Gaming with the Family

Hello world! I am Kori Joyce, husband, father, lifelong gamer and vice president of Green Mountain Gamers (GMG). In both the digital and tabletop gaming spaces I am known as “VermontGamer”. This started as a nickname, “Hey, Vermont, meet up at Melts tonight?” when working conventions. Then when I got into competitive KeyForge I was one of the few, if not only, Vermonters at many of the events. I needed an account to compete and I’m horrible with coming up with usernames.

Everything from board games, card and miniature games, to PC, console, and mobile gaming, I like gaming. Gaming is a big part of our family, my daughter has played board games with us and has recently shown interest in other games, which is super cool. My wife is very supportive and one of my favorite people to game with. My brother and I have been gaming since before we could hold NES controllers. We competed in chess when we were kids and started playing games like Magic the Gathering, Stratego, and Hero Quest in the early/mid 90’s. Over the years I have attended, competed, and worked/volunteered at conventions/events across the country; the gaming community has become an integral pillar in my life.

So, this Covid-19 thing, on one hand it has been a real bummer, but as with gaming, when your opponent catches you off guard you can either give up and surrender, or adapt and counter. Initially there was a huge void for me where gaming used to be. I had convention trips lined up, national and world tournaments that got cancelled, and plans to see friends that I only see a few times a year just dissolved with no sign of a rain date. When we had to make the painful decision to cancel GMG events, not only was I disappointed for myself, but also for our amazing community. At the end of the day we had to keep everyone’s safety as top priority.

I started seeing internet chatter here and there about Discord servers hosting online tournaments, companies running virtual conventions, and websites/applications that enabled digital board games. I got really excited about the opportunities. More time at home with my family while still being able to game and connect with my friends around the world, and it is way cheaper than hotel and airfare.
Here we are now, a few months in and I feel more connected and have more access to gaming opportunities than ever before. I have enjoyed delving back into video games, as well as playing card/board games on platforms like BoardGameArena, Tabletopia, Steam, VASSAL, mobile, etc. With tools like Discord, Slack, group phone calls, I am in calls with friends of mine across the country multiple times a week. It has been really nice getting to know convention friends on a more day to day level as well as meeting new people all the time.

So what’s next? First off, if you are struggling to find people to play games with, look me up. I am on most social media platforms as either Kori Joyce or VermontGamer. I am always looking for more people to game with. I may not always be available to personally play, and our game tastes may not align, but I can pass along suggestions that have worked for me. As for GMG, we continue to check in with the laws, ordinances, and suggested practices for our region to help guide our plans. We are still here and are optimistic that we will be able to do something in 2021. It may not look like it always has in the past, but we are researching our options for future “game days.”

Stay in touch, stay safe and I look forward to gaming with you all soon, in one form or another.