May I suggest a casual evening of board games?
Games reveal our passion, creativity, and how we think. During a game you can see someone unfiltered. You learn their sense of humor or find out if they are a team player or a good sport. Those who play together, stay together. I’m pleased to report the game group I’ve hosted on Meetup the past 14 years has inspired at least three marriages, with a fourth in the works. Bringing people together to share game experiences is proven to build strong friendships, which can grow into something deeper. A good partner in games could be a good partner in life.
It’s not all fun and games, however. There are pitfalls to playing with your significant other. My friend Michelle recounts a tale of her parents’ near-divorce over a game of Monopoly. Apparently, her father-to-be was winning big because he was sneakily stealing cash out of the bank! Michelle’s future mother grabbed the Monopoly set, threw it out on the front lawn, and vowed they’d never play again. Many years later, seven-year-old Michelle received a new Monopoly set from her grandmother and her mom quietly grumbled, “don’t let your dad be the banker.” It is a sobering thought that my friend might never have been born because of a game.
For a decade I organized a tongue-in-cheek Anti-Valentine’s party known as “Bayard’s Blackhearts.” It was a chance for singles to whoop it up each year in the sugary season around February 14th. We sought out the games no loving couple would venture near: the offensive, the satirical, the overly-personal. So, I feel I am uniquely qualified to be your guide into the world of games you should avoid if you value your relationship. Note that these games are not bad per se, just not recommended for couples. If you’re single — or just open-minded — feel free to think of this list of caveats as a shopping list.
Potential relationship-breaking games generally fall into three categories: Inappropriate, I’m Not Having Fun, and Vicious.
Say what you will about Cards Against Humanity — and humanity seems to love or hate it with no middle ground — the R-rated take on Apples to Apples has been undeniably successful and spawned an ocean of clones. I have had some good experiences with this type of game, and some so-so ones. After hearing how much fun someone had playing Cards Against Humanity with her grandmother, I tried it out with my family, including my seventy-something-year-old mom. It fell flat, not because it was offensive but because my unflappable mom didn’t see what the big deal was. As the humor in the game comes from the cards and not the players, there is no subtlety, creativity, or double-entendre. Once you have seen all the cards, the game becomes less interesting. I prefer games where the players fill in the blanks, as there’s more opportunity to create memorable moments. Some enjoy the equal-opportunity button-pushing Cards Against Humanity provides, while others abhor it. Find out what camp your sweetie is in before breaking out a game with racial, political, and scatological overtones.
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Gaming By Degrees: The Philosophical Journey of Dr. Finn's Games
Early in his career as a self-publishing game designer, Dr. Stephen Finn earned a reputation as a designer of filler games. In fact, Richard Ham, host of the well-known board gaming video series and podcast “Rahdo Runs Through,” has called Finn the “undisputed King of the Filler.” It was a title that Finn embraced. “There was a time,” notes Finn, “when ‘filler’ wasn’t a pejorative term, but I think it’s now becoming one. I was always proud to call myself the King of the Fillers, because I was thinking of ‘filler’ as just a quick thing.” “However, over time, I began to realize that it may be to my detriment and now, I try to avoid it.” Not completely. Finn continues to promote the phrase on his company’s website because “being King of anything is still a good thing.” “I was thinking maybe it would become something bigger.”
PUBLISHING AMID A PANDEMIC: How Board Games Survived and Thrived in 2020
COVID’s lasting impacts on our health and economy are still far from being understood. It will take many of us years, perhaps even a decade, to unravel what has changed in the last year. But some patterns are emerging, at least in the board gaming hobby, that indicate many publishers were well ahead of the curve even before the threat of a pandemic affected their supply chains worldwide. As the world began locking itself down to quell the threat of COVID-19, people continued to find solace in hobbies. Soon, the business journals and magazines of the world began tracking the increase of sales across a wide swath of interests as people did anything and everything to take their minds away from the weight of a pandemic circling the globe. Turns out, everything from toys, guitars, crafts, and board games were selling well despite a deflated economy. Report Linker’s “Board Games Market - Global Outlook and Forecast 2021-2026” estimates that sales in the hobby will grow by 13 percent in the next five years, even with continued lockdowns. But what about the hobby as a whole? This article examines how 2020 affected the board gaming industry through three facets — big box stores, local board gaming cafes and stores, and the digital space — and how the pandemic has shaped them in the interim as well as moving forward. Is this projected forecast of its growth still as rosy?
