What is it about board games that builds community? Here’s what we think:
- We live in an insular world, always tethered to our mobile devices. With board games, we put those phones down, look people in the eye, interact in a tangible way that seems to have been lost with the invention of the iPhone and other portable devices.
- Video games are almost as impersonal as our cell phones. Again, we can be playing a video game and talking with someone via headset, but for the most part, we are sitting in a room by ourselves, watching pixels on a screen. Even when people are in the same room with us, they either are sitting there watching another person playing, cheering them on, but still be a third wheel and not really doing anything other than watching.
- With board games, there is a tangibility. We can touch and truly interact with our environment – not through Virtual Reality, but through Actual Reality. We share the experience. We interact on a truly human level. Watch people playing Magic: The Gathering or a board game and see how they react as a person sitting next to or across from them makes a move. There’s a shared physical and emotional experience you can’t get from a screen.
Bravo to Jill and Kunal Veera for recognizing the power of the board game. And kudos to that company in Mumbai that had the willingness to try what Jill and Kunal were selling, bringing their brand of team building to the table and, eventually, reaping the benefits.
Do you play games during your lunch break at work? Or have you introduced workmates to the world of board gaming? If so, let us know. We’d love to find out how you are building community using our favorite hobby.