Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 Hide
31 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: What Does Gaming Mean to You? Or What Role Does it Play in Your Life? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Jason Meyers
United States
Central Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Something I had been wanting to write for a while on the web site I'm a part of (not-so-shameless plug), but took some getting around to. Very interested to hear other thoughts/stories. I'm sure all are unique, but then not really so unique, if that makes sense?

How has gaming changed in your life? Or even changed your life?!

**************************

I have a lot of kids. Although many of them aren’t permanently mine. Like any flashy, overproduced Ameritrash game, foster parenting has it’s ups and downs. On one hand, we’ve lived with, laughed with, loved and helped a lot of different children over the years. On the other, it means the majority of them don’t stay in our lives as long as we’d like. The most common question people ask is, “How do you do it?” My usual retort is that it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble. Or, since I basically act like a child, myself, I quip that that inquiry is better posed to my wife who keeps us all organized, or to God who gives me the strength.

While both are certainly true, I’ve honestly come to realize that those rejoinders are quick deflections because I’m not an open person and don’t like to talk much about myself. Obviously large families can be hectic, disheveled, stressful and claustrophobic. But all families of any type and size create their own strains. Some are universal. Some are unique, but for the most part none are greater or less than someone else’s. That’s just life. While everyone has different philosophies about how to live and cope with and manage their family’s dynamics, we’ve always been proponents of routine and structure. Even the smallest details – such as here is the spot where all school bags go every evening after homework is completed – do more than just practically manage chaos. They also help to build a familiar and comforting home environment that many kids who come into our care need after knowing mainly neglect and abuse.

That’s not to say we’re military martinets when it comes to schedule. Flexibility is important. Overbearing structure isn’t necessarily emotionally or mentally healthy without a venting valve. It’s also possible to stress out about maintaining your rigid structure which was meant to reduce stress in the first place! Life is unpredictable. So, “How do I do it?” Well, a litany of dad jokes helps. But mainly it’s about finding the balance between “a place for everything, and everything in its place” and “carpe diem.” I guess I don’t really do extremes.

That’s why gaming is important to me. Board games are one constant in our often revolving and hectic lives. No matter what’s going on or who is in our house, the games are there. And in a weird way they’re also an analogy for our family’s life. They are designed activities with rules, structure and goals. But it’s not like we have specified time slots for playing games. We play when we want or whenever we have time. Maybe we decide to do something else, like be outside or watch a movie. Board games provide a routine in our lives, but offer flexibility.

So for me, this hobby is inextricably intertwined with my kids. With a couple of rare exceptions and my annual Origins trip, that’s who I game with. All the time. I don’t have a peer gaming group or regular gaming friends. That’s just simply my gamer identity. Indeed, I’ve written before about how my kids were a catalyst in my return to cardboard.

To be sure, I’m into board games for many of the same reasons and benefits as any other gamer, which I want to instill in and pass on to kids. It’s a safe and economical way to spend leisure time, anywhere and in any weather. They’re casual, but also intellectual. They can be relaxing, but also fulfill that internal competitive nature we all have as human beings. We can “push the limits” and satisfy our seemingly instinctive desires to solve puzzles, examine mysteries and overcome challenges. We’re also social creatures and board games are accessible, inclusive and pressure-free no matter a player’s background and social or demographic standing. And they’re fun mental exercises that get us off our electronic devices which are inexorably taking our lives hostage like Skynet.

Like most parents that foist their hobby upon their children, I do so with good intentions (always making sure to not force it down their throats). For all the reasons above, it’s an ideal way to nurture the connections with them. But more than all of that, board games have come to serve a steadier purpose in our family. While I may have originally re-entered the hobby thanks to my own kids, over the years it has evolved to mean even more as a foster father.

You may not be surprised to know that sometimes things don’t go as planned for our family. One weekend last spring, a girl once in our care needed a place to stay. Foster children that leave our home have mixed stories when returning to theirs. Sadly her’s has not been a happy one. So our ordinary routine was upended by a late night trip into town, packing and unpacking and serving arbiter between a young woman and her parents. Well, my wife actually plays the counselor role. Not professionally, but she has a knack for it. Even though things still may not work out the way we think they should.

