I know it’s not true for everyone and playing games by yourself is certainly something a lot of people really enjoy, but for me, playing board games with friends or family is very important. I always look forward to the next time I meet friends, be it online or in person, for game night. I get really excited when my wife or daughter says that they want to play board games with me. I always think carefully about what games to take when we go and meet family and it’s wonderful that they enjoy the hobby almost as much as I do. In this article, I want to look at this a little closer.

As I hinted at in the introduction, playing board games with friends and family is the focus here. Even though I probably prefer in-person game nights over online ones, if it allows me to stay in touch with people, playing digital versions of board games and talking over voice chat is also really good. At the end of the day, it’s about playing games, talking to friends or family and just having a wonderful time.

I really noticed it when my in-person game group moved online. We first did that during COVID-19, like so many people will have done. Later on, one of my friends moved away and then the other. So meeting up in person became a lot, lot harder. Given that we had gotten used to playing online games and talking to each other via Discord, switching back to virtual game nights wasn’t too much of an issue.

Shared Experiences

So, yes, the important bit is that we get to spend time together. Playing games is a key ingredient though. While I can see myself going to the pub or a friend’s house to simply chat, enjoying a board game together gives it more of a focus. You all can experience amazing moments together or rib each other. Board games allow all sorts of different ways to interact. So whoever you’re with, you should be able to find a way that works for your group. It can be amazing when someone is really good at putting on different voices or accents to bring a game even more to life.

There is also something special when you can teach a game to someone. There is a certain amount of vulnerability that you show when you do the best you can to explain how to play a certain game. That’s especially true when it’s the first time you are playing it yourself. It can become a team effort, where everyone helps to set up the game, tries to understand the rules, asks questions to clarify things and generally works together with the goal of having the best experience of this game possible.

I also think it is wonderful to watch someone share their enthusiasm for a game. It can be really infectious. Even if maybe you don’t normally like the type of game that’s being presented, you still decide to give it a go, simply because the other person’s fervour sparked an interest of your own. It often doesn’t matter whether you know the other person or not. Sometimes their energy is so wonderful that you can’t help yourself and be swept along.

people playing board games
people playing board games

Shared Games

Picking up on the idea of someone introducing you to their favourite game, game nights with friends or family can be very much about trying out something new. You will have your own favourite games. You probably like certain genres. That’s fine, because it’s the familiarity you like. So when someone else presents something different, it’s not always easy to be enthusiastic about it too. Yet, at a game night, I am always much more prepared to see what others like. I want to try out something new and get the taste of something different.

I suppose it’s a bit like going to a restaurant. While you probably eat similar dishes at home, because you know how to make them and they’re familiar or because you only have so much time to spend on cooking and washing up, when you’re at a restaurant, you’re much more likely to try something new. You don’t have to worry about recipes, time or the stacks of pots, pans, dishes and cutlery that you need to sort out afterwards. You just pick from a menu and simply see if you like what you get.

So when someone else offers to teach a game to you, it’s easier to say yes. You don’t have to read the rulebook. The other person will set up the game and show you what to do. They will answer your questions. There is no stress of trying to find the right answer yourself. It’s a simple matter of sitting back and enjoying. Having friends who bring their own games is like having a much bigger board game collection without needing the space to store them all.

Sharing is Caring

I certainly feel that regular board game nights are very important to me. The prospect of not being able to play games with friends is daunting to me. While it’s nice to play turn-based games online with people I’ve never met, real-time games with friends or family face-to-face or virtually are hugely more important to me.

I know I am very lucky that the people around me enjoy playing board games with me. I can’t expect them to always have the time for games. I can’t expect them to always be around. People’s lives and situations change. Yet, while some friends have moved away, we were still able to find time for a regular game night. That’s very special and I really treasure it.

At the same time, I also need to see what else is out there – or who else. I am thinking about finding board game clubs near me and going to join them after a few taster sessions. After all, you do need to find people you click with. Board games are what bring us all together, but friendship goes a bit deeper. So while I love playing a game with almost anyone, finding people you get on with on another level is very important. I’ll let you know how I get on…

What About You?

Now I wonder what game nights mean to you. Do you have a regular group you play board games with? If so, how often do you meet? How big is your group? Or maybe you have regular couple’s nights. Do you play board games with your partner? If so, how often do you manage to do so? As always, please share all of your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. I’d love to hear what others think about game nights.

Audio Version

Intro Music: Bomber (Sting) by Riot (https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/)

Music: “Source” by AShamaluevMusic.
Website: https://www.ashamaluevmusic.com

Music: “Legacy” by AShamaluevMusic.
Website: https://www.ashamaluevmusic.com


These are the songs I listened to while I was writing this topic discussion article:

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