Photo Blogging Challenge – Games (January 2015)

The host of this monthly photo challenge loves games, including board games and outdoor games (like disc golf and geocaching). So ever since the challenge started back in 2013, I’ve been expecting the theme of games to come up at some point. Games include sports and athletic activities, board games, computer games, recreational activities and all sorts of competitions, which means it’s quite a broad theme. I hope it encouraged a few more people to join our small group of dedicated participants.

I came up with seven ideas at the start of the month and managed to photograph all but one. I’ve opted to share the five that are most meaningful to me:

1. Game Shelf – The game shelf in our living room includes a pretty wide range of titles. Classics like Yahtzee, cribbage, dominoes and Rummy-O tend to come out at holiday times. Games like Rush Hour and Cranium Cadoo remind me of days gone by, when our boys were in primary school and really enjoyed family game nights. For a few years after that, they were into any game with “Pokemon” in the title. Nowadays, there’s more appeal in strategy games like Settlers of Catan and Phase 10.


2. Online Gaming – K suggested this one. He used some of his savings to purchase a gaming headset (I didn’t even know there was such at thing) and uses it every time he meets up with his friends online. For a few months now it seems their game of choice is a first person shooter game where they play against other teams. He routinely calls out warnings and offers encouragement to his friends. I think he looks a bit like an air traffic controller and can only hope that the folks on duty in the tower are as focused as K is when he’s online.


3. Gamification of Fitness – I injured my knee in October and continue to diligently work at rehab under the guidance of my favourite physiotherapist. I’ve never had to work so hard for so long to recover from an injury. Maybe that’s a consequence of middle age? I prefer to think it’s because I haven’t had a ligament injury like this before. Whatever the cause, turning my exercises into a bit of a game helps me stay motivated. Can I go longer today than yesterday? Can I press more weight today than two days ago? How much further can I jump today? I’ve started thinking about some possible ways of creating a visual representation of my progress, incorporating shapes and colours and some sort of graph, but that’s still an idea in progress. To make this photograph, I composed the shot and then used the 12 second shutter delay to hustle over and get going on the ARC trainer I’ve been using as part of my program.


4. Marble Game – This marble board game is nothing like schoolyard marbles. In addition to the board and marbles, it requires two decks of cards, a full page of rules and fierce competition between two teams of two. This game is special to our family for a few reasons: 1) Grandpa GeoK made the board in his shop, 2) Grandma GeoK typed up the rules, painted the house/home spots and shopped for the marbles, and 3) it’s a game that we can all take turns playing (except Mr. GeoK who avoids card games and board games as much as possible). In fact, over Christmas break we had games going on three boards at the same time, since my sister and my brother each brought along their Grandpa-made boards for family game night.


5. Geoaching – We’ve been geocaching since July 2006 and although we no longer go out of our way to play the game, we’ll engage in a round of “find the cache” from time-to-time. Banff and Lake Louise run a Snow Days promotion in January each year. For the past few years they’ve placed new geocaches for one of the outdoor activities. Earlier this month we spent a couple of hours at some scenic spots in and around the Banff townsite taking photographs, searching for the five newest geocaches and making note of the secret words that we could trade for this year’s wooden nickel (in past years, it’s been a non-trackable geocoin). Back at home, I used my camera’s double-exposure capability to superimpose the wooden nickel as a kind of supermoon in this photograph of Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park.


I look forward to seeing what games other people played in January. If you’re interested, head on over to A ‘lil HooHaa to see PJ’s take on the theme. He’s a board game enthusiast, so there should be some good ones. And since he’s the host of the monthly photo challenge, all the other posts for this month will be listed in the link up at the bottom of the page.


PJ will announce the February theme on Sunday over at A ‘lil HooHaa. We always welcome new participants. Won’t you join us?