Attending a mysterious funfair, you start to have psychic visions. Can you catch a killer before the evening is through?
1-4 PLAYERS | 15-45 MINUTES | AGES 7+
Live the sugary dream in Candy Lab, as you fulfill orders of candy bars and compete for the title of master confectioner!
MIND GAMES: The Psychology of Board Games
What is the mind? For the ancient Greeks, the idea of the mind was synonymous with the concept of “soul.” Plato believed the psyche was immortal and became wiser and more perceptive after death. More recently, Freud and Jung refined the idea of seele (soul) as a subset of the overall psyche, that which governs thought and behavior — in short, personality. As a game designer and armchair psychologist, I am fascinated by what makes games tick. But even more, I love to discover what makes players tick. Games are products of the human mind, and the mind is the arena on which the contest is played. All the aspects of cognition — perception, thinking, judgment, language, memory, and more — play into the game experience.
Fireball Island: The Curse of Vul-Kar
2-4 PLAYERS | 45-60 MINUTES | AGES 7+
GAME REVIEWS: CALICO
Winner of CGI’s Best Casual Game of 2020 award, Calico is filled with adorable cats and versatility in its tile laying, giving it a combination of challenging gameplay and soothing delightful theme.
2-10 PLAYERS | 60 MINUTES | AGES 8+
BOARD GAMES IN THE CLASSROOM
Gamers gather around a table to unbox a new board game or bring out an old favorite. Together, they enter into a unique experience of mental challenge, social interaction, and creative play — an experience that draws them together. But can this special experience have anything to do with learning? John Coveyou, founder of Genius Games, insists that it does. Whenever you take a seat around a table to play a board game, “your mind can’t not begin to pick up information about the world that the game is themed around.” Without a doubt, learning is part of the experience, but is it a big enough part to justify using board games in the classroom? If so, how can board games be best used for learning?
BidenBucks Is Beeple Is Bitcoin
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SAFETY LAST: RISKY INVESTMENTS SOARED AT START OF 2021
Who needs safety when the world’s about to get back to normal?
STOCK TRADING APP COMPANY ROBINHOOD FILES PLAN TO GO PUBLIC
Stock trading app company Robinhood said this week that it has submitted a confidential plan to go public later this year.
How the SPAC Era Will End
A fever has swept Wall Street, and it’s stretching all the limits
A Word About Short Selling: Don't
The fracas in January over a company called GameStop suddenly brought the practice of shorting stocks back into the public spotlight. GameStop sells video games via a network of thousands of retail outlets that have the anachronistic feel of Blockbuster stores. Business has soured, mainly because of online competition. GameStop scratched out a profit in fiscal 2017 (ending January 31, 2018), then lost money in the next two years and is estimated to have lost $680 million in the past 12 months.
INVESTING ABCS: TEACHING YOUR KIDS ABOUT MONEY AND MARKETS
The recent stock market mania over the video game company GameStop, which this week was scrutinized by Congress, has provided a teachable moment for kids.
GAMESTOP'S SAGA MAY BE OVER; ITS EFFECT ON WALL STREET ISN'T
The frenzy around GameStop’s stock may have quieted down, but the outsized influence small investors had in the saga is likely to stick around.
Well, That Was Weird
Tendies. GameStop. Silver. SPACs. What. The. Hell. A sane person’s guide to a bonkers stonks market
The Battle of GameStop
IRL, the video game retailer has no profits. But its shares became part of a showdown between online stock pumpers and short sellers
IN DUEL WITH SMALL INVESTORS OVER GAMESTOP, BIG FUNDS BLINK
Across most of America, GameStop is just a place to buy a video game. On Wall Street, though, it’s become a battleground where swarms of smaller investors see themselves making an epic stand against the 1%.