Sunday, December 11, 2016
Our family loves playing table top games. I'm pretty sure we have a game for every occasion. I honestly credit games with helping our family stay connected.
I learned early on, when my oldest was 12 and our first exchange student was with us, that teens have little to no interest in hanging with the family. If I let him, our 17 year old exchange student would skip family activities at every opportunity. After a couple of months, I learned not to let him. As part of that we instituted Mandatory Family Game. The traditions lives on, even now years after that student left our family. Not only have I not regretted it, but now that they are older our former exchange sons and my oldest have said they were glad for the family time we've had. So, you should play games not just because they're fun, not just because they're educational, but because they can literally help hold a family together.
Have I also mentioned that it's affordable? While most games are quite affordable, some can cost as much as $50 or even more, but when you amortize it across the number of times it's played, and number of people who play it, it's cheaper than water. Think about it. How much does it cost to entertain your family? For my family of 5 we're lucky to get a meal out for $40 (and that's at a fast food joint). A movie? That will set us back more than $50 just for the tickets, plus the cost of the requisite popcorn and soda. Now we're entertained for what, 2 hours? A game can be played many times, by many people. $50 bucks (most are cheaper) plus a bowl of popcorn can be not just one family game night, but many, for years to come. Pennies for hours, years, of fun - and way cheaper than family therapy too.
You can tell we love games here. Lots of different games. Games of chance, strategy games, bluffing games, all sorts of games. But, not all games.
For instance, Monopoly sucks, more than a vacuum.
There I said it. I hate playing Monopoly. It lasts F.O.R.E.V.E.R. and it's boring, anddddddddddddddddd ugh.
So when a friend said her family had tried family game night and it always ended in a fight, and her husband didn't like to play games, I wasn't sympathetic the way a friend should be. No, jerk that I am, I said "Then you're playing the wrong games. What games are you playing?" Because I'm that awful person who means well, thinks they can help, and doesn't wait to be asked their opinion.
The old standbys that most of us grew up gaming are... old. Some are still great, but honestly there's a lot more out there than many folks know about.
For my friends with the bored husband and fighting kids I suggested Coup and Bang Dice. Both are bluffing games, involving lying, killing, and winning by being the last one standing. These games are fun for both adults and kids. You don't need to be a great reader to play them. They work for 4 or more players. We joke sarcastically about these games' great family values - but the kids not only love killing each other (and Mom and Dad), they seem to get along just a little bit better after working out some of their aggression in a game.
We probably have a game for just about any occasion, and a wide variety of player ages, numbers, and interest. I love to review them for you, but I hardly know where to start. Help me out?
What is your family like? What are you looking for in a game?
If you let me know, I'll write up a post with some ideas that just might fit the bill.