I can be very competitive. It’s true. I think it’s part of being human. Some people can do it better than others. And when I say that, I mean good sportsmanship. But, I can totally understand a person if he or she isn’t a good sport. Nobody wants to lose. Nobody likes to lose. Society – the whole world as we know it – don’t like losers. And so everyone strives to be #1. The winner… but what does it really mean?
If you win a board game, does it make the headline news on CNN? No. Does it get reported on MSNBC? Probably not. So, what’s the big deal about winning? We, as a society, have glossed over good sportsmanship and have become a race that is obsessed with winning. We’re so distracted by the “gold medal” or bragging rights that we’ve lost the pleasure of just playing the game.
When I was a kid, I remember I just loving games. I was mainly the slowest runner, but it never stopped me from doing it. Why? Because I still had fun running and playing with my friends. These days, in a world of instant gratification, I think we’ve lost the art of playing for fun. Not only that, I think that all of the screen time has made people impatient, rude, and just self-centered.
Stop and imagine for a moment. You and your good friends are sitting around a table with a board game. You play for hours and talk and laugh. All of this is done offline! Can it be done? Yes! It can and it happens all of the time! We need to stop thinking about winning and losing and start thinking about playing and having fun!
Okay, so you’re out to find a game that will be fun without getting extremely competitive. No, not Monopoly. We don’t play that game in our house. I would suggest a co-op game if you’re trying to get out of the competitive win/lose mode of thought.
Many co-op games are out now that promote cooperation rather than competition with each other. Some games, such as Between Two Cities, put you on two different teams that try to score points.. But the lowest of your two scores count as the winning score.
Battle Star Galactica is one of my favorite games, where you work as a team, but there is a traitor mechanic (where 1 to 3 players, depending upon the total number of players, is working against the rest of the group). I haven’t really watched the show, and you don’t really need to in order to play.
I know I have named two board games that are not well known. And that’s the thing. There is a whole different world of board games out there! If you’re tired of roll and move games, like Monopoly, Clue, or Sorry!, then you should check these other games out!
Target and Walmart are starting to carry some nontraditional games, like (Settlers of) Catan, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, and Cards Against Humanity (the game for really horrible people). You can also find more games on Amazon.
A great resource for board games is Board Game Geek. There, you can read reviews, see the ratings according to other board gamers, and maybe find a gently used copy in the marketplace. (A lot of gamers take excellent care of their games. It’s seen as an investment since many games can become fairly pricey with expansion sets.) There are also local game conventions and meet ups. It’s even likely that your local game store or comic book store may have games or game days, where gamers bring games to play with anyone who wants to learn or play.
I’ve named a few favorites. What are yours?