Ever been hit by a random bout of nostalgia? It could be a song you’ve not heard in a while, or the smell of an old favorite food cooking, or maybe it’s the theme song of your favorite childhood show, and suddenly memory after memory comes flooding back and it fills the pit of your stomach with this almost queasy yearning for what once was? For whatever reason, this past game night filled me with this…unyielding burning in my heart for what used to be, and to just go back in time and sit down with my family and play some games, but not anything recent. We all sat down on the couch after I returned from playing paintball and began to run through what game we wanted to play for the evening and, to my surprise, my immediate response was “Hey, anyone wanna play Clue?”
It was almost as though tension in the room kinda melted for a bit. That uneasy and awkward waiting you get when trying to decide something among friends and family just…faded, and everyone looked at each other, back to me, and then nodded. It was an odd change of pace for us, because usually it’s Dread, Catan, Zombicide, Dead of Winter, or Betrayal at House on the Hill. I went into the kitchen, began setting up the game, and almost instantaneously was hit with this flood of memories. I smiled gently as I finished setting things up and walked into the other room to tell everyone the game was ready. Now admittedly, it was a newer version of the classic game, but the feeling remained the same. We all crowded in around the table, grabbed some snacks and drinks, and began playing.
I have to say it was the most fun I’ve ever had playing Clue. Ever. I consider games like Clue, Monopoly, Scrabble, etc “Walmart games.” It’s almost an offensive term for me. I always considered them lesser because of how basic and almost primitive they are compared to newer, more flashy games, even newer versions of themselves. Now, however, I need to rethink my stance on them, because it’s not the game itself I’ve come to realize, it’s who you play the game with. My family hates board games, so it’s a no go for them, but my friends and playgroups are like my second family and I love them all dearly and although I figured out pretty early the answer, I kept it secret, let the game play out until we were all too tired to continue just so it didn’t have to end. While it was an odd change for our game night, it gave me a lot of perspective, and I do believe that, without a doubt, it was one of our most successful game nights to date. It got one of our friends to actually play, and have fun where she’s normally just wanting to quit mid-game. We got her to laugh and have fun just being around a table with each other and I think that’s the most important thing to take away from it.
I know this post is rather…rambly (….is that even a word?) but my point in making it is, don’t be afraid of breaking out Operation, or Scrabble….Heck even Monopoly (although be careful with more competitive friends on that one 😄 ). Just have fun, reminisce, drown yourself in great, warm, fuzzy memories, and just remember where you came from. My first real board game was Clue, the one that started it all for me, and when playing it, seeing everyone’s smiling faces and just how much fun they were having almost made me want to cry. So, maybe on your next game night bring out Sorry instead of Catan, or maybe Yahtzee and Candyland rather than Ticket to Ride, and see how many memories come flooding back to you. Until next time dear friends, May your dice always roll 20’s and your GM be merciful.