The Importance of Family Game Nights

Does anyone else remember family game night?  You know that time when families would pull out a board game like Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, or Mouse Trap, blow the dust off of the box and sit down together and play?

Author: Josh

Note: This article was originally posted on Josh’s personal blog.

Does anyone else remember family game night?  You know that time when families would pull out a board game like Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, or Mouse Trap, blow the dust off of the box and sit down together and play?  It seems that in today’s society we have changed.  These games are now all almost digital.  Family game night turned into a room of drooling zombies staring at the glowing box in front of them trying to make a man dance across the screen, or blast each other away.  While yes both could be considered time spent with family, I feel that with board games there is something special to be had.

star wars monopoly

For example, with Monopoly.  Great time to help teach your kid about math and money management.  If you want the expensive property with hotels, you need to save your money and buy it.  If you land on another players square, make sure you pay the bills.  These are very common life oriented tasks that will apply to a person for the rest of their lives.  Family game night is an amazing way to teach the younger members of the family about different tactics that have worked for adults.  I guarantee it’s better for the good old brain thinking power than a ton of pixels flashing random colors of light slowly burning out our retinas.

 Trivial Pursuit.  The greatest game to prove how smart/knowledgeable of their surroundings someone actually is.  Teams can be formed while playing this game with house rules.  With those teams comes an opportunity to bond with your family.  That bond could serve a stronger purpose one day.  For example if a child is having problems with life that they normally wouldn’t feel like talking about.  They may just remember that time spent on family game night and decide that they want to discuss their situation with their parents just because of the trust/communication that was built during last weeks round of trivia.

 While I do feel that video games are awesome and great, I also feel strongly that we can not leave behind board games.  They offer so much in the way of building relationships.  They offer a chance to unplug from technology.  They offer a chance to be human for a little while, and the best part is…when the power goes out, you can just keep on playing.

Table Top Games-A Guilty Pleasure

Author: Josh

This originally appeared on Josh’s Blog on December 18th, 2014

For years table top games have been a guilty pleasure of mine.  The artistry that goes into the pieces.  The ability to play anywhere you have a flat surface… or not if you enjoy using books and items as cliffs.  Table top games are in my opinion board games on crack.  A chance to leave the confines of a structured play through and explore strategy at it’s core.  A game of chess that is more true to combat strategy than the game with limited pieces.

When I say table top games, 2-3 games should stereotypically pop into everyone’s minds.  Starting with the most predominant, WarHammer.  This table top game has been in existence since around 1983.  A true testament to the genre itself.  This game allows players to assume the role of different factions of space marines and battle it out with friends in campaigns that can last days if not weeks.  More to the creative side of this game, players have the ability to paint/customize their soldiers when they buy them.  This allows players to immerse themselves in their army as they invest real time bringing the figurines to life.  The only downside of the game (which really isn’t a downside at all) is the cards that record stats.  There is a lot of information to remember.  Enter a game that takes the stat cards away and provides something a little more friendly to non die hard fans, Mage Knight.

Mage Knight takes the table top adventure to a new level.  Players can go out and purchase packs of figurines, some random booster packs of three, single serving random figurines, or even pre built 9 man armies.  Each has it’s own stat dial on the bottom of the figurine.  This allows players to play a table top game a little faster than what they would have normally, but also allows for ease of health and power tracking.  With each hit, the figurines stats change giving a semi realistic combat advantage of attacking first.  The other subtle part that Mage Knight added to the genre, was the random figurine factor.  Whether you play the game or not, some people out there will just want to collect the figurines by themselves.  Making them random adds a sense of gambling adventure into the equation.  This is a perfect combination for making sales on a product.  A gamer will never know what piece they are getting in a random pack.  They could buy five of them and end up with one rare (if they’re really lucky) or just five duds and still want to come back for more.  Hard to argue this sales gimmick.  Even for the people who just like the figurines, there are plenty of options to buy them separately, especially the tanks!  The tanks are just giant sized figurines that have multiple dials and have a large amount of life.  Although they are more expensive, with the artistic paintwork done and the huge stat increase, you really get what you pay for.

I myself am guilty of purchasing large amounts of Mage Knight figurines just trying to get the rare ones ( I was lucky enough on my first booster pack to get one).  After that I was hooked.  The game itself is a blast to play.  You can turn an ordinary dinner table into a heat of the moment battlefield in no time.  Using napkin holders for a height advantage, or even the salt shaker as cover, Table Top games have a true place among the great genres of games.

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