June 23, 2018
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For the love of the (board) game — SnowCon hits Orono

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff

ORONO, Maine — Some played the “Price is Right” board game, others built space ships to make deliveries to distant planets and some grabbed games they had never played before just for the challenge.

“It’s all non-electronic,” said SnowCon organizer Gibran Graham, who was recently elected to the Bangor City Council. “You’re detaching yourself from the screen — TV, videogames and smartphones — and having honest person-to-person interaction.”

The sixth annual SnowCon, a brainchild of Graham and Monique Bouchard, is a gathering of people who like to play board games, many of which involve role playing or character building adventure fantasies such as “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Magic,” and a ton of others with names you will not find at big box stores.

Bouchard, a gamemaster, could be found Saturday running one of 26 gaming tables set up at the Black Bear Inn and Convention Center, located near the Stillwater Interstate 95 exit in Orono.

SnowCon gaming will continue until midnight Saturday and will resume at 8 a.m. Sunday and go until 7 p.m. The gaming pass for Sunday is $20, with observers paying $10; teachers and active military members get in for free. Those age 12 and under also get in free if accompanying an adult.

The gaming show also features a couple people showcasing their own games, and vendors selling game accessories — gaming-themed items such as 20-sided dice jewelry, chainlink dice bags, and soaps printed with a variety of gaming and television characters.

Bangor gamer Ken Tompkins said one of the best things about the conference is playing a variety of games and borrowing from the “library,” a collection of games that include old favorites like “Chutes and Ladders” and “Monopoly” to others such as “Malarky” and “Sentinels of the Multiverse.”

“It gives you a chance to try everything,” he said of the convention while playing Galaxy Trucker.

Some of the more intense games, such as “Twilight Imperium,” can cost well over $100, he said.

Graham said the show attracts people of all ages from all over New England and New York, and newcomers are welcome.

“We’ve got people, our volunteer staff, to be our concierges,” he said. “We’ll find a game for you.”


Correction: An earlier version of this story called the game "Twilight Emporium." It is "Twilight Imperium."

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