When I heard that I was accepted as an intern into a board game project, my initial expectations were not very high. I’d never played board games for fun because I never found them to be too interesting.
Two days ago, we had our first face-to-face meeting. It was in a café in the David Bradley health sciences centre at McMaster University. The rules took 10 minutes to introduce and the game seemed really complicated, but after we started playing, it all made sense.
Players are put in charge of an emergency room at a busy hospital and need to get patients in and out as quickly as possible. You lose if you cannot serve new patients (a "gridlock") or if a CTAS level 1 patient (requiring urgent care) isn't stabilized within 2 turns. To operate, there are different nurse, technician, and doctor playing pieces and they all have to perform specific tasks on each patient. Dr. Teresa Chan is our main advisor (in terms of getting the technical things right) but we also have many other mentors for game design and user testing.
After the first few days of the internship, I learned to appreciate board games a lot more, and I found that it felt more like a simulation than a entertainment.