I was the only gamer geek in my family growing up. We played Monopoly, Clue, Risk, and so on, the staple games of the twentieth-century American experience, brought to you by Milton-Bradley, but my mother wasn’t a fan. She and my grandmother both tended more toward word games like Scrabble and card games, particularly Rummy variants. I became an avid Solitaire player early on. And we had an Atari, of course, then a Nintendo. So I was a gamer from an early age, but not a board gamer.
From high school and through college, I pretty much abandoned board games in favor of roleplaying games. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (2nd edition) at first, but eventually I became engrossed in the World of Darkness system from White Wolf Games (now published by Onyx Path Publishing).
Board games had completely fallen off my radar by the time I got out of college and began actively adulting. Board games, after all, were for kids, right? In the age of roleplaying games and video games, including an array of online roleplaying games, surely there was no way a board game could be nearly as engaging, nearly worth the time commitment to play it.
It was Betrayal at House on the Hill (Amazon) that dispelled that illusion, showing me what board gaming had become while I hadn’t been paying attention.