Looking for games to play with your kids and the thought of one more round of Candy Land makes you want to cry? Desperate to pry the smartphone or the tablet away from your teens? Tired of starting another game of Monopoly you know you’ll never finish?
Oh friends, I am about to change your world.
Table-top gaming is diverse and entertaining, ranging from dice and cards to miniatures and tiles. Some can be played in 15 minutes and some may take hours, depending on what you’re looking for.
Games indirectly teach problem-solving skills, math, strategy and adapting to other players’ actions. There is also the etiquette of listening, taking turns and teaching new players the rules of the games.
You can find something for every age. There are games that focus on math and spatial skills and are appropriate for preschoolers. There are also games that are definitely NOT for children and make for a fun evening with your grown-up friends.
I love the social aspect of face-to-face gaming. My favorite kinds of table-top games are collaborative, where all the players work together for a common goal, like stopping the monster or curing the viral outbreak. These kinds of games teach teamwork, and we all win or we all lose, together.
Which is nice when you hate losing as much as I do.
Want to learn more? Maybe try out some games?
On Friday, July 8, there will be two programs at the Columbia Public Library devoted to table-top gaming. The first, starting at 4:30 p.m., is a Q & A with game developers. Learn about the making of games, what makes a good system and how these games go from ideas to reality. Then, stick around for a special after-hours gaming session from 6 to 9 p.m.! There will be dozens of games to play and plenty of people eager to share their knowledge.
Gamers are more than very pale hermits with headsets staring at computer screens or people huddled around a table in someone’s basement arguing over a rule book, surrounded by empty Mt. Dew bottles. Come have some fun, and you might discover your new favorite game.