Probably no surprise to any fans of our blog, but I have to admit, anytime I see or hear those three words a chill runs down my spine. No, really, I never get tired of a great family game night, or any game night for that matter.
More and more often my 7 year old is approaching me, and saying ‘Dad, let’s play one of your games’. For a 7 year old with an Xbox, Xbox360, Nintendo DS, and a computer, that’s a huge accomplishment. Not only is he asking me, but he’s starting to suggest playing board games with his friends that come over the house! Now I’m just bragging, but I believe you can get your kids and family to do the same.
Gavin playing a game of Tobago!
On rare occasions, I even get my wife to blurt out those other 3 little words…‘want to play’? Oh, how I just jump out of my seat when I hear that. Lately she’s been getting intoAlhambra, although Puerto Rico remains her favorite. Whatever she wants to play, is OK with me!
It seems my 20 year old has been pretty well groomed. He comes over a few times a week, and either he or I will just grab a game and drop it on the table to play. This week we tried Asara for the first time. I get a special thrill when I see him start to really understand the mechanics and get into the game. I gotta tell you, he wins often, especially the first time we play a new game. This time I crushed him! Sorry, didn’t mean to gloat.
So how does the magic happen? What does it take to get people excited about game night and gather around the kitchen table for a few hours of bonding (did I say bonding, I meant fun – but the bonding is the part of playing board games that just can’t be beat!).
In the immortal words of Nike marketing…’Just Do It’. Pull out the games, and put them on the table – or as I like to say ‘open it and they will come’. But if for some reason they don’t, then start your own gaming group!
To this end, I started a Meetup Group called ‘The Board Game Society’. At last check we were at 77 members in just about 6 months. Our group gets together the second Thursday of each month at a local sports bar. We take over a private room in the back, and play for 3 or 4 hours. Everything goes, and usually does.
Paul and I in a serious game of Dominion!
No matter how many times we play, I see a similar pattern. People who have never played these games approach them somewhat intimidated. They somewhat reluctantly sit down and ‘give it a try’. By the end of the game they are fully engaged and wide-eyed, trying to maximize their points on the last turn.
Win or lose a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction is prevalent all over the room. Family Game Night or the Board Game Society Game night – it’s all good!