When I was little I used to play a board game with my grandparents and brother every day after school. Unlike many classmates I didn’t have a Nintendo or Wii on which I could play all kinds of games all on my own. I didn’t miss having one, because it was fun playing games together with my grandparents and with my brother. Now I don’t play boardgames that often anymore, because I’m too busy. I do still, though, carry happy memories from those times with me. I remember my grandfather teaching me how to play chess and my grandmother always changing the rules to make the game last shorter. When playing digital games your not dependent on other people, their presence, their preferences with regard to the rules and length of the game, however, the social interaction that’s almost always a must for physical board games is very healthy and nice.
One of my friends has a bookcase full of board games at home. Some people collect stamps, some collect rocks and other people collect board games. Besides of being a very pretty ornament for the room, they form an amazing excuse to meet up with friends. After all, these board games have to be played. I think game nights are great. You get to talk to people, but when the conversation is over you have no awkward silences. You just focus on the game again. Besides, you can of course get to know one better through talking, however, you can also get to know one better by just playing a game. For example, someone might turn out to be an amazing chess player or someone might turn out not to be able to handle losing well. In addition, games can create hilarious situations. For example, when you catch someone cheating during a cards game or when someone comes up with a most creative word during scrabble. Anyhow, a board game can be a fantastic topic of conversation during the game or afterwards.
One way of preserving memories is by taking good care of yourselves and staying healthy: a varied diet, enough exercise for your body and also for your mind. Research by psychologists at the University of Edinburgh has proven that people who play board games and cards are more likely to stay mentally sharp in later life. Another way to preserve memories is by making notes. After playing a game for the first time, my friend writes down the date and the players on the box. That way the game preserves the memories, a bit like a photograph. For example, on scouting camp she bought a board game. With some friends we played the game during the camp. She wrote down the date and the names of the players on the box and now whenever she opens the box to play the game, she will always be reminded of that day of camp. I think it is a brilliant souvenir. So, board games can preserve memories in two different ways: through playing and through the box.
Physical versus Online
Personally, I’d rather play physical board games than online ones. When playing games online, I just miss something in the social interaction. Even when using online platforms like Discord, it is harder to interpret emotions online: it is more difficult to change your focus from one person to another, you don’t see all the body signs and voices sound a bit different. This also makes me think that winning a game in real life is more fun and that losing online is less hard, though it is never easy. I think that in real life losing is harder than online, because as it turns out seeing someone else win makes it hurt even more. In real life you are really confronted with those happy emotions of the winner and online you can easily escape those. Luckily, you can practice losing. Invite your friends for a game night and see them win. Another way to become a good loser is winning. If you win often, it is easier to put the one time you lose in perspective.
In conclusion, besides board games being a nice collectors item, they are also a very nice excuse to meet up with friends. They can provide happy memories. Also, they can help us to preserve memories. Board games are a great way to spend time together. They are a good thing to do regularly, not only because they’re fun, but also because you can learn a big deal from them. Board games help you to get to know each other and also yourselves. “Games are not about winning.” The more you play, the more this statement will become true for you, since the more you practice, the easier losing gets. I think that I need to make more time to play board games with my friends and family. My favorite board game is rummikub. It has been a very long time since I played that game. What is your favorite game? Do you play it often?
Rigby, S. (25 november 2019). Playing board games can support “sharper thinking and memory skills” in later life. BBC Science Focus Magazine. https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/playing-board-games-can-support-sharper-thinking-and-memory-skills-in-later-life
Winkster, N. (24 november 2022). “Het is maar een spelletje”: Waarom de één beter tegen zijn verlies kan dan de ander. NEMOKennislink. https://www.nemokennislink.nl/publicaties/het-is-maar-een-spelletje/?search_page=true