Tomorrow is National Table Top Game Day. I don’t know what you are doing, but we will be sitting around the table playing games. I love table top games as much as I enjoy eating with other people. The social component, which seems to be missing from a lot of lives is where it is at for me. Games or food are accessories, often necessary accessories to get people away from the electronic device, video game, and/or idiot box.
I am not a luddite or anti-technology/gamer. I love the idiot box. The idiot box is on more than it is off. I use the idiot box for idiot noise which seems to help focus my mind. Too much quiet and I get distracted. I am one of the first to buy new technology. I love the way technology has made what I like to do easier and more fun. I am not pro-every technology, but those in the writing, printing, and publishing fields have my attention. I have owned a video game system since they first came out. I did have an Atari and now I have an Xbox 360-not sure about this latest gen of consoles and neither have caught my attention, but I would guess we will get one or the other down the way.
But the thing lacking from all of them is the social component. Sure you can play video games together, but the social aspect is muted due to the focus on playing the game and this has only gotten worse the better the games have gotten. Table top games have pauses. During those pauses and over the slower paced action (slower does not equal bad either) people talk. Talk about the game. Talk about life and so on.
When I was rocking Battlefield 3 with a group of friends we would chat, but the action kept us from having any in depth conversations unless we were waiting in a lobby for the next game or sitting in ambush. Suffice to say, not a lot of in depth conversation. Over a game of Carcassonne, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, or Star Wars Imperial Assault everyone talks. Conversations go past surface level into details and depth.
Playing table top games with the family is a great way for us to connect and stay connected. The five day a week “fine” or “good” response to how was your day turns into conversations about what is bothering the kids, work to be done, things they want to do, family discussions on upcoming plans or mini-trips. Table top games have turned into teaching moments both for us and the kids. They get to shine when something in a game triggers a “did you know moment” or we get to turn something from a game into a “life lesson,” there still hasn’t been a moment that translate into “why clean rooms are good,” but we have hope. 🙂
So I don’t know what you will be doing tomorrow, I hope you get to play at least one table top game with your friends or family. I know I will be. 🙂