You are going to play a lot of games with your kids. Good ones and bad ones, long ones and short ones. Regardless of value or length of the game, you are creating fun memories for them and for you. One way you can help capture and record these memories is by journaling what you played, when you played it, who you played it with, and any additional thoughts you might consider recording for the ages.
Some Web sites give you the ability to record your game plays and additional details online. The best example of this is GeekDo/Board Game Geek who provide their users with a sophisticated database that keeps track of their game plays and all the extra details you can think of. While this might be very convenient for some, I have always found it to be impersonal. Yes, I am recording what I played and with whom, but all the information is contained in a place I have to be online to update or review. The online method works for a lot of people; I suggest you give it a try. For myself, I prefer a more personal and tactile approach to record keeping.
To be honest, I didn’t come up with the following idea. I read it online in one of the many forums I frequent. I don’t get any points for originality here. Still, great ideas should be shared.
The writer in the aforementioned forum suggested putting a sheet of paper in every game box you owned. On this sheet of paper you would write the date the game was played, who played it, and other details you think would be worth recording. I rather liked this idea, but didn’t care for keeping the record in the game box. I wanted to go back and review those records as a group and going through game boxes to do so didn’t appeal to me. I am a lazy man.
Instead, I keep a three-ring binder that has a sheet of paper for every game I own. Each game sheet has a place for the game title, the date the game was played, who the players where, and extra space for additional comments. I use the extra comment space to record new rule suggestions, congratulating who won, and recording any memorable quotes or fantastic game plays. And while all of this might seem like extra work, let me tell you why I am really exicted about this.
Imagine, if you will, that five years from now one of my three sons grabs this three-ring binder and goes through its pages. They come across a page for Candy Land and see that they played it about 30 times with their dad, mom, and brothers. They read the fun little quotes and details, remember playing the game, and smile. How cool is that? It’s very cool. Super cool.
Father Geek wants to give you a chance to start your own family game log. We can’t provide you with a three-ring binder or the three-ring punch, but we can provide a single game log sheet you can download and print thousands copies of. Just make sure you have Acrobat Reader on your computer because the document is in PDF format. To get the game log, simply click the ridiculously large arrow below. Look at the size of that thing!!!
You have the tools and we’ve given you the idea. Go forth and play your games, record the events, and review at a later time with the family. Don’t be surprised that the time you spend recording the game in detail is well spent. If you are a scrapbooker or deadly serious about your record keeping, you might also consider paper-clipping photos of you and the kids playing games or little side notes on stickies. There is simply no wrong way to go about it. Do what feels natural and run with it.
Do you have more ideas on how to record the games you play? Suggestions on ways to improve the game log? Fun and unique things you’ve added to make the process more personal and fun? We’d love to hear it! Share, won’t you? Leave a comment and let others know how you geek.