It was a wintry Saturday afternoon late last semester when an older man with a festive kilt, a snowy white beard and a friendly demeanor walked into a meeting of Bowdoin’s Board Game Club.
After chatting with several students, he asked if there was someone he could speak to about donating board games. The mysterious would-be-benefactor’s Brunswick apartment was apparently filled with several hundred games that were just gathering dust. How many games, he asked, could the club take?
Momentarily stunned, the club’s “Dungeon Master” Greg Koziol ’17 said that there was no limit.
“One might say the limit does not exist for how many board games Board Game Club is willing to accept from a donor,” said Koziol later.
A month later, several Board Game Club members went to the benefactor’s home to pick up the first donation installment: five boxes filled with a total of 86 games. This more than tripled the Club’s previous count of 39 separate board games.
The games ranged from classic to eclectic, among them Reefer City and TRUMP: the Game. The first is a 70s-era marijuana-themed race to evade the cops while the latter is a Monopoly rip-off with a gilded and gaudy board design.
Then there is Kosherland—a Candyland imitation game that guides children through the “Challah Mountains,” the “Hamentashen House” and the “Kiddush Wine Ocean” with the help of some anthropomorphic cartoon latkes.
The Club’s “King of Games” Bobby Choi ’17 recalled the excitement of opening the first game.
“Occasionally we like to get in touch with our constituents, so we went live on Facebook [to do] a live unboxing of the first game that was available and the first game was Tomagachi,” said Choi. “That sort of set the tone for the wonderment that would ensue.”
And that wonderment continues every Saturday afternoon from noon to 4 p.m. in the David Saul Smith Union Sail Room, complete with baked goods, over 100 games and the occasional kilted visitor.