We didn’t know how long she’d be with us, nor how things would turn out. In the midst of all that uncertainty we played a game that weekend. It was just like when she lived with us, again. We relaxed, talked and laughed together. Gaming has become a haven, an escape. It’s not to sweep any troubles under the rug, because they’re still there when you put the box back on the shelf. But it’s a coping force of normalization for kids that come into our care. Obviously they need more than just what a game provides, but what it does offer cannot be overstated. You see, the reason I love and play games is because they are a simple, fun and practical way to nurture a safe and healthy relationship with all the kids I love, showing them that they are accepted, safe and worthy of attention. Even...actually no...especially in the midst of life’s tumult.
23 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Smith
msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Happiness.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Relaxation without being mindless. TV and movies don't hold my interest very long; too vegetative. I've always read a lot (and still do), but solo board gaming gives me the same immersion and mental stimulation with the added benefit of actively participating in the story development. I'e never cared for gaming with other people. Strictly solo for me.



9 
 Thumb up
1.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Chrisco
United States
Missouri
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Socialization.

As I got older, I noticed that it was harder and harder to keep in touch with friends. Gaming opened up an opportunity to regularly spend time with friends while occasionally making new ones. It's cheap (relatively), fun, and mentally stimulating - that's hard to beat.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Oliver Dienz
United States
Shelburne
Vermont
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Ownerofthescythe wrote:
Socialization.

As I got older, I noticed that it was harder and harder to keep in touch with friends. Gaming opened up an opportunity to regularly spend time with friends while occasionally making new ones. It's cheap (relatively), fun, and mentally stimulating - that's hard to beat.

Same for me. Having fun with likeminded people is the main reason I am playing games. Winning, mental challenge, satisfaction etc. are all secondary for me. Hence, I have no trouble starting gamenight with a prolonged chit-chat. Groups who are all serious about their games and do not really care about anything else are not for me.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Curt Carpenter
United States
Kirkland
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gaming isn't "important" and doesn't have any particular "meaning" to me. It's a hobby. I enjoy doing it (mostly cult of the new type stuff), enjoy it more with people I enjoy being with, and am fortunate to have the means to do so. Of course I wish I could create more time to do it, but that's a different matter.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Monica Elida Forssell
Norway
Sandnes
flag msg tools
badge
Gone swimming
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Actual tabletop games at my table play far to little role in my life than I want it to. Talking about games, browsing about games, buying games at KS, posting here at BGG, plays a pretty large role for me. I live too far away from gamer friends, and time is too short, or I can just not be bothered to sit down all by my lonesome to learn new games, or play by myself. I say it all the time; I should just pull out a game, many of my games have solo play. But I never get there.....cry
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sheep Tree
United States
California
flag msg tools
Socialization for me too. I moved away from all of my friends and family after college and found that making friends as an adult is a lot harder than it had been before. Tabletop games is an easy and fun way to make new friends and to spend time with those new friends.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James C
United States
McLean
Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
I like things that are competitive. Played a lot of video games, but my wife wasn't interested. We had both played a variety of different games growing up and would play traditional things occasionally. Getting more into modern games just made sense. So for me it's the being able to be competitive together with her. It's just a bonus that most of our friends are up for light-medium games as well since it's much more fun than just sitting around with friends.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Laura Creighton
Sweden
Göteborg
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's a good source of new and interesting thoughts in my life. And an excuse to make more stuff, not that I was particularly short of those.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Candace Mercer
United States
Olympia
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Brain exercise and socialization and collecting urge.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ozzy perez
United States
Hialeah
Fl
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gaming makes me happy. And my priority in life is to be happy, so it works out great.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ozzy perez
United States
Hialeah
Fl
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
lucky henry wrote:
Relaxation without being mindless. TV and movies don't hold my interest very long; too vegetative. I've always read a lot (and still do), but solo board gaming gives me the same immersion and mental stimulation with the added benefit of actively participating in the story development. I'e never cared for gaming with other people. Strictly solo for me.





