Aug 27 – Board games have brought family and friends together for decades, and Athens newcomer, game enthusiast and collector Steven Bates has created a group of games for those who want to connect with others and have fun. The Athens Adventurers meet every other Saturday at the Athens-Limestone County Public Library and the public can join in the fun.
Steven Bates, a disabled Air Force veteran, moved to the area in December 2020 from Cheyenne, Wyoming, after his wife’s job relocated her to Redstone Arsenal. The move came just a month after Bates underwent total knee replacement surgery.
“We got here and started looking around trying to find a way to learn about the people and the neighbors. I went to the local library because a new book had just come out,” Bates said.
Bates also runs a nonprofit organization called Poems Speak that reaches people affected by post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts through poetry.
After meeting library director Jennifer Baxter, Bates suggested creating the playgroup as a way for people to connect with each other. She loved the idea and invited the group to use the Teen Room as a place to play.
“We have a wide variety of games. We originally played D&D, as well as board games, card games, dominoes… anything anyone wanted to play,” Bates said.
Bates brings as many games as he can fit in his car for each Game Saturday, as well as snacks and other goodies for everyone to enjoy. “If people want to bring their own games, they can bring their own games. We just have fun, I usually bring snacks and it’s up to me, but if people want to bring their own snacks, that’s great too,” he said.
Bates has always enjoyed games of all kinds. “I started playing Dungeons & Dragons back in 1979 when it first came out. I’ve been playing chess since I was the knee height of a grasshopper. I always played board games with the family. That was always the way the family got along. together and enjoying games like PayDay, Sorry, and all those classic Milton Bradley games. That was a way for our family to spend time together and bond. So playing games, for me, has always been a great experience of bonding with people,” he said. he said he.
Bringing together new and old friends, no matter what age, in Athens is something Bates hopes the group of players can help others achieve.
He said: “Our group at the moment has kids ranging from ten years old or younger to Mr. Paul Irons who is 86 years old and plays dominoes with us. This is a great way to bond. I think it’s a great opportunity.” to really have some interpersonal communication that the devices of today’s society prevent. We’ve pretty much lost our communication skills because our faces are buried in monitors, phones, and devices. We’ve lost a lot of face-to-face and face-to-face communication skills. “
The pool is also a great way to try out new games before you buy and discover new games. “You can ask in our Facebook group, ‘Does anyone have this game and can we try it out?’ If we have it, we’ll bring it,” Bates said. “We’re getting a lot of exposure to games we’ve never played.”
Whether you like the classics like Monopoly, newer games like Apples to Apples, strategy games like Risk, cards, or role-playing games, there’s a game for everyone to enjoy. “It’s about mutual fun and that’s the most important thing: it’s fun for everyone.” Bates said.
The Athens Adventurers will meet on Saturday, September 3, from 9:45 am to 2 pm in the Athens-Limestone County Public Library’s Teen Room. There are no requirements to donate or bring anything. “The only requirement is to come, have fun, enjoy the games and meet new people,” Bates said.
To keep up to date with announcements and events, visit “Athens’ Adventurers!” on Facebook.