In Praise of Trivia, Card & Board Games



In what was an interesting week, Angela and I spent the a good part of it playing board, trivia, or card games. We spent Wednesday night at Fado’s Irish Pub playing team trivia. Friday night we played a round of ‘Killer Bunnies’ with our friends Andrew and Starr. Finally, we spent the evening with some friends observing earth hour and playing Trivial Pursuit by candle light. There are so many great reasons to enjoy and participate in such games.

Time spent thinking about the answer to questions looking for the name of the alcoholic beverage whose translated name means water of life (whiskey), can help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Hours spent crowded around tables selling property pieces is always a valuable path to quality time with friends and family. Then there are the health pluses of stress relief, increased mental balance, and always welcome relaxation.

Along with these more obvious benefits, I especially value the gains that trivia and board games can have on deductive/inductive reasoning as well as one’s communication skills. It is just hard to replicate anywhere the experience of working through challenging trivia questions through some communal logic while staving off the rising affects of the third pitcher on Trivia night. Moreover, like traveling with friends, playing games/trivia with friends can shed light on far reaching topics of interest or skills that otherwise would lay sullen on the chair behind fogged windows in the mind.

In fact, seeing the thought process of friends play out in front of you, is almost voyeuristic. I have always been fascinated by the idea that we come to a sentient state of awareness on our own while strolling the halls of our own head. We grow older and wander in and out, living experiences in the rooms of this locked house. It is like walking by a neighbor’s house, observing them at some task through a window, shadows moving against walls in recognizable patterns yet unclear of motive; all this, when we peer into the inner workings of the reasoning power of someone’s thoughts.

So, maybe I look too deeply into games, but I think they deserve the carefully placed spotlight on their not so obviously intrinsic value. Here is to game play, the laughter they bring, the community they cement, and the cheaters they shame. Parcheesi anyone?

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