The age of Covid has been weird. People have more time than ever, and increasingly fewer things to spend that time on. It almost seems trite to say “a global pandemic that has killed nearly one million people has ruined my game night,” but right now interpersonal connections are a commodity that many of us are going without, and board gaming has historically been such an important part of finding that for so many people, that I think it seems essential to talk about it.
For so many people, they don’t understand why we play board games. When people have asked me, “why not just play video games?” I haven’t had the best answer to that question, simply because I haven’t put much thought into it. But disaster teaches you about yourself in ways you never expect, and I can say for sure that I know now. Video gaming is solitary. It is remote, even when it is social. You are by yourself, even when your avatar is surrounded by hundreds of other players. Board games are the opposite. Board games bring people together.
The shutdown has been hard. Living in New York City, I’ve been holed in my shoebox of an apartment for days at a time, gaining weight (40lbs and running), dealing with depression, paralyzed by anxiety that tells me even grocery shopping will kill my neighbors.
And at a time like this, my mind finds solace in games that I haven’t been able to play for months. It finds solace in designing games that I won’t be able to playtest. Sometimes, just reorganizing games on my shelf is enough to find a little peace.
Shall we organize by color? Box height? Complexity? Favorite to least favorite? Yes, yes and yes. We need to find peace wherever it is. The world will not give it to you, so you must make it.
On one hand, the world is ending. On the other hand, my room is spotless, minus the metaphorical dust building up on my board game collection.
If you’ve been waiting to hear from my site, I apologize. If you’ve forgotten I existed, well, I’m glad you remembered and found your way back. If you have never been here before, just know I don’t typically write super self-indulgent essays that veer aimlessly from topic to topic like this one.