Family Game Night
What are your memories with board games? Do you have fond memories of them in your past? Have you always wanted to play them? Are you an active enthusiast in the hobby? Or maybe you are indifferent towards it and maybe even hate them.
Whatever the case may be, the BRC’s family game night is so diverse, not only in its participants, but in its activities that you will more than likely find some sort of happiness at the event nights. Children, teens, adults, allies, and a various broad spectrum of the LGBT community all attend. It is a great opportunity to meet new people and mingle, socialize and have fun. And funny enough, you are not even required to play board games (although it is a main focus). We welcome all!
One week we played another type of game called Who Goes There? that made me part of alien efforts to take over Earth. It is a co-operative survival game for three to six players that has team work, dice rolling and trading. The main twist is an alien entity interferes and eventually infects someone in the game. The alien makes the player become a traitor and therefore, working for the aliens’ goal instead of their original human goal. Needless to say, paranoia ensues. In one of my desperate attempts to win this amazingly hard game (as human) for the humans, I made a final decision to board the escape helicopter with another player who ended up being infected and creating a win for the alien infected players.
We play games ranging from short and simple party games to three-hour involved, long and in-depth games. For those who don’t WANT to play games, some alternate activities include observing the chaos and/or drawing and movies.
Board gaming is such a wonderful thing though. You can learn so much about people playing a board game. The decisions that the players make, the reactions that are given, bribes, bluffs, trading, alliances, back-stabbing, strategy, conversation starters, simulation, coping mechanisms, humor, and a great time. All of these qualities are a part of the hobby. The social aspect, imagination, decision making/problem solving, and team work make up some of the best parts of why I personally love the hobby.
The nights have had three game facilitators and teachers and we put an emphasis on it just being a game. We emphasize that actions taken during the game in order to win are not a reflection of what that person might actually do to them in real life. It is a safe and fun setting. There is no reason to take things personally or get upset. The amount of respect, empathy, and understanding has been amazing and usually people end up laughing at the terrible things going on in some of the games.
So there you go! In a nutshell that is the Family Game Night at the BRC. Now I will include a couple of my personal notable moments at the events and some of the games that I personally teach and facilitate….
I started off Family Game Night with The Resistance and/or Avalon. It is a short fifteen to thirty-minute game of secret identities and social deduction for five to ten players. The game divides everyone up into two teams but the twist is one team has no information at all. The biggest thing being that they do not know where anybody belongs team wise except for themselves. They must deduce the teams as the game progresses, all the while the other team attempts to foil their plans.
Later on, people were interested in playing other types of games. So, I taught Who Goes There? A co-operative survival game for three to six players that has team work, dice rolling and trading. This game takes three hours to play more or less. The main twist is an alien entity interferes and eventually infects someone in the game. The alien makes the player become a traitor and therefore, working for the aliens’ goal instead of their original human goal. Needless to say, paranoia ensues. In one of my desperate attempts to win this amazingly hard game (as human) for the humans, I made a final decision to board the escape helicopter with another player who ended up being infected and taking a win for the alien infected players.
Lastly, I have taught Dominant Species. Another long game. It is a three to six player competitive area control and worker placement game. The devastatingly powerful dominance cards were hilarious to see come into effect. The birds were known as the evil species wanting total destruction of all other species and almost making mammals extinct. The amphibians unknowingly became naturals at dominating us all by a land slide and their alliance with the insects helped solidify their dominance of the animal kingdom.
Other games that have been played include, Chameleon (a great party game), Reef Route (a race to the finish kids game), Munchkin (a thematic experience) and Cards Against Humanity (very popular with the teens).
I have also had many great conversations with people there on not only games, but life and even vampires!
Our near future goals and ideas are a hybrid of game night with costume integration since Halloween is right around the corner and maybe playing some more ghoulish titles such as Fury of Dracula, Cthulhu Wars and/or Planet Apocalypse.
Overall this has been such a positive experience and hopefully it continues to be something that is available for people to come and have a good time and spend their nights with some wonderful people!