Four friends on JET in Fukuoka launched a gaming group to let off some steam with fellow ALTs. Their members and 30-game selection both continue to grow and their next meeting is on Sep. 29 at the Hakata Civic Center. Everyone welcome to join!
Fukuoka Now chatted with Jake Snellgrove – one of the founders – to find out a little more about the club…
Hi Jake. How long has your group been running?
We’ve been meeting regularly since January of this year, so coming up on eight months now.
How and why did your group first form?
I want to say that it was after the Japanese Language Proficiency Test in December of 2012 that Juha first brought up the idea of getting a group together to blow off some steam and get some gaming done on Fukuoka JET Facebook page. I’d seriously been into gaming for about two years at that point, so I was up for getting together with other people and playing some games. I started looking for a dedicated board gaming group and couldn’t really find anything that wasn’t related to Warhammer 40k or other miniature war games and it just kind of grew from there.
Who are the founders?
Juha, myself, and our friends Dan and Nathan were the first four members.
Where and how often do you meet?
We have a regular bi-monthly meeting at the Hakata Civic Center, but we usually have something going on at somebody’s apartment about once a month if we have time.
How many games do you play each session?
It depends a lot on the games we play, but, on average we play anywhere between four and six.
How many members are currently in the club?
Well, we just had a turnover with some of the ALTs leaving, so we’re down to about six, but we talked with several interested people at the recent Fukuoka JET Interest Fair, so hopefully come the first meeting in September that number will be up to twice that.
What types of board games do you own and how many?
We have a little of everything, actually. From classics and more introductory games to some of the heavier stuff, if you’re looking for a specific type of game, we probably have something of that type to play. All told, I believe that we have around thirty games between Juha and I, and we are constantly getting new ones. I had to buy a second shelf to fit them all!
Personally, what’s your favorite game?
Pandemic, hands down. Working together to prevent a global outbreak of any one of four diseases is a nice change of pace from playing against the other players. It’s just your group versus the game, and there’s something pure and exciting about that.
Do you have any hopes for the future of the group?
All I want for the group is to introduce as many people as possible to joys and variety of the gaming hobby. If I can do that for one person, I can say it was time well spent.
Do you have a website?
No, but I am starting a mailing list and I usually announce the meetings about two months in advance on Facebook.
Your club name is the “Fukuoka ALT Board Game Group”… but is anyone welcome?
The name is becoming a misnomer in that it sounds much more exclusive than we are. Absolutely anyone is allowed to join and play games with us, regardless of whether you are foreign or Japanese, male or female, an ALT or an office worker. If you’re interested in gaming or just interested to come and try, you are welcome to join us.
Anything else you want to add?
The next meeting will be on September 29 at the Hakata Civic Center in Hakata-ku (it’s the same building as the Hakata Public Library) from 9 AM to 9 PM, but anyone is free to come and go as they please, even if it’s for just an hour or two.
►How to Join! Fukuoka ALT Board Game Group
If you’re interested in joining the the Fukuoka ALT Board Game Group mailing list or have any questions, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. More details on the upcoming event on Sep. 29 at the Hakata Civic Center can be found on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/488838594542825/ Everyone welcome!
FUKUOKA COMMUNITY CALL OUT
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Originally published in Fukuoka Now Magazine (fn177, Sep. 2013)