This is a post that I was meaning to write up a fortnight ago, as it was then that we had a family trip away for a gaming weekend. The event was a repeat of one from February last year (which I don’t think I wrote up for this blog) and was what has been dubbed “Big Barn Con”, a private mini-convention organised by a group of friends. We hired a large holiday cottage in the wilds of Shropshire, shared the catering duties between us, and then spent the weekend playing lots of games.
Miss B was really looking forward to the weekend, largely because she gets to share a room with the daughter of one of my oldest friends, and the two of them get on like a house on fire, which we are all very pleased about.
Games I played with Miss B included Push It, GemPacked Cards, One Night Ultimate Werewolf, and Love Letter, though she played a whole heap of other games when I wasn’t in the group. After a while it became apparent just how many games she was playing. We had a scoring system running where we recorded who came first, second and third in each game and points were awarded for placings, and these were totalled at the end of the weekend.
Anyway, the final scores were announced and… Miss B was the top ranked player! Prizes were awarded and Miss B was delighted to be presented with an electronic dinosaur kit, which she is absolutely delighted with.
So a very successful weekend for Miss B (and for me — I got to play some great games with great people too), so we’ll have to see if we can get another Big Barn Con organised for next year…
And we have received a third reply!
Before we get into that, though, I should probably relate Miss B’s third letter to Consumer Care at Hasbro UK:
“To Hasbro gaming,
“I have sent 2 letters complaining about the Star Wars Monopoly game. And twice, you have given me the same answer. I feel as if you’re not taking me seriously or even not reading my letters. I am NOT happy with the responses I am getting. In letter one I said how I would complain heavily if you didn’t give me a good answer. And I will keep my word.”
Those of the words of a hacked-off Star Wars fan. We sent that off, pretty much expecting to get exactly the same robo-reply as before, and I was preparing myself to escalate the communications somehow.
A short while later, what we received was:
“Thank you for contacting Hasbro UK Ltd.
“We would like to apologise if you feel that our previous responses were not satisfactory.
“As the Monopoly Star Wars game was released before the latest film, Rey was not included as we were unable to release details of key figures.
“Hasbro are producing Rey playing pieces that we will be sending out to all consumers that have purchased the version that did not include her. These will be available in the second half of 2016.
“Thank you for your understanding. We hope you and your family will continue to enjoy our products for many years to come.”
To my mind, this is a huge improvement, even though I really don’t buy the line about not being able to release details of characters, given that Finn and Kylo Ren are in the game; it is clearly just the fact that someone who was calling the shots thought the mix of characters in the set were the ones that would be most marketable. Still, my opinions aren’t important…
Miss B was happy with this reply and, having read that Hasbro are planning to provide Rey figures both in new copies and to existing customers, she figured that they were making a good effort to fix the mistake. She’s not sure if she’ll write again to thank them for the better reply, but I think I’ll encourage this.
And so we bring this little passage of events to what appears to be a close. If anyone from a large corporation happens to be reading this, it looks like the main take-away is that, if you get written to by an annoyed 9-year-old, the best approach is simply to write them a letter that actually addresses their concern at some level. Surely this isn’t rocket science.
But thank you, Hasbro, for getting it right in the end.
February was a very respectable month for gaming. My personal gaming actually featured playing at least one game every day of the month (though a few times it was solo gaming), but this blog isn’t about what I played. Miss B and I together logged a total of 27 plays, taken from 19 different titles. Not up to last year’s level, but not too far off.
The multiple plays for the month were led by Push It, a sort of tabletop bowls or curling, where you are trying to get wooden pucks as close as possible to a jack, which we played five times, over a couple of sessions. Then we had Boggle Flash on three plays; this is a bit of an anomaly here, being an electronic game, but it also feels like playing a physical tabletop game (you are moving things around on the table), just with smart components, so I’m counting it. Finally, last year’s champion, 6, and evergreen Timeline had two plays each. As last year, I’m counting all Timeline plays as the same game, regardless of which sets of cards we use; just for information, these plays were with the General Interest set.
It is, of course, way too early to see any patterns for the year, but I’ll just note that at this point, Push It and Wetland are leading the pack with five plays a piece, and only Tsuro and Welcome to the Dungeon have been played both months so far.