Daily Illuminator

November 24, 2011: Why I'm Thankful For Munchkin

It's Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. Millions of people are stealing turkey legs, eating mashed potatoes, and sticking a fork into a big slice of pumpkin pie. When I think of all the things that I could be thankful for, one of the first things that comes to mind is all the games I've played. Today I want to share why I'm thankful for Munchkin from a more personal perspective.

I first played Munchkin at a small convention almost eight years ago. A man wearing a black T-shirt with the letters M.I.B. on the back, grabbed me and asked if I wanted to play. I said "Yes," and sat down with a variety of people: male and female, old and young. Back then, I was floored by the diversity of the players. I knew people played Dungeons and Dragons, GURPS, and (in my case) Vampire: the Masquerade. I also understood the popularity of the Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering trading card games. What I didn't realize was that Munchkin was a new kind of game for me. My immediate impression was that this silly game with its cartoon-style artwork wasn't just for serious players or tournament winners, it was for the geek in all of us. It was a game where not only did I understand the jokes, I could repeat them and others would laugh, too.

And then? I sat down and played for a while. I giggled, I made other people cry, and I proudly showed off my min/maxer side. After eight years (and many, many Munchkin games later), I'm now working with Steve Jackson Games and John Kovalic. Did I have any idea what I'd be doing at the time? No, I really didn't. But I'll tell you one thing: with or without the job, I'm very grateful for Munchkin and the joy it's brought me and everyone else around me.

Thank you, Steve!

-- Monica Valentinelli

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