Added 2016-Feb-01 in response to Sara, here’s a copy of the rules for the marble game:

Marble Game Rules

19 thoughts on “Photo Blogging Challenge – Games (January 2015)

  1. sara

    I have just received a similar board & set of marbles to the “marble game” you have above but no idea how the game works — any chance you could share the rules??

    1. Hi Sara. I’ve edited the post include a copy of the rules at the bottom. You should be able to copy and print the image so that you have a copy to go along with your new marble game. Enjoy!

  2. I love your selection of games! What a great idea to photograph the game closet! I believe you could have stopped after the first photo since there are at least five games on that shelf….but glad you didn’t because the rest are fantastic as well.

  3. cmiked

    Yes, these are so good. The candid gamer looks so intense. I recently learned of gaming headsets from my 12 year old. Who knew? And the exercise photo is great. I’m always excited to see your landscapes and I’m glad you found a way to get one in. Nice double exposure as well.

  4. You and I have a lot in common! Our game cabinet has many of the same games as yours. We just introduced the kids to Balderdash over Christmas. They had a blast playing it. Catan gets used almost every weekend at our house.
    I tore my knee all to pieces back in May. Surgery was required, which I had in July. I am just now feeling like I’m getting somewhere close to normal. Amazing how long it takes to heal an injury now that I’m in my 40s!
    How wonderful for your kids to have such a treasure from their grandparents!

    1. Yep, it’s taking a long time for my knee to be getting somewhere close to normal. For everyday activities, it’s feeling pretty good. No surgery for me, as it wasn’t a tear. But a ligament once stretched doesn’t unstretch, so I think I’m always going to have to wear a brace for taekwondo training now. Guess that’s my “new normal”.

      I think I’m in the market for the Seafarers expansion pack for Catan, unless there’s another expansion pack you’d like to recommend?

    1. Being able to make a picture like that one makes me glad I finally got off “auto” mode on my camera and went through the frustration of learning about f-stop, shutter speed, etc. Otherwise, I don’t think it would have been possible!

    1. I had to play around with the settings a bit before I got that just right mix of blur and clarity. Got some extra exercise running back and forth from my camera to the machine!!

    1. Sad to say I have to act like a cheering squad to get the lads to sit down for a game night these days…something about teens and video games!? Anyhow, those games are associated with a lot of great memories and I’m sure we’ll create some new ones during the occasional game night this year.

  5. My boys are into the online gaming too.

    Your marble board reminds me of one that my grandpa had made as well. My mom now has the board but we used to play it all the time growing up. Ours was called dirty marbles, and was played alot like the game, trouble… fun times!!!

    1. My folks are in town for a short visit next week so I’m going to ask them what the official name is for the marble game they’ve taught all of us. For as long as I can remember, we’ve just called it “marble game”.

    1. That whole gamification thing has been really essential to keeping me motivated to work on my knee exercises for an hour+ every day for more than three months now! A one month challenge I joined for January is just wrapping up today and inspired me to get a Fitbit, so now I can easily compete against myself each day!

  6. As always, you come up with a diverse set of images to truly capture the theme!

    Love the game shelf and, as somebody who has gotten into the board game hobby a lot lately, Settlers is as a gateway game, apparently, to the “Euro games.” I’ve played it once or twice and like it for sure. There’s definitely some great ones you can go from there!

    Those gaming headsets are crazy good, too. The blur on the exercise photo is awesome. Love the story of the marble game, especially how sentimental it is (and it looks interesting).

    I’m with you on Geocaching. I still love it, but sometimes won’t go out of my way for it. I haven’t even found one in 2015 yet (though I do have one DNF). I’d like to do more when the weather gets better, though, as I miss getting out and exploring.

    1. Thanks for mentioning “Euro games” – I did a quick search and there are some really interesting titles available.

      As for geocaching, we found the five for the Snow Days challenge plus one other pretty close to one of those five and that makes our 6 so far for this year. We’re only about 75 away from our 4000 finds milestone, so I’m hoping we’ll make it before the end of the year.

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