Daughter-dad duo Chloe and Dwayne Bolt are part of the Game On organizing team. Here they’re playing a game of “Flash Point: Fire Rescue” at home. This year's event is set for Saturday, Jan. 26. PHOTO COURTESY OF DWAYNE BOLT

Game On! Beating cabin fever with family games



BAR HARBOR — An intergenerational group of game enthusiasts is planning a day-long marathon of games of all kinds: card games, board games, video games, kid games, fantasy and role-playing games and more.

The second annual Game On event is set for Saturday, Jan. 26, all day, from at least 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church. Refreshments are available and prizes will be awarded.

There is no entry fee, but donations are accepted for Open Table MDI, a free community meal program.

Winners of the cribbage tournament at last year’s Game On event were Joe Podurgiel and Kate Macko. PHOTO COURTESY OF ROB BENSON

Last winter, a couple of Bar Harbor families who love games cooked up the idea, inspired by a game-playing Children’s Miracle Network fundraiser called Extra Life.

Dwayne Bolt, one of the organizers, and his family participate in online forums for board gamers and often attend the annual Snow Con gaming convention in Bangor.

“I posted on Facebook asking if anyone would be interested in doing a 24-hour marathon,” he said. He got together with Rob Benson and Margaret Jeffery and they settled on an all-day format which would raise funds for a community organization. In 2017, the game-a-thon funds were donated to Acadia Family Center.

“This brings together two things that my family is very passionate about: playing games together and doing things for the community,” Bolt said. “I think this event struck a chord with many people because it is something that brings people together face-to-face.”

He was excited to see how many people were interested in getting involved.

At this year’s game-a-thon, dozens of new and classic games will be available to play all day, but specific times will be set for other games. These include a cribbage tournament, chess instruction and word games such as Scrabble and Bananagrams. Student volunteers will help lead young kids in simple games like Candyland and Twister.

Some of the equipment is on display for the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. In the game, a lead storyteller or game master describes situations and choices that the characters must navigate.
ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Fantasy games planned include Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons. Magic is a strategy card game in which players work to defeat opponents using spells, artifacts and creatures depicted on individual cards. Magic playing groups meet regularly in Bar Harbor.

Dungeons and Dragons is a collaborative storytelling game in which each player assumes a character and a lead storyteller or game master describes situations and choices that the characters must navigate. Mount Desert Island High School student Piper Charron plans to lead a one-shot (complete in one sitting) Dungeons and Dragons campaign in the afternoon at Game On.

A social deduction party game called Two Rooms and a Boom is also planned, in which a bomber seeks an assassination target and the target tries to stay safe.

Another favorite is a card game called Mao, a secretive card game whose rules include not talking about the rules.

Game players are welcome to come for any portion of the day. Anyone interested in volunteering or learning more can contact gameonmdi@gmail.com or find Game On on Facebook.

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