Minecraft, Board Games, and Other Surprises at SXSW Gaming Expo

Last year, I attended the SXSW Gaming Expo, part of the SXSW Interactive conference. It was a lot of fun, and I even got a Minecraft T-shirt! If you missed out on last year’s festivities, no worries, because the SXSW Interactive, Film, and Music events will be back in Austin this March 8-17, with the SXSW Gaming Expo taking place from March 8-10.

Red 5 Studios at SXSW Gaming Expo 2012

Red 5 Studios at SXSW Gaming Expo 2012

You’d think that the SXSW Gaming Expo would just be video games, but one of the nice surprise activities I got to participate in was playing the Settlers of Catan – card game. This is a card version of the customizable Settlers of Catan – board game that has tile hexes and lots of pieces. One of the pros is that the card game can be played much quicker than the board game. The card game can run about 20 minutes but the board game can run about 2 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, the board game is great, but if you don’t have a lot of time to spare, it’s fun to be able to play a quick card game. The people demoing the game were very cheerful and helpful in teaching you how to play. I hope Mayfair Games will be back this year!

Playing Settlers of Catan Card Game at SXSW Gaming Expo 2012

Playing Settlers of Catan Card Game at SXSW Gaming Expo 2012

Last weekend, I played Kingdom Builder, which was a good board game. Depending on the victory conditions, it’s usually better to be spread your settlements out over the map and not just in one area. I liked playing the Dominion card game better since it’s more complex and has more strategy. Did you know that both games were created by the same designer, Donald X. Vaccarino?

I also played Samurai Sword, which is another hidden identity card game by the makers of Bang! I like the Japanese theme of Samurai Sword, but the mechanics of the classic western theme of Bang! is the best, especially since you have the risk of getting knocked out of the game. Both games are great with a lot of people.

Trying out one of the many game demos at SXSW Gaming Expo 2012

Trying out one of the many game demos at SXSW Gaming Expo 2012

There were lots of cool video games. Some were multiplayer games where many computers were all connected to each other so that you could play with and against other people. And the best part? I won one of the multiplayer games and was given a gift card! And how did I win? I was great at hiding! 😉

This year, there will be more fun video and board game demos along with the SXSW Gaming GEEK Stage, where Marvel Entertainment and Mojang will be presenting.  (Marvel heroes were a great inspiration for my Amazing Invasive Hunter Man and Native Plant Avengers videos, part of my Battles with Invasive Species video series. I also had a great time mapping invasive species at SXSW Eco last year.)

I hope to see you at the SXSW Gaming Expo in March!

Your friend,
Ben

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Filed under Bang!, Board games, Dominion, Kingdom Builder, Marvel Entertainment, Mayfair Games, Minecraft, Mojang, Samurai Sword, Settlers of Catan, SXSW, SXSW Gaming Expo, SXSW Interactive

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