10 Jan My Little Scythe, an Eight-Year-Old & the Best Christmas Gift
I am writing this after a holiday season packed with board games. In addition to having ample time off, I was able to visit family and friends out of state who share some of my passions for the gaming industry. In the last week and a half, I have been fortunate enough to get 27 different games to the table, and many of them were played multiple times. Thinking back on it, I can’t remember a time where more games were played in this amount of time. I was able to get all of games I received as gifts to the table, as well as many old favorites. Through all of this time gaming, though, one experience sticks out to me more than any others.
Now to give you the full story, we need to start in November 2018. While doing our usual Christmas shopping, my wife and I were perusing all our favorite websites. We always get board games for my niece and nephew, along with some games for their family to play together. My niece’s father loves painting miniatures and she had been getting into painting pictures, so we decided it might be fun to find a game with quality miniatures that could be painted and which would also be a game a seven-year-old could comprehend. My Little Scythe came to mind, and I knew we had to purchase it for her for Christmas.
That Christmas, she opened her present and we told her about the miniatures in the box that she could paint with her dad. Her eyes lit up and she was so excited. She immediately wanted to get the paint out and start working on the miniatures with her dad. That week, they began the painting process during their free time. Fast-forward to Christmas 2019, and she had painted all of the miniatures in the box (with a little help on the touch-up work).
When we arrived, she immediately said she wanted to play My Little Scythe with her Uncle Pioch (me) and show me all the work she had put in. As we set up the game and she showed me each miniature, it was evident how much ownership she felt over the game. While she has always liked receiving board games over the holidays, everyone could tell this game was something different entirely. This game was “hers” in ways that no other game on their shelf was. She was so proud of it (as she should be).
Before playing, she pulled out the instructions and read me the names of every miniature as stated in the directions. She told me of the empires they hailed from. As she pulled each one out, her smile grew bigger and bigger. Watching her interact with her game was simply heart-warming. We went on to play the game and had a good time, but the experience of seeing her ownership of the game and the way she valued the game after she had put in so much work was so different from the experiences I typically have gaming. To see a seven-year-old (now eight-year-old) put in the time and effort to paint all of the miniatures was amazing, and it was even greater to see how painting miniatures attached her to the game in a totally new way. Being able to experience the joy and gratitude my niece received from a board game might have been my favorite Christmas gift this season! I hope this story encourages you the same way it did me.