First of all, what do I mean by tabletop gaming? It’s a term that is well known to some of us, but to new initiates, it’s unfamiliar. Tabletop gaming encompasses a lot of different types of games - board games, card games, miniature based games, and many more. Usually when I tell people that I’m into board games, they ask the inevitable “Oh, like Monopoly?”. The new generation of board games are games like Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, Arkham Horror - complex or simple, sometimes cooperative, sometimes competitive, but almost always fun.
You may have heard that tabletop gaming is on the rise. It’s pretty evident with the growing number of really great games available and more being developed all the time. Game stores around the country have tabletop game demos and groups that meet regularly. Since I have started tabletop gaming at my local store, I’ve met a number of new people with whom I’ve quickly become friends.
So what is it about tabletop gaming that has it growing in popularity? Our culture is increasingly rooted in our online personas. Tabletop gaming is a chance to unplug and connect with others on a personal level. For an hour or two you’re talking to and enjoying the company of other people, in the real world. You’re not texting them, or posting on Facebook, but having a conversation and laughing.
On top of the personal connection is the generational. I had a good friend reach out to me after I talked to him about a charity event I’m planning for International Tabletop Day. He was looking for a way to connect with his 14 year old grandson. I invited him to bring his grandson to our local game store on board game Sunday. His grandson and he didn’t have really similar interests, but after a few games, they were both laughing and planning their next moves. Suddenly they had a common interest that could last for years and it’s rooted in the real world. Who could ask for more than that?
So find an event for International Tabletop Game Day. Take a chance, sit down at a table with some new people. I think you’ll find that it’s easier to connect with them on a more human level than through your phone or computer screen. You may end up with some new friends and a passion for a hobby that a lot of us already love.