Board Game Tales: Connecting through Gaming

Nancy’s story: Building Friendships

The first story is from Nancy, she has a lot of experience with the world of board games, including moderating a discord channel. Her story show us how board games can help expand views and enrich day-to-day life’s.

“I started playing board games a few years ago, it started with Sushi Go. It quickly progressed into Bang! Series and now I have over 100 board games in my current library of games. Over that time, I started moderating for IV Games’ Discord and became fast friends with the community. Learning more about varying games and doing meetups to play board games had greatly changed my perspective for what type of mechanics I preferred.

The biggest impact in my life with board games is the friends I gained, more than I thought possible for my introverted self. It helped me through the Covid lockdown, and it strengthened my love for the board gaming space in my day-to-day life.

I have introduced board gaming to my day job co-workers and we play 3 times a week. From social deduction games for larger groups, to some mildly complex games that fit within the 1-hour lunch time frame. Some include Ra, Wingspan, and Foundations of Rome.

Some of my former co-workers in my previous job, we scheduled meetups at a local game store to play some games, where I was introduced to many other games I have never played before.

My journey with board games has opened a lot of opportunities to meet up people or bring together people unlikely to meet otherwise. My world has expanded due to board games and it has greatly changed my life. Even if it may break the bank a bit.”

J’s story: Board game bonds

The second story take us to weekly game night gatherings. What unites this diverse group of friends is their shared love for board games, which has not only strengthened their bonds but also provided a vital support system during challenging life events. Through these experiences, they’ve discovered that beneath their differences, they share more similarities than they initially realized, reinforcing that board games have the power to build lasting connections.

“I’ve been hosting a game night group at my home once a week for 5 years now.  We are all pretty different, but at some point we found out we all had at least one thing in common, we all enjoyed playing board games.  As we played games together, we got to know each other better and have become good friends.

Because of our friendships we’ve formed we’ve been able to help each other as things have come up in our lives.  Different people in our group have lost jobs, miscarried babies, moved, and have lost close friends and family.  A couple of those losses were due to suicide which have been especially hard.  So, you can see our group has been through a lot together.

We’ve even been through a world-wide pandemic together during which we played with masks and did have to miss about two weeks due to a stay home order. As different life events have come up, because we were getting together weekly, we’ve been able to be there for each other.

We’ve helped each other find new jobs, given job interview pointers and have even done some mock interviews.  We’ve been able to be there for each other to listen when someone needed to talk or just play the game when they needed to be distracted for a while.  Even though we are pretty different, as we gamed together we realized that we are a lot more similar than we first thought.”

René’s story: Love at second sight

“I first found out about Project L through a board game podcast. It was highly praised, the mechanics sounded like an accessible family game that could also be interesting for more sophisticated players. Exactly what I’m always looking for, as our family consists of three generations of different levels of demands and tastes. When the game finally landed on my doorstep and was allowed to breathe air on the living room table, I was thrilled by the feel and look. The polyominoes felt thick and heavy, as did the double-layer puzzles. Visually a feast for the eyes. Everything invited you to try it out immediately.

Once we had played the first few games, I became disillusioned because the gameplay didn’t really grab me. Something was missing, the decisions seemed obvious and the influence on the game seemed manageable. However, my family liked it. My wife in particular kept asking for Project L. Yes, my parents-in-law are also gamers, but they were more likely to play classic board games or trick-taking games. Doing puzzles with the colorful polyominoes though reminded them of the old Game Boy days when they spent nights matching each other in Tetris. The easy introduction to the mechanics and the intuitive gameplay allowed even them who often shy away from new games with their rules hurdles to have fun with Project L. And slowly the playing value of Project L became apparent to me too. Rebuilding this wonderful engine over and over again and trying out different strategies, all in the company of my closest family, ultimately softened my heart. My heart was finally won, when my wife gave our two-year-old polyominoes and a puzzle and let him fill them up, while we played a game of Project L. He really enjoyed it and didn’t want to stop puzzling.

Through countless games with people of different ages, Project L has become one of my most played and loved family games. On the second look.”

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