When I was a kid I could never talk anyone into playing board games with me. When I was in grade school it was because my siblings were so much older than me. A game of pictionary junior just wasn’t appealing to my teenaged sisters. When I was teen and my group of friend had the inevitable “what do we want to do now?” my suggestion to play a game was always shot down with “Board games are for bored people.” I would often respond with “we are bored people.” But by that point someone else had decided that we should go to Taco Bell where we would have the exact same conversation all over again, but this time in the parking lot.
I don’t think it was an accident that my husband and his family like games. Board games, card games, parlour games, you name it. This is a large part of why I enjoy spending time with his family. Yesterday after dinner we played Pandemic- a different sort of game where those playing compete with each other against the board. We had a really good time.
I bonded with a college room mate over an 8 hour marathon session of Skip-Bo. I know a woman in my ward who refuses to play games with her husband because she is competitive in a way her husband isn’t- playing games at all introduces too much conflict for them. On of my last memories of Grandpa A was him sitting up on his death bed to play Rummikub- he kept trying to make illegal moves and blame them on his bad eyesight, but his wife wouldn’t let him get away with it.
The leisure time needed to play games is certainly a luxury for which I am grateful. The interplay of competition, collaboration, showing off for each other, and sheer luck make games a very interesting subject for me. Often the way people play games reveals parts of their personality that they might otherwise hide.
What sort of part (if any) have games played in your lives?