Henry, question for you. Do you play strictly solo games? Or do you also find enjoyment in multiplayer games while controlling various positions yourself?
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
ozzy perez
United States
Hialeah
Fl
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ownerofthescythe wrote:
Socialization.

As I got older, I noticed that it was harder and harder to keep in touch with friends. Gaming opened up an opportunity to regularly spend time with friends while occasionally making new ones. It's cheap (relatively), fun, and mentally stimulating - that's hard to beat.


Relative cheap, hmm.. arguable
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trent Boardgamer
Australia
Perth
Western Australia
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
My whole life is a game.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rachel Godfrey
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Board gaming (as opposed to various other forms of gaming) means I get to socialise with a group of people for quite long periods of time without either getting bored or feeling the strain of keeping conversations going.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Crazed Survivor
France
flag msg tools
The Orzhov welcome you. Please leave your belongings with the Obzedat. They are not yours anymore.
badge
Hi, I'm a european crested tit, and a very small punk rocker!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Killing time in a useful and brainy way.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J C Lawrence
United States
Campbell
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
A convenient way to think about and test parts of the world in microcosm.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christoff Jordaan
South Africa
Pretoria
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I suffer from social anxiety to the point where I'm surprised that my lifestyle is still capable of sustaining itself. I decided to try out boardgaming at a FLGS and a regular meetup event as a means to meet actual people. While I'm still not confident in my ability to relate to other people in general at least I've progressed to the point of having contact with people in a social setting.
8 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zenith Splendor
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The joy of spending time with family and friends. Most importantly spending time with my daughter. I hope it is memories she thinks of when she is older and it brings her happiness.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SapoLJackson wrote:
lucky henry wrote:
Relaxation without being mindless. TV and movies don't hold my interest very long; too vegetative. I've always read a lot (and still do), but solo board gaming gives me the same immersion and mental stimulation with the added benefit of actively participating in the story development. I'e never cared for gaming with other people. Strictly solo for me.





Henry, question for you. Do you play strictly solo games? Or do you also find enjoyment in multiplayer games while controlling various positions yourself?


Around 80% are solitaire. I don't find soloing multiplayer games nearly as enjoyable.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Cavallari
United States
Connecticut
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's changed as my life has changed. At first, there was a social aspect that I looked forward to. For some time, I stopped playing. My kids were young and I had my hands full, as all young fathers do. Neither of my boys had an interest in board games, so family gaming wasn't in the picture. I got back into the hobby a few years ago and now I game exclusively solo. Playing a game is like playing guitar for me. I do it to relax and to release my mind from grind of everyday life. It's never been "important" per se, but it's quite enjoyable.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Franco Antonio Regalado
Philippines
Quezon City
Metro Manila
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Gaming is one of the more interesting hobbies I've come across. I love that the hobby is necessarily social to a degree, unlike, say, toy collecting (which I have done a lot of in the past) where it's perfectly fine to stay holed up with your collection and pre-ordering everything online, without strictly having to attend any social gatherings.

I also find that gaming is a way to shake stress off these days, as I have recently been put into circumstances which make me more and more anxious and whatnot, sort of a constant I can turn to on a regular basis, particularly with my current game groups who are as much into heavier games as I have been recently.
2 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Meyers
United States
Central Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Emerald Wolf wrote:
I suffer from social anxiety to the point where I'm surprised that my lifestyle is still capable of sustaining itself. I decided to try out boardgaming at a FLGS and a regular meetup event as a means to meet actual people. While I'm still not confident in my ability to relate to other people in general at least I've progressed to the point of having contact with people in a social setting.


Appreciate you sharing that. I feel games have served a similar purpose with some of the kids in our care who have anxiety for different reasons. I've found it can help build their self-confidence, in a sense.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alex
Germany
Bonn
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ownerofthescythe wrote:
Socialization.

As I got older, I noticed that it was harder and harder to keep in touch with friends. Gaming opened up an opportunity to regularly spend time with friends while occasionally making new ones. It's cheap (relatively), fun, and mentally stimulating - that's hard to beat.


This!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.