Jess: The Board Games For Troops Overseas Kickstarter, by Jeremiah Culp, is a project to create 3 board game libraries for soldiers stationed overseas, especially lower income, restricted service members who might not have access to other sources of entertainment.
This Kickstarter caught our eye because it was such a simple and wonderful idea. Board game libraries are a source of years of entertainment and provide people ways to connect. The Kickstarter had a small goal of $1,000 and with that money so many of our soldiers lives can be enriched by board gamey goodness. Jeremiah agreed to chat with us about the project to give a little more insight on how the campaign formed and why it is so important.
Jeremiah: I am originally from Des Moines, Iowa, and have been in the Marine Corps for 14 years. I first starting playing hobby board games around 2008 when my wife purchased the Carcassonne Big Box for me for Christmas. I had stumbled into a game shop at one of the malls, saw the game, and immediately told my wife I needed the game! Since then, I have slowly grew my own library to nearly 80 games.
Jeremiah: My wife might say I am a little addicted to games, however I call it a really strong interest. So, when I first arrived on Okinawa, I began looking for gaming groups. It was fairly easy to to find the Magic: The Gathering group, and the RPG group, but I struggled to find one that exclusively played board games. So, I thought, why not create one. That was the beginning. I soon morphed that idea into supporting the junior troops here on the island. I was stationed here once before in 2004 and at the time was a junior enlisted Marine. Entertainment was hard to come by because my income was low, I wasn’t allowed to own a car, and cab fares are expensive. I spent a lot of my time either in my barracks, or in the gym. So I paired the idea of a gaming group with the limited resource of the junior troops and decided to try and create a gaming library that troops could enjoy with or without me.
Jeremiah: I think board games provide a way for troops to flex their minds whilst still providing a means of entertainment. Board Games are much more social than video games in that you much sit around the same table and interact directly with one another. Board Games are not something that is currently readily available and since I already have a personal interest in them, I figured it would be something I could easily host.
Jeremiah: The goal here is to provide the greatest variation of games as possible. So we will have gateway games such as Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne but will also include more in-depth games such as Twilight Struggle. Specifically, the funds generated from the Kickstarter will be to buy current popular titles that have been released within the past 24 months in order to keep up with the industry. I have a few publishers that have sent me games directly and these games tend to be older titles that have stood the test of time. But if new gamers start looking into the hobby, it will be the new titles they see most, and that is what I want to provide to them in order to get and keep their interest.
Jeremiah: Personally, I most enjoy abstract strategy games, they are very reminiscent of the types of games I played with my dad as a kid. However, I have 4 daughters that also really enjoy games, so I find myself playing a lot of games that are age appropriate for them. Some of their favorites are King of Tokyo, Rampage (Terror in Meeple City), and Survive, Escape from Atlantis.
Thanks again to Jeremiah. We here at Gameosity think this is a fantastic project (of course, we might be a little biased seeing as we love games so much and have family in the service). Board games help gather in groups and face each other to cooperate or challenge ourselves against one another, but in the end they create safe social situations to engage others, make friendships, and enhance our lives.
If you would like to contribute to his awesome project, please go to the Board Games For Troops Overseas Kickstarter page. It has currently met its goal, but we can make this a superstar success! Pledge a few bucks and know you are supporting our troops.