Laughter and playful chatter can be heard emanating from the dining room, where a table is surrounded with family and friends. A closer look shows that the meal is over, dishes cleared and everyone is engaged in the fun of playing a board game. Board games that challenge your knowledge. Board games that require marble movement based on the randomness di roll. Handcrafted or mass produced board games have long been a catalyst bringing people together for a healthy mix of fun, education and conversation.
It is the group dynamics of face-to-face, around the table interaction that makes board games the continued choice for all ages. Good old ‘analog’ table-talk provides all the elements of getting to know and understand people in your family and in your circle of friends.
Board games that challenge your knowledge and are sometimes best played in teams. Games like Trivial Pursuit, Cranium and Scrabble fall into this realm of testing ones mental agility, knowledge, recall or deductive talents. Board games that appeal to a broader age group might offer some element of randomness, like the roll of dice, while exercising your strategic and tactical skills. Popular board games like Trouble (also called Aggravation, Tarbles and Wahoo), checkers, or Monopoly are more family oriented, since young children to senior adults can play together.
So how do you choose the game that appeals to your family? Will complement your next friendly gathering?
1) often the simplest games will be the ones that you bring out most often when family or friends gather. Experiment here with 2 or 3 choices. Even mix it up with two different games in a evening.
2) let the reaction from the participants be the measure of approval. Having fun, good natured banter and laughter, are all indicators of an excellent group. If you sense tension, uneasiness or otherwise unhealthy group dynamics, this is could be an indicator to stop, change games or somehow alter the game play.
3) It is all about generating Fun and good conversation and encouragement for everyone playing the game. Remember “it is only a game’. It’s not about wining or losing. Good board games will even draw in observers, those non-participants that gather along the fringe.
4) Good memories and conversation about past played games is always a good indictor that you have a ‘winner” of a game.
5) a board game should be portable and mobile, no batteries required and adaptable to play at home, at the cottage or while travelling.
6) Having a handcrafted board game that is hand built by a friend or family member can also add that special touch of a ‘traditional family game’.
7) Board games that elicit future challenges, like, “Great game, we’ll win the next time”, or “That was just the warming-up game, now prepare to lose”, are good indicators of a board game worth playing again and again.
As with the advent of any new technological innovation, it was predicted that computer video games would all but eliminate the analog board game market. Not so. Board games still enjoy plenty of playtime. Most board games have transformed into alternate digital formats. Games like Scrabble, Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Cranium, The Game of Life are in the top 10 of board games in the USA. Some of these are now online as well – Scrabble, Clue, checkers, chess, sorry, risk, monopoly are a few.
There is something charming about a locally crafted board game. Variations of old board games like Hasbro’s Pop-o-matic Trouble and Milton Bradley’s Aggravation have surfaced as handcrafted wooden Marble Board Games like Tarbles (from Cape Breton Island) and Wahoo. These lovingly crafted marble board games are a great family gift. Steeped in memories of wonderful family times, handcrafted board games become heirlooms passed on to future generations for their playing pleasure.
Board Games are perfect for playing at home, at the cottage or on the road. They bring people together for fun and create warm and lasting memories of family gatherings. Memories cherished by all ages. Memories that will surely bring a smile to your face.
Carl Chesal is a business and channel development consultant, trainer, internet