Let go of the pressure of gift-giving this year by giving a gift that keeps on giving – BOARD GAMES!
Games of all kinds provide hours of fun and enhance social relationships. They bridge generation gaps, encourage laughter and learning simultaneously, and create memories that last long after the wrapping paper has been recycled and the leftovers are gone.
A Gift of Experience
Yes, a game is a physical object, but there is so much more in that box than meeples, dice, and cards. There is an opportunity to immerse oneself in a new experience, exploring worlds of the past or far distant future. There is strategy to try and new things to learn about your fellow players. A board game is more than a box of pieces, it is a journey full of ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, and all types of experiences worth having.
A Gift of Education
Games provide an opportunity to learn new skills – critical thinking, cooperation, communication, sportsmanship, strategy, and dexterity, just to name a few! Available for almost every subject matter and theme, a well-chosen game can give someone insight into a topic they are already interested in, or provide them a fun, new way to tackle a subject they struggle with.
Many games are so clever in their presentation that you don’t even realize you are learning because you are too busy having fun! Games expand your mind and force new perspectives, giving you and others more tools for navigating the world outside the game.
A Gift of Time
When you give a board game (or role-playing game, card game or dice game) as a gift, consider also giving the promise of time together to learn and play the game. My favorite aspect of games is the social time I get with my friends and family. Whether we are working together to escape a sinking island or competing to give the best clues or build the best city, we always bond and laugh and relax, enjoying each other’s company. That is a priceless gift that never goes out of style.
A Gift of Memories
We all have a memory of playing Monopoly or Sorry or something similar as children. These character-building moments taught us how to play fair, how to lose or win graciously, how to read other people’s emotions, or who to trust in times of crisis (and who you should never trade with).
I remember raucous games of Pit, intense sessions of Risk or Axis & Allies, and rainy days made brighter by silly dexterity games like Lift It! I learned a lot of random facts playing Trivial Pursuit and gained insights into people playing Cards Against Humanity. These are all cherished memories I recall whenever I sit down to the table to play a game. And I look forward to all the new memories yet to be created.
Why not consider giving the gift of gaming this holiday season? Make the family gift exchange more fun this year. Each family can bring a game (or two) and then spend time learning together, creating memories and deeper connections. Bonus: at the end of the night, take something new home to continue creating those experiences throughout the year to come. Sounds like a great new tradition to start!
Maureen McCardel is a game industry veteran and has worked with publishers, designers, and retailers. She loves the logistical side of marketing and events and digging into a good spreadsheet. She is obsessed with circuses and survives on sugar and tea. Her favorite games include Citadels, Lost in R’lyeh, and Here, Kitty, Kitty!