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!