The Elephant In The Room: Will Covid Change Your Gaming?

Wallpaper 3D elephant

I’m here in Washington state which has had fairly tight regulations for gatherings.  We had an early shelter-in-place order, which led to a reasonably early shut down of our flagship game convention, Enfilade.  I have not gotten together to play a game since the end of February, and despite obvious yearnings and hopeful prayers, nobody I know is getting together to play a miniatures game.

Yes I’ve done some online gaming because . . . well, I just must.  I’ve painted until I can’t see straight-literally- I’m 64 and my very long hair hangs in my not so young eyes..  I haven’t played any solo board games only because my wife has become a full-time mask maker and taken over the entire dining room table.  That’s a lie, she’s become a part-time mask maker but she still has taken over the entire dining room table.

I’ve mostly avoided buying a pile of unpainted lead to add to my current pile of unpainted lead.  However I have invested mightily in my bunch of tiny ships.  No paint required.

But this is all a dodge.  This is Enfilade weekend. I’ve taken on more responsibility for next year’s convention and leadership in NHMGS.  We have an entire year to begin thinking about what that convention may look like.  The virus could still be with us even if a vaccine is available and could change everything. But we’ll deal with that later.

In theory, the state could begin opening up in a couple of weeks. Maybe you are in a state, a province or country that has already begun opening. Under phase 2, we could begin gaming in groups of five or less.  Game stores could open up.  Will you give attention to social distancing?  Run small games?  What about masks?

I ask because I don’t have the answers.  I’m anxious to get together with friends, none of whom are at high risk for infection.  But we are all exposed to those our friends are exposed to.  I have 87 year-old parents I like to visit.  I don’t want to put them at risk. Many of us have spouses who don’t need the germ.  Many of us are ourselves at risk due to age or contributing health factors.

I wish I had some new super cool thing to share with your or report. But rather than sharing some new toy or set of rules, this is real.  What will you do as the state enters Phase 2.  Game without worry or limits? Game with safety precautions? Temperature check at the door? Masks?  Wait for Phase 3?  What are your worries?  What can we agree on?

10 comments on “The Elephant In The Room: Will Covid Change Your Gaming?

  1. I’m relatively lucky. There’s just my wife and myself, and we managed to keep ourselves relatively isolated and occupied during the height of our restrictions, and can afford to be cautious but optimistic as things open up a little here in New South Wales.

    I’m not a big fan of painting, so haven’t really done any more than normal, but I am someone who plays small games, often easily played solo and I have a dedicated gaming space. So I’ve kept myself occupied with various gaming projects. I’ve missed my regular club-night, but as restrictions have eased a little it looks like thing might be starting up again on that front ready for when I feel comfortable enough about going out again to take advantage of it. Otherwise my wife is happy to game with me on at least that one night in order to keep the routine going (I am lucky that I have a wife who is happy gaming, so long as it’s nothing too complicated, or where she has to understand any history 🙂 )

  2. John Gee says:

    Well,the first thing I will do is come meet you and yours. Or have you come here,or something, whatever seems responsible. I’m a pretty social guy and this has been difficult, new to the area that I am but unable to meet anyone because of the SIP. I will probably push what’s allowed to the limit. Wow, a wife who games! Lucky guy Kaptain Kobold.

    • kgsmyth55 says:

      I am anxious to meet with you as well. I have no problem driving, but it might be nice to meet at the Panzer Depot in Kirkland, which is close to half way and is easier than trying to navigate to my place. David Sullivan could probably join us too. He lives close by, but is still working, but from home. I know this week the governor plans to announce his preparations for opening the state to Phase 2, so we should keep an eye on that.

  3. Pete S/ SP says:

    Will be interesting to see how it develops. Smaller games I think will still happen but the larger multiplayer events I like I doubt will happen until next year… all depends on the antibody test and herd immunity I think.



  4. Randy Miles says:

    Hi Kevin,
    Great comments about the virus.
    Really messed up everything this weekend.
    What I really miss is seeing people from other areas I see only at the Con.
    I have played games with some of them since 1982.
    That’s a long long time.
    None of us are getting any younger, many of us are in poor health.
    Hope we are all still around this time next year.
    Stay safe,

    • kgsmyth55 says:

      I can only agree with your feelings Randy. I really miss the convention this weekend and seeing you and the rest of the guys I only see once a year.

  5. David Sullivan says:

    I’m a “Damn the torpedoes” type. I’ll play unmasked at the soonest opportunity.

  6. Scott Williams says:

    The Olympia gaming group hasn’t had this discussion yet, but we need to- we typically get 6-8 showing up for a game, and some of us have fairly tight gaming areas. And most of us are in the high risk category, or have family members who are. I think it’s going to be some time before we can fully game, but maybe we can hold some smaller games.

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