When Games Welcome Us Home: A Reluctant Pilgrimage, a Warm Welcome, Fair Verona, and the Superstition Mountains

Here I am in deliciously dry Arizona, state of my birth, where it’s hot as hell, but at least you can’t drink the air. Some may remember that I was coming out here to accompany my sister in saying good-bye to our father, who is in end-stage cancer. It’s a rough week for me, because he’s not so much Daddy Dearest to me, but my sister needs me, so here I am, having been away 25 years, since I was 10.

All of that having been said, my sister is also amazing, and is determined that we hit every worthwhile game store in the area while we are here. We hit a terrible one last night. (At least, it was terrible for board games. Probably great if you want to go and play MtG until late every night.) Today, though, we hit paydirt. We found The Game Depot, in Tempe, which has been there 34 years, and the owner was this absolutely fantastic lady, with whom we talked at length.

I spotted Council of Verona, which I’d been very interested in, near the register, and plopped that right on my pile. She offered me two expansions, as gifts, because she said the owner of the company, Crash Games comes in regularly and gives them to her, and that he’s this great guy, and Oh have I seen his other game? So she showed me back to a game called The Lost Dutchman, which she was also offering me an expansion for, and a discount, since we had come so far to revisit the land of our birth, and this game is actually set in the mountains surrounding the valley where I grew up. So there you have it. I own that now.

I got a couple of other things, too, but it’s these games from an Arizona company, one of them actually about Arizona, that are occupying my mind. I have never gotten a game, or even an expansion, because I went to game’s place of origin. And to do so on this trip, when I haven’t been back to this place for 25 years, since I was a kid, at a time when I need comfort more than ever, sort of feels like my homeland giving me a special little assist. The whole visit to the game store made the rest of the day hugely much easier, and hopefully will keep on boosting the old morale tomorrow as well.

Whatever else happens on this trip, I think that every time I play these games, even the Verona one, I will feel the sense of reconnection I am feeling as I move around in this world again. At least, I hope so.

The ignorant say the desert is dead!


About Suzanna

Suzanna's passions are gaming, dogs, and writing. She also loves reading, travel, and cranberry juice. Above all else, she would have it be said that she is compassionate, funny, and too clever by half.
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One Response to When Games Welcome Us Home: A Reluctant Pilgrimage, a Warm Welcome, Fair Verona, and the Superstition Mountains

  1. Dan says:

    I’m sorry about your dad. These things can often leave us with complex feelings that are difficult to untangle.

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