One Airman’s passion leads to an Incirlik gaming group

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Anthony Sanchelli
  • 39th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
When playing games and always being allowed to win, there eventually must come a time when losing is inevitable. One hardcore gamer found this out when he was 7 years old playing against his mother.

"When I was younger, board games interested me because I won," said Senior Airman Jason Rimer, 39th Contracting Squadron contract specialist. "My mother and I would play checkers and she always let me win, and I liked it. Then one day she beat me and it shattered my world," exclaimed Rimer

Rimer has been playing a vast array of board, card and party games despite that traumatic childhood event. Games such as Risk, Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering, and Talisman are a few of his favorites.

"Board games have always stimulated me because of the additional strategy involved," Rimer said. "It's not only the board strategy, but the social strategy as well."

Some of the games that Rimer plays are known as "big box" games. These allow for a larger number of participants and take up a great deal of time, usually more than eight hours. Some of the games open avenues for team based play as well. With the larger time spent playing and the greater number of players working together, these games give him the opportunity to really get to know the other players.

One of those players, Senior Airman Zachariah Pinkston, another 39th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, has been playing board and card games with Rimer for more than eight months.

"Playing games when I was younger with someone I knew and liked created a great environment to build on that relationship," said Rimer. "Now, by pushing that way of thinking into adulthood and playing with strangers, you can have fun together no matter who wins or loses. Either way, you end up with a better relationship with that person."

"Team games can bring people together like you wouldn't believe," Rimer said. "Something as small and insignificant as a board game can bring people together to become good friends, sometimes even lifelong friends."

This has proven especially true with him and Pinkston. Both work in the same office, but have built their relationship primarily by playing board games together.

"I've known Rimer for pretty much as long as we've been playing together," said Pinkston. "But I have more insight on how he thinks because of us gaming together."

Since gaming is one of Rimer's passions, he took the opportunity to gain some volunteer work and started the Incirlik Table Top Warriors group. But, what started off as just a volunteer session turned into a weekly undertaking by a membership of 37 individuals. Though a smaller group is consistently seen every weekend, around seven to nine members, Rimer takes pride in what he started.

"Rimer is very adamant and motivated about his board and table top games," said Pinkston. "So much so, that he started ITTW. It has become a highlight of our weekends."

Rimer uses what he has learned from playing games at a young age into his adult life.

"On a scale of one to 10, I'd say Rimer is a nine when it comes to his gaming," Pinkston said. "He truly fits the profile of a nerdy gamer, and we love him for that. It lets the rest of us become nerdy gamers, too."
Rimer said he thrilled with the fact that those who are actively participating in the weekend gaming events are keeping themselves out of trouble.

"Nothing we do could lead us into the trappings of a small operating base," said Rimer. "It's just a board game, a whole lot of fun and not a lot of trouble."

Keeping people out of trouble and still having fun is why Rimer actively maintains the ITTW gaming group. He not only achieved his original goals, but exceeded it by keeping Airmen safe over the weekend. Gaming also allowed him to understand others in a way he might not have otherwise been able to.

"While gaming, I get to see the inner workings of others' minds, to see their true colors," said Rimer. "I get to see firsthand how they handle themselves under stress or through glory. In the end, I get to know them better than I would have elsewhere, and that keeps me playing."