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Title: Keller group finds low-tech games to be fun, challenging

Source: The Keller Citizen, March 16th, 2010

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Keller group finds low-tech games to be fun, challenging
Posted Tuesday, Mar. 16, 2010

In the world of video gaming, tabletop games still rule for one Keller organization.

The Tabletop Gaming Club has been going strong for six years, said Terrence Rideau, club founder.

"I originally started the club because of my 30-plus-year love of tabletop games and a desire to share them with people in this digital age," he said. "I am not much on computer or console games and I believe that tabletop games help with interpersonal skill as well as having other skill benefits."

The organization originally started with De Bellis Antiquitatis [DBA], which is a set of fast-play rules for ancient and medieval war gaming using miniature figures played on a 2-ft. by 2-ft. board, Rideau, said.

"Due to the growing number of members and my limited number of DBA miniatures, I began to introduce other games," he said.

The club began playing other board games like Doom, Bootleggers, Blood Feud in New York and Beowulf: The Legend and card games such as Bang, Munchkin and Lord of the Rings.

Each week the gamers gather at the Keller Library with games and miniature figurines in tow and spend about 30 minutes setting up the various games they will play that day.

"Our group is aged from about 12 to adults, but playing really depends on the aptitude of the individual," Rideau said. He added that the club has had games geared for kids under 12 as well.

"We have some members that are home-schooled and this forum seems to be perfect for them as it allows their kids to interact with others," said Rideau.

The group also plays role-playing games, which include Risus and Brick Quest and miniature games like Star Wars Miniatures and The Western Game.

The Western Game was created by 17-year-old Adam Vera, said Rideau.

"He has really taken to gaming," Rideau said. "He began creating new games for us to play by altering existing games or changing the settings."

Vera, who is home-schooled, has been a member for three years.

"It is just what I enjoy to do, so doing it with everybody else just makes it more fun," he said. "It is a great hobby. It's a lot like video games with the stress relieving, but it also builds strategy and it teaches fair play like any activity."

When asked if he liked video games, Vera said yes, but not as much as tabletop gaming.

"I used to do them a lot, but they weren't very creative and often they kind of worked me up, so I found this does the opposite. ... It is much more satisfying in the end," he said.

And if you're looking for a mental challenge, tabletop games are where you will find it, said Vera.

"Sometimes video games rely more on reflexes, these actually rely on strategy and making choices -- so they really are more in depth," he said.

Adam isn't the only one in the Vera household who loves gaming either.

"We are the booster club," said his sister, Danielle, 15. "We pre-run the games at home as a family, so that he gets ready to run them at the club, so he knows all of the quirks and the questions the people will ask."

It is a good way to spend some quality family time said Adam's mother, Paula.

"We play a couple of times a week to get him ready and then the club meets once a week," she said.

The club currently meets at the Keller Public Library, 640 Johnson Road, every Wednesday from 5 to 7:30 p.m.

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