I’m James Tighe and I love games, in particular: Magic The Gathering, Warhammer 40k and X-Wing. The most important aspects of playing a game is to enjoy the game, to meet new people and most of all, to spend time with my kids; two boys aged 9 and 5 who are my most regular opponents.
I work full-time in Social Care and I don’t have time for ignorant people who take a game too seriously. If the person I’m playing is not pleasant, I simply walk away as I would rather be with my two sons.
It’s escapism. I’m not playing cards, rolling dice or measuring the movement of a model. I’m a pilot for Rouge Squadron, an Imperial Guardsman or a world-weary wizard on another adventure. Most of all, I am not a 41-year-old father with a Nerf gun in his hallway… I am a grizzled veteran Clone Trooper protecting two young Padawans.
I lose myself to fantasy and I become the character that I am playing. This is what gaming means to me.
I’m having fun playing Magic the Gathering at our local hobby store, Spellbound Games, and this is where my adventure in gaming begins:
I had a twenty year hiatus from gaming, but something drew me back to the hobby: MY SON, the reason for so many miniatures in our house. (or so I tell my wife). I decided to go to Spellbound Games and get some cases for my expanding miniature collection; the usual collection of old shoe boxes and biscuit tins weren’t cutting it anymore. My son and I walked into the shop and my senses were overwhelmed; a treasure trove for all things geek.
I had no idea that so many games existed and as I looked around, plucking out boxes, my son began to speak to the affable shopkeeper. Before I knew it, we became the proud owners of two new Magic the Gathering decks. (Free I hasted to add, another score for Spellbound and Magic!)
The rules flummoxed me, but after some perseverance, the internet and some friends who play the game, we managed to get there in the end. From this point on, my journey took many twists and turns, evolving into a household arms race of over powered decks; culminating in my first Friday Night Magic Tournament at Spellbound Games.
I lost my first round 2-0, followed by 2-1. It was at this point that my son gave me a hug and said:
“ I listened to your brain but heard nothing!” (cheers for the encouragement!)
“Why don’t I have a go?”
I give him the deck and he proceeded to crush my opponent in six turns.
“Can I ask why you are playing, and he’s not?”
Asked another player, to which I replied:
“It’s my money”
In round three, I won 2-0. When you do this, you get to keep the deck you built with the rarer cards going into a pot. Depending on your performance, you get to pick from the pot of 24 cards. By the time it gets to me, there is Mythic Rare card remaining and has a monetary value of £10 on Ebay. Instead of picking this card, I chose another worth £0.50; leaving everyone round my table incredulous.
Now here’s the crux of the tale: The card that I had picked, was a card I had in my deck. He had fought for me, died for me, yet the other card hadn’t. That expensive card was just that… a card. I wasn’t just doing math, I was making and creating spells while fighting for my life and he is a character that I have a history with and who I owe my loyalty to.
That’s how gaming is for me and this is an opinion that I will continue to express over the coming months. I will also review games, write about games and share some of the pearls of wisdom from my children. I will also write about how we manage to reduce the cost of our hobby and the lessons we learn from gaming and life in general.
I hope that you want to join us on our journey and I look forward to meeting you all.