Board Games and Social Play

Board games are experiencing a renaissance. My friends and I have been caught up in the excitement that comes from playing great games with great people. Today we have access to the best games ever played and the social experience they provide is one I value greatly.

Two years ago I moved back to Halifax and began hosting a near-monthly games night. It has become a highlight of my social life and has led to some of the most memorable experiences I have shared during the past couple years.

Board games aren’t the same as the ones I had access to while growing up; European board games have become available in North America and the design process of games here has improved greatly in the past decade. Settlers of Catan, Carcassonne, Dominion, Dixit and other games we now play are more accessible, more fun and more rewarding than the games of our childhood. The community building around board games doesn’t seem to be just the contracted geek community anymore, but rather encompasses wide demographics.

Wil Wheaton has expressed the emotional value of games in his blog entry, “on the importance of making time to play the games you like with the people you love“.

Keep playing games. Make time to play games with your friends and family, because it’s surprisingly heartbreaking to wipe a thin layer of dust off a game you love, before you put it back on the shelf because the real world is calling you.

Wil also has a new half-hour board game show on the Geek and Sundry channel, which so far has two episodes, one on the game Small World and another on Settlers of Catan. Settlers of Catan one of my friends’ favourites and a gateway game for the wider world of European board games.

Some games have excited my friends and I tremendously. Ten of my favourites follow and I highly recommend playing them with the best people you know.

  1. Carcassonne
  2. Settlers of Catan
  3. Dixit
  4. Apples to Apples
  5. Who Would Win
  6. Fluxx
  7. Munchkin
  8. Lords of Waterdeep
  9. Citadels
  10. Ticket to Ride

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