Board games provide old-school form of socializing and entertainment

By Aaron Reynolds

The Surveyor

Americans spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening, or interacting with media on an average day, and these numbers were reported before the government started issuing shelter-in-place orders.

We like interacting with our screens which is expected to some degree given the technological greatness of the world. However, prolonged screen time also has disadvantages to both your physical health and mental well-being.

Finding creative ways to entertain yourself during quarantine is necessary to help pass too much idle time in isolation. One positive factor that has improved with the current world crisis is the opportunity for friends and family to come together with those that share the same roof.

Board games may seem like a dated form of entertainment yet blowing the dust off an old classic tucked away in the closet, or considering buying a new game, is one way to interact with those who share the same quarters. Additionally, if you think outside the box you may even find ways to stream card games with distant friends through apps like Zoom.

Target is one of the major suppliers that carry a long list of board games, along with Walmart and online retailers like Amazon. Simple card games like “Uno” or “Skip-Bo” work in any setting, as do the millions of versions of Monopoly out on the market.

Board and card games also vary differently depending on if you need something to share with a single roommate or ideally involves the entire family. Furthermore, age-specific board games for children are often a more productive learning experience compared to sitting in front of a tablet or TV.

Nonetheless, there are options to help pass the monotony. “7 Wonders,” for example, accommodates between one to seven players and is easy to pick up for beginners. “Cards Against Humanity” is one of the trendiest games on the market with a series of add-on packs to keep the entertainment fresh and funny.

“Pandemic” may seem like a term that everyone wants to avoid these days, but the game version is a decent escape for groups with ideally a happier ending than the present.

Titles like “Exploding Kittens,” “You’ve Got Crabs,” and “Kenny G – Keepin’ It Saxy” may have ridiculous names yet are high-quality entertainment for roommates. Some games are highly reserved for adults, while others are much more kid-friendly.

“A Fake Artist Goes to New York” and “Furglars” are good party games for crowded households. Meanwhile, “Dungeons and Dragons” “Disney Villainous,” and “Catan Junior” lead the list of strategy games that can take up hours of play and the opportunity to revisit over the course of a week.

Lastly, if you really want to experiment with something new there are a variety of custom games online to give a try. Or, creating your own game from scratch with the family can really stretch the imagination and pass the hours.

Next time you feel bored and reach for a screen consider other forms of entertainment. Board games are dependable for socialization and competitiveness which are important to keep the mind fresh and distracted during trying times.

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