Pendulous grey clouds loom ominously to the west. Today is not an outdoor day. Salvation is in the closet, where colorful boxes of boards, cards, and tokens beckon us into other worlds. Games pass the time, make us laugh, and strengthen bonds among loved ones. The Strong is proud to preserve the history of games and inventors. As I tend to do, I turn to television and find characters having a grand old time creating their own games, too. I don’t foresee them experiencing the same levels of success as their counterparts represented at the museum, but why don’t you decide?
Ben Wyatt of Parks and Recreation
The Cones of Dunshire
As an 18-year-old mayor, Ben developed an ambitious winter sports complex that bankrupted his town. At his bachelor party, he elected to play The Settlers of Catan over other forms of entertainment. When last left to his own devices, he buried himself in stop-motion animation. Finally, while unemployed, Ben unleashes his most epic creation: The Cones of Dunshire. The rules are so convoluted, the setting and cast so expansive, that Ben can’t figure out where to begin explaining them. His geeky delirium is charming. Parks and Rec trots out Ben’s game in later episodes to the delight of accountants and gamers alike, and a few dozen superfans will play a real-life demo tomorrow at Gen Con in Indianapolis. (If you’re there, Mayfair Games will be using a floor game with giant pieces, so it’s worth watching from the sidelines, even if you didn’t spring for one of the $100 tickets benefiting Indy’s Food Bank.)