buying is down, way low. So yeah, it’s hurting us a lot.”

Game Night

What is a Game Night?

Game nights are the most important part of any traditional game club and family. This togetherness is the most important part in forming a community and brings people closer to one another. It is events like this that helps us make memorable moments with people we care about.

Game Night At The Museum 

Volunteers show parents and children how to play the multitude of games that night.

Volunteers show parents and children how to play the multitude of games that night.

Just this September, Galaxy Comics, Games & More, is sponsoring family game night at the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum, which takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.,  on the last Thursday of every month.

“This is a brand new thing for us, we had fun with it last time and had a pretty good turn out,” said Chris Randazzo, owner of Galaxy Comics in Stevens Point. “You never know with this sort of thing if you are going to spend the night playing games with each other or you are going to have twenty people.”

Randazzo also said that he that within a few months they will have a good turnout every time and is very enthusiastic about family game night. He sees this event as very important, because it help engage community members and helps in getting parents to familiarize with the fact that there are many family friendly games besides, Monopoly.

He also says that they are trying to show how many fun games are out there and that board games are beneficial.

“The great thing about board games as opposed to electronic games and I have nothing against electronic games, Randazzo said, “is there is so many beneficial things, not only to children, but really for anybody.”

According to Gwen Dewar, Ph.D from parentingscience.com, there are social benefits to board games. These benefits include, games teach lessons about getting along with others and that When kids play with older role models they can learn something else, too: How to win—and lose—with grace and good manners.

At about 5:40 p.m. parents and children startled trickling into the room and by 6 o’clock the game night was in full swing. Everyone was having a great time playing multitude of games like: Ticket to Ride, Forbidden Island, Castle Panic, Hiss, Duck Duck Bruce, Cardline, Hide & Eek and Catan Junior.

Raise the roof.

Raise the roof.

Cogitationes Populorum

I sat down at a table joined Scott Cherkauer, who was with his son Liam and Brandon Uhlig. We were playing Catan Junior for a better part of the hour. Scott Cherkauer said he and his family don’t play too many board games at home, but did play Monopoly and Sorry Slider.

Liam won at Catan Junior. Right Side: Brandon Uhlig and Scott Cherkauer. Left Side: Scott's Children

Liam won at Catan Junior.
Present in Photo: Brandon Uhlig and Scott Cherkauer and Scott’s Children

“We mostly play Monopoly and Sorry Sliders,” Cherkauer said,” but our biggest addiction at home is Minecraft.”

Scott Cherkauer thinks that games are important for kids too and thinks they are great for being able to think strategically, but says there are other ways to accomplish that and that not everybody needs to think strategically.

“There are other things that you have an interest in, Cherkauer said, the important part is making sure that you are honing in your children’s interest and getting them out to do stuff.”

Brandon Uhlig said that board games may not be that important, however they are fun and may useful when it comes to kids.”I think they are fun and they could be useful, Uhlig said, but not having them doesn’t hurt.”

Uhlig also agreed with the idea that families should play a board games once in awhile. “Any amount of family time is good,” Uhlig said, “as long as every body is involved and is having a good time.”