I did something last night that I haven’t done in quite some time and that was play a board game, I didn’t need batteries, there were no wires, and I certainly didn’t need to be in WiFi range, just some old school board gaming fun. Gaming consoles, computers, and hand-held devices usually take precedent over more tradition forms of family leisure that we’ve forgotten how much fun a simple board game can be. That said, I do know of friends and family members who still make board games a staple in their entertainment arsenal but I bet there are more that don’t. Growing up I would always have a few board games scribbled down on my list for Santa, they usually would come as a secondary gift or maybe that gift from an aunt or uncle, but like a lot of things over time, I just grew out of playing them on a consistent basis.
Whether you still play board games or not, they do have a certain appeal to them, they are nostalgic, reminiscent of Saturday night battles with your parents for household dominance, and of course the bragging rights that usually lasted a couple of days were the icing on the cake. Although it takes a lot sometimes to dig them out of the inner bowels of the dingy part of the basement, or maybe the cobwebbed corners of the attic, but once dusted off and all pieces are accounted for, they can create some of the most fun filled nights with the people you enjoy spending time with. The occasions in which I have spent time playing board games have always been a pleasant experience with friends becoming foes and couples taking jabs at each other all in good fun. Some games require little to no prior experience as they are familiar to most of us but then there are other newer games that may need a dry run or two, each and all with their own degree of challenge.
Board games are great ways to reconnect with friends and/or family that you haven’t spent time with in awhile, there’s no “what time do we show up?”, there’s no perfect outfit to wear, there’s no “what do I need to bring for food?” none of those typical internal debate type scenarios that come with planning a fun night. No, you just need everyone sitting around the kitchen table or claiming a spot on the couch in the living room and once you Google pizza, scratch food off the list. It is that easy, and they make for some of the best nights out and easier on the pocketbook I might add. Because we have so much going on in our everyday lives that a night out is welcomed in most cases, but like I have said, sometimes a night out can also be stressful as to where to go and what to do. Unfortunately, an option that rarely makes that list is to simply stay in, that’s right, pick up a good bottle of wine, make sure you have plenty of snacks and oh yeah, don’t block the scoreboard. My cousin, a game connoisseur, actually makes a point to collect games and from time to time he invites us over for an evening of board game bliss. He picks the titles at random, once situated he helps us with few turns around the board, but then that’s it, we are now supposedly ready to defend, capture or quiz, all on our own.
Yes, some games are simple in concept but there are others that require intellect, strategy and know how. If you are a pop culture fanatic, well that’s huge with some genres, patience is a vital asset when determining when to strike or when to make that game changing move that shakes things up. Consider yourself a trivia buff? Well, you will definitely be a hot commodity in the team picking stage. It’s fun watching as couples use their partners as allies or completely throw them under the bus because they didn’t pay attention to the board and now the other has the upper hand, too bad, now it’s their turn, “no do over’s”.
The contents of the games themselves are for me a fun part of the experience, those little pieces are so cool to play with, your inner child just screaming inside. Elements of the game make the game stand out like play money, meticulously carved game pieces, and the dice, they all give the game character and create that certain type of atmosphere each time you play. Many games are very educational and are best shared with your children, for them leaning becomes fun, and for you a great bonding experience that lasts forever.
The next time you’re scratching your head and racking your brain for something to do, or you just need an excuse to get together, break out the board games. Keeping it simple sometimes can allow for some memorable moments with the people you love, and the people you love to beat. Make sure to stop on the way back from work or school, grab that beverage of choice, leave the wings on the counter to defrost and prepare for a night of “go back two spaces” or “who was Robin Hood’s girlfriend for $400.00”.