Snakes and Lattes Oh My! The board game effect

•April 22, 2012 • Leave a Comment

It’s Saturday evening and you’re preparing for a night out on the town with the usual suspects. Decisions like to what to wear, where to go and how much this whole night is going to set you back swirl inside your head. Wouldn’t it be nice to try something different for once?

It is time to reintroduce the board game night.

Before you scoff and think “yeah right maybe if I was 40” take a moment to consider the pros of hosting or attending a board game night.

It’s cheaper, there’s no traveling (if you are the host), it is something different and there is no hangover the next day (maybe).

Sean Jacquemain, a manager at the Bloor St. Snakes and Lattes Board Game Café, says that board games are popular because they provide a different form of bonding for people.

“I think board games are a response to the digital world that we live in. Everybody spends most of their day staring at a little glowing rectangle of some sort and board games give you a chance to interact with people,” Jacquemain said. “It’s a friendly competition but it’s a way to make a connection with people and spend some time with them in an analog sense.”

Snakes and Lattes opened a year and a half ago and is a coffee shop that also offers board games. Jacquemain says that board games are more of a culture in Europe and the owners, who are from France, decided to bring that culture to Canada with them because there was an opening in the market for it.

“There’s a gaming community in Toronto and we are sort of like a central hub for them in a way. New games come in and we can recommend them,” said Jacquemain. “This is a place to go to get an idea of what the new hot game is or what a good purchase is.”

Snakes and Lattes offers over 2,200 board games as well as the regular café fare. There is a cover charge of five dollars and after that people can come to the café and play as many board games for however long they like.

Although the majority of people visiting Snakes and Lattes come for the board games, Jacquemain says they have a great selection of coffee based drinks and food.

“We’ve got great coffee. We’ve got great food. We like to have a lot of vegetarian and vegan options. A lot of gluten-free. Adam, our general manager is a vegan and he’s also completely gluten-free,” he said.

Jacquemain says that the majority of people coming in and playing board games at the café are younger, between the ages of 15 and 35 years old.

He says the most popular games are Cards against Humanity for bigger groups, Dominion for strategy gamers and favourites such as, Monopoly, Jenga and Settlers of Catan.

Instead of deciding which overpriced bar or club to go to this weekend, consider throwing your own board game night and see where the games take you.

Extra Fun: TrImagey throwing your own board game night. Here’s how:

Invites:

Try to make your invitations clever by using playing cards and on the patterned side write the event info in a fancy pen or marker. Or use scrabble letters to spell out your event’s details on a regular sized invitation. Short on time? Try sending game night themed Evites.

Here’s a site to visit to get some ideas!

Decoration:

Decorate the walls with old vintage board games (root through grandma’s attic), make a banner out of monopoly money, playing cards, bingo cards…whatever you can think of. You could even use a twister mat as the table cloth for your gaming table. If you are planning on keeping it specific and playing only one game during the night, you could decorate your place in the theme of the game you are playing. For example, playing Scrabble all night? Try making place settings using scrabble letters to let people know where they should sit.

Snacks:

The trick here is to keep the food simple and easy to eat. Finger foods are the route to go here. Try things like veggies and dips, chips, spring rolls, bowls of bright coloured candies and of course, you can never go wrong with cupcakes. Try icing the cupcakes to look like dominoes or the playing pieces from whatever games you are playing.

Games:

Try to offer a variety of different types of games. A nice blend of strategy, trivia, luck, or team games will ensure that everyone in attendance will have a game they like. Depending on the number of guests, you might want to consider having multiple tables set up with different games running simultaneously so that no one’s left out. A word to the wise, make sure at least one person knows all the rules (well!) so they can teach the rest of the group the game. Nothing kills the mood of a game board party when people have to deliberate over the proper rules of the game and read the instructions for a long time.

Incentive:

To give your game night an extra dose of competitive spirit, try offering a trophy or prize to your guests for that extra motivation. Try scouting out a thrift store for a cool, unique item that won’t break the bank. If you are feeling flush, offer up a gift certificate to the winner.

Now time to get gaming!

My first Google Map

•October 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

This is my neighbourhood detailing the walk to my elementary school. Don’t stalk me please.

Also, this is a really sweet commercial I found hilarious as a kid.

•October 20, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Check out Gulpanag’s puppy love!

Word Cloudy

•October 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Check out my sweet word cloud…
Wordle: Occupy Wall St.

My Poll

•October 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment


click here to take my poll

Journey into the Abyss

•September 21, 2011 • 1 Comment

Welcome! I hope you are all excited to read about the wondrous world of Jackie. I know I am. That just sounded like I ripped that last comment off of the Wonderful World of Disney. Good show. Anyway, I digress. My online journalism class is currently learning the basics of HTML coding so we’ve been asked to post a piece of writing we’ve done in the past and put in some fancy hyperlinks and what not. Unfortunately, my computer was accidentally wiped out a few months ago by my father (with good intentions of course) so my writing repertoire is a bit grim I must admit. So without further ado, I give you an excerpt from an essay I wrote in university about Mother Teresa. Be gentle.

In August 1982, West Beirut is completely surrounded by Israelis intent on driving the Syrians out of Lebanon, the destruction is devastating and widespread and many hospitals have been destroyed in the bombings; meanwhile, a frail seventy-two year old nun prays for a ceasefire at the American Embassy. The very next day a ceasefire is declared and defying the concerned protests of various churchmen and government officials, Mother Teresa; crosses into West Beirut in a dramatic rescue mission to save approximately seventy-five mentally handicapped children abandoned in a hospital during the fighting. The courage this little nun displayed in the face of grave danger captured the hearts and imaginations of people everywhere, but by this time nothing less would have been expected from Mother Teresa. This is an example of Mother Teresa’s heroism undoubtedly; however, it is also an example of her rebellion; a rebellion against doubt, fear, and self-interest. Mother Teresa still serves as a symbol of hope and charity and is internationally beloved; and yet, during her lifetime she challenged modern views on charity, responsibility, equality, and love. Mother Teresa was beatified on October 19, 2003 by Pope John Paul II and during her lifetime she was repeatedly hailed as a living saint, she has not, however, often been called a rebel.

Labelling someone as a “rebel” is a difficult undertaking and one which is often subject to multiple interpretations, although the term itself does seem to have acquired some popular associations. The stereotypical rebel has often been viewed in a political context, as someone who fights against the established government or status quo, some famous examples being Ho Chi Minh, Ché Guevara, or Vladimir Lenin. Rebels throughout history have been adored and despised, often depending on the political views of their audiences, but is it possible to be universally beloved while still being considered a rebel? Does Mother Teresa’s international acceptance automatically negate her right to be labelled as a rebel? Mother Teresa can and should be considered a rebel because of her selfless approach to her life and work, her rejection of the importance of materiality which challenged the concept of Western superiority, her firm position on equality and political neutrality, and her adamant belief in every person’s right to life and love. Mother Teresa’s rebellious spirit can be summed up simply in her own words when she wrote, “Life is a challenge, meet it”.

So there you have it. My first venture into the mutual worlds of blogging and HTML. I hope you have learned something new about Mother Teresa or at least enjoyed my newly acquired linking skills…which wasn’t painstaking at all…

Thanks for reading and I’ll check in again soon, hopefully with something a little more interesting next time. Goodnight and Goodluck.