Updated: Feb 17
I am a part of a family that is really big on table top games; board games, word games, dice games, puzzles and most of all card games. I think my love of games really started with a simple deck of cards. I can't remember one family get-together that didn't eventually involve sitting around the table and playing late into the evening. The amount of laughter that would take place over a game of 13 Gin was always a highlight of any time spent with my extended family.
Games are good for us on so many levels. For kids it teaches problem solving, sportsmanship, strategy and dexterity, (amongst many other things). There is a certain level of learning how to win and lose with grace as well. For families, it's an amazing way to spend a screen-free time together. When I was a young person, as a family we would do "media fasts" where we would spend 40 days without screens. We were never really distressed with these times. First of all mobile phones were not really a thing, but my siblings and I replaced screens with boardgames. I will never forget the hours and hours my brother and I would spend playing Risk or Scrabble.
I am incredibly awkward when entering a new group of people. This may seem like a random piece of information, but my anxiety goes into overdrive and I freeze, like a deer in the headlights. That being said, in my early 20s I moved to the UK to train as a Youth Worker. During these years the only way I found to overcome my anxiety at "drop in" nights was to sit down with a deck of cards and just start shuffling. It always surprised me how quickly young people would join me around a table to learn games. I discovered very quickly that my anxiety would fade and I would find solace in teaching and playing games. From that point forward, nearly all the youth work I did throughout the years, would involve table top games or a couple decks of cards.
Sarah and I owe our friendship to our mutual love of boardgames. We met up for our first game night nearly 7 years ago and I still remember what we played. It was only a few months later we were having our first experience with D&D. This led to spending heaps of time planning out meals for our sessions and just enjoying being in each other's company, which would ultimately lead to our Wayfarer's League.
Table top games are so important; they force us to be fully present. We switch off our screens and enjoy engaging in a shared experience. Many of my favourite memories are of staying up ridiculously late playing Uno while camping, or getting a huge table of people playing the card game Mao during my university residential, or discovering my sister and I have a psychic connection while learning to play The Mind. I am sure, like many of you, this list could go on forever. Now my favourite games are cooperative and I always go out of my way to try to find new and unusual games that tell interactive stories. You can never go wrong getting me a board game as a gift.
At Wayfarer's League we want to help you make more of these memories. And in spite of our current global "situation," we hope we have been able to successfully provide such a space. We do a lot that revolves around TTRPGs (Table Top Roll Playing Games), but really we are a community that facilitates gaming of all sorts. Check out the "Boardgames" channel on our Discord Server as well as our events page to find out what boardgames we have running at the moment.
For now we are limited to online gaming, but eventually, when we are in the place to do so, we hope to provide a physical location as well. In the meantime, let's continue to make some fantastic gaming memories anyway we can!
What is your favourite table top gaming memory? Share with us in the comments.