6 Ways To Use Games To Bring People Together

6 Ways To Use Games To Bring People Together

You don’t need to go outside to play
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Nothing has quite the power of universal connection as games. No matter what the medium is, whether it’s a video game, board game, card game, or something else entirely, games bring people together, and the following six ways listed below only scratch the surface. One thing is certain, though: you don’t need to go outside to play.

1. Teach a friend how to play a new game.

There is always something exhilarating in teaching a friend how to play a favorite game, or even better: being on the other side and learning about your friend’s favorite game. Either, you are hoping that they’ll like it as much as you do, or you want to learn how to play it quickly to impress your friend. Either way, both parties are left vulnerable, allowing the friendship to grow stronger. Growing up I loved playing billiards with my brother and my cousins, and now I love getting to teach all my friends how to play and watching them improve each match. In turn, I’m always ecstatic to learn about their favorite games and a little bit more about themselves.

2. Backseat gaming.

Sometimes, you want to show your friend a game that they would love but is for single players, is too complicated to explain the mechanics of, or is not interesting enough for your friend to want to control themselves for whatever reason. This is where backseat gaming comes in. Backseat gaming”is when the person at the controller has to do whatever the person without a controller tells them to do. The commands could be serious or joking, but the one at the controller honors their wishes, though they can give suggestions and point out “Easter eggs,” which creates a unique and exciting dynamic. Because playing a game this way is based heavily on constant communication, there will never be a lull in conversation and you will become more comfortable talking to each other in general.

3. Ask a parent or grandparent about their favorite games.

Games can help bridge age gaps, as well, and if you ask someone older than you about their favorite games, their reactions will be priceless as they light up with joy. When my brother and I asked our grandfather this question, he taught us about a popular fun, yet strategic Italian game from when he was little -- it was a bizarre combination of tic-tac-toe and checkers. I treasure the days spent learning many new card games and variations of old favorites that my dad had picked up from here and there, cracking jokes the whole time. Not only will you now be able to impress your peers with all the interesting new games that you’ll know about, but you will also have made a person’s day.

4. Make the game a duel, party, or competition.

Nothing in the world gets people more excited to join in on some fun as some friendly (or not so friendly) competition. A humorous game of Cards Against Humanity can go on for hours and be the highlight of any evening. My family always loves to duel it out in table tennis and foosball whenever we get the chance. Family friends that we don’t see very often will pull out all the stops to have a major video game party, and charity events that are based around a competitive video game, like Super Smash Bros., are sure to draw quite a crowd. Competitions bring out the best (and sometimes the worst) in players.

5. Collaborate together on puzzles.

Games do not always have to be a competition, and relaxing into a puzzle can be the best way to connect with someone who isn’t fond of high action games. I’ve always been a fan of working on a huge jigsaw puzzle while singing along to favorite songs with some friends, or quietly curling up and working on a word search with my mom. Nothing can beat the sense of accomplishment and pride that is felt when finally completing a difficult crossword puzzle after all of you struggle to come up with the answers that were on the tip of your tongue but you forgot in the moment.

6. Multiplayer online games.

My brother and I have always loved playing all kinds of games together as player one and player two, and that hasn’t changed despite the fact that there’s over 3000 miles between us. Now that I’m across the country rather than across the couch, we get our gaming fix in by multiplayer games online and a phone call to keep up the banter, as do many other people with their friends, siblings, and significant others. Whether going head-to-head trying to hit each other in Robot Roller-Derby Disco Dodgeball or working together to diffuse a bomb in Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, you can experience everything together through online gaming and make the distance seem to disappear.

Cover Image Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:14_und_1_endlos_-_Straight_Pool_-_Rack.JPG

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Nintendo Direct E3 Highlights

Nintendo announced some new game titles on June 11th, 2019, and here's what I'm most excited for!

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I always look forward to Nintendo Directs, especially since I got a Switch. I like knowing what games are coming up and when. This direct was particularly exciting because my favorite game, Animal Crossing, finally announced its next sequel!

Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be here for the Nintendo Switch by March 2020. A lot of people are disappointed that it won't be here until next year, but I'm still excited nevertheless. The extra months will probably be spent perfecting the game and adding in final details, and I'm more than okay with all of that! I'm just glad that this title finally has an official release date.

Similarly, I'm also looking forward to the next Zelda game. Unlike Animal Crossing, this one didn't get an official release date yet, but Nintendo did confirm that it's still very much in the works. I'm willing to wait for "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild," personally. As I said before, video games take time. It would've been nice to at least get a teaser, but I'm not too disappointed overall. I'll still be the first in line for the new Zelda game once it DOES come out.

Finally, I'm also super looking forward to Luigi's Mansion 3! I adore the full Mario series, especially Luigi's Mansion! I already knew about the game, but what I didn't know about until the E3 Nintendo Direct was the online mode feature. This was Nintendo's first time announcing it, and I'm so excited to be able to play Luigi's Mansion 3 with my friends. This game IS coming out this year, unlike the other two, although the exact day is still pending. I'm hoping it'll be sooner than later!

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