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Share Your Hop Joy: The Finalists, Meet Jeremy!

HIya Larkies!

Today we are learning all about Jeremy! Hi, Jeremy!

For the last 15 years or so I have been an avid board gamer. We're not talking Monopoly here, but increasingly complex, brain-burning, and often enlightening and beautiful board games exploring history, economics, mythology, civilization, and more. Sometimes, a game night involves deep, strategic thinking and cutthroat competition with the other folks around the table, like when we play Hegemony or John Company. Other nights, it's all about trash talking and silly fun, like an evening of Wasteland Express Delivery Service or Cosmic Encounter. My hobby has taken me to game conventions around the country like Gen Con and Pax Unplugged, and for seven years I had the honor of cohosting a podcast, Blue Peg, Pink Peg, where all we did was talk about board games.  We were one of the first board game podcasts to have a woman host, and our content focused on relationships and families (not necessarily family games, but how games help us connect with our families and form found families with others). I play with my wife, my kids, my friends and neighbors. When we undertook a home renovation a few years ago, I had a game room built so that my home was a great place to host.

While it might sound like I am nerding out about cardboard and meeples, the truth is the experience of sitting around a table playing a game with friends really touches something much deeper. The experience taps into the almost primeval impulse to form community, to make bonds with people you care about around a shared experience. The games are great, and the work that goes into creating these experiences by designers and artists and production teams is not to be diminished. But the games are really just a means to an end, to being with people you care about and connecting with other human beings. I think these days where we describe social media followings as "communities" and have feelings of connection and friendship towards "influencers" whom we've never met, the act of gathering around a cardboard square, agreeing to abide by a set of rules, and moving pieces around the board while laughing and storytelling and teasing and, sometimes, winning, almost feels subversive.

My favorite games often change with the newest Kickstarter delivery, but some die-hards are Caverna, 51st State, Arkham Horror, Shadows of Brimstone, and Cosmic Encounter.  Some newer additions to the list are Hegemony and Darwin's Journey.  While not really a board game, we also LOVE Fiasco for some light GM-less roleplaying.

Other hobbies: Lots of sci-fi/fantasy reading (I've even read pretty much every book I am aware of based on a board game, and can't recommend any of them - though the treatment of The Thief in the novelization of Catan was particularly horrifying).  I'm a bicycle commuter and my job for many years was as a bicycle and sustainable transportation advocate, so I guess you could say biking in a suit (never bike shorts) is also a hobby.  Horror movies.  Video games .  But really, board games are the big one.

Thank you, Jeremy!

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