Let the Games Begin!

I've noticed from spending time with the young creative folks who are the core demographic of my improv group is that they are avid gamers. I don't mean video games, although they certainly know their console games too, but card, board and role playing games. If you haven't checked out these games recently, they are not ones grandma would have ever pulled out of the blanket chest when you came to visit.

Probably the most popular is Cards Against Humanity, the self described "party game for horrible people".  The rules, like the game, border on the absurd beginning with "the person who most recently pooped begins as the Card Czar". There are hundreds of other games that may be more or less offensive depending on your taste, but all stimulate creative, outside-of-the-box thinking. Many are also extremely hilarious to play and is there anything more joyful than laughing with a group of people?

This is the great appeal of gaming. The opportunity to stretch our minds, have fun and share a few laughs with friends new and old. Gaming is a revelation in a world of increasingly rigid thought, depressing news and personal isolation.

The same joy is found in the games of old. We recently rediscovered Scrabble and Mexican train dominoes, which are creatively stimulating, social and just plain fun. Dig out your old games, call up some friends, chill some beverages and have a games night. Not everyone enjoys all games but there is most certainly a game out there for everyone.

If you're interested in checking out some of the newer games along with all the classics, visit one of the game cafes that are popping up in many cities. A fellow improver runs The Adventurers Guild & Tavern in downtown Kitchener. It is a very cool space where you can try a myriad of games including some old video game consoles all while enjoying food and beverages.

Let the games begin!

 

1 comment

  • Krys

    Krys St. Marys

    We have also recently rediscovered games. I started to play an on-line word game with a recently bereaved person as a way of connecting without confronting her grief - something she was uncomfortable with. She now is an avid Mah Jong player with a group of friends in her village. ​ We have had a few games nights with the people in the building. Using teams helps reduce the competitive pressure on individuals and is still fun. Met a Korean game played with small wooden pegs which was very amusing. I have heard of Games Against Humanity but not played. Getting a bit stodgy in my old age. What do you think the impact/effect of that game will be? Can anything positive come of it or is another way of dulling our sensitivity?​ ​ Paul occasionally plays chess with a neighbour who thought he was teaching Paul how to play lol Finally twigged to the real reason Paul kept winning. He won at on-line poker until the US outlawed it and the people who were apparently only there for the gambling left. Did you know that young players are now winning all the tournaments that used to have the very much older and experienced players winning?​ ​ My favourite childhood game was Rummoli, fond memories of sitting up way past bedtime listening to the New Year come in across Canada on CBC, drinking coke and eating chips and playing it with Margaret and John. ​ ​ Am also playing bridge when the locals are short a player. Not serious players - unlike my ex who was building up Master Points so perhaps he was justified. I just love playing without scoring! Also learn interesting things about how people think. Recently came across a different interpretation of the rule in no trump where the lead is supposed to throw out the fourth highest card from their longest and strongest suit. My partner lead a queen! Turned out you can think of the fourth highest as counting from the bottom lol Who knew?! We used to play a lot with a much younger couple who shared a deck and lots of wine with us. Never play in couples after my experiences with Mike, always other partners - less tension and no take home grudges (I hope).​ ​ We played euchre at school in elementary school in bad weather, and sometimes at church or community evenings where my parents would play at the crokinole table with me. Of course as a child I played more active games; Rover, baseball, marbles, hopscotch and skipping. Mom introduced me to a game she played called fox and geese - winter tag where you had to stick to pre-made trails in the snow . ​ ​ Sports included basketball and volleyball and field sports, always more comfortable with individual than team - never learned to anticipate where the ball or other players would be. Skating and skiing (mostly cross-country) not much game-like about those. Cycling. Running - very few races. ​ ​ More active games would be good for our young folks - I watch in awe elderly people who still curl and play hockey etc. I think the longer we can keep doing those...

    We have also recently rediscovered games. I started to play an on-line word game with a recently bereaved person as a way of connecting without confronting her grief - something she was uncomfortable with. She now is an avid Mah Jong player with a group of friends in her village.

    We have had a few games nights with the people in the building. Using teams helps reduce the competitive pressure on individuals and is still fun. Met a Korean game played with small wooden pegs which was very amusing. I have heard of Games Against Humanity but not played. Getting a bit stodgy in my old age. What do you think the impact/effect of that game will be? Can anything positive come of it or is another way of dulling our sensitivity?​

    Paul occasionally plays chess with a neighbour who thought he was teaching Paul how to play lol Finally twigged to the real reason Paul kept winning. He won at on-line poker until the US outlawed it and the people who were apparently only there for the gambling left. Did you know that young players are now winning all the tournaments that used to have the very much older and experienced players winning?​

    My favourite childhood game was Rummoli, fond memories of sitting up way past bedtime listening to the New Year come in across Canada on CBC, drinking coke and eating chips and playing it with Margaret and John. ​

    Am also playing bridge when the locals are short a player. Not serious players - unlike my ex who was building up Master Points so perhaps he was justified. I just love playing without scoring! Also learn interesting things about how people think. Recently came across a different interpretation of the rule in no trump where the lead is supposed to throw out the fourth highest card from their longest and strongest suit. My partner lead a queen! Turned out you can think of the fourth highest as counting from the bottom lol Who knew?! We used to play a lot with a much younger couple who shared a deck and lots of wine with us. Never play in couples after my experiences with Mike, always other partners - less tension and no take home grudges (I hope).​

    We played euchre at school in elementary school in bad weather, and sometimes at church or community evenings where my parents would play at the crokinole table with me. Of course as a child I played more active games; Rover, baseball, marbles, hopscotch and skipping. Mom introduced me to a game she played called fox and geese - winter tag where you had to stick to pre-made trails in the snow . ​

    Sports included basketball and volleyball and field sports, always more comfortable with individual than team - never learned to anticipate where the ball or other players would be. Skating and skiing (mostly cross-country) not much game-like about those. Cycling. Running - very few races. ​

    More active games would be good for our young folks - I watch in awe elderly people who still curl and play hockey etc. I think the longer we can keep doing those...

Add comment