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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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Social Media Is A Trivial Part Of Our Lives Because It Makes Us Addicted To Unimportant Matters

As someone who was told to this under an incentive, this experience gave me an understanding about an addiction that I had.

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Recently I took it upon myself to go on a social media cleanse, and from this I learned more about self control and who I am when I left social media. During this time period I began to see how my life would have been if I lived in an earlier time period or if I didn't have my phone. I took it upon myself to leave social media for a period of five days. I knew these five days would be hard as I would be more and more tempted, but I went cold turkey and only kept iMessage as my connection to others. I knew that if I kept anything else, I would continue to be tempted to go ahead and click the re-download button.

My family and I were able to communicate better as I had convinced them to do the challenge with me. The first two days were hard as we all continued to click on the empty location where Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or whatever used to be. However, toward the end of the week, we all began to be happier without these social media in our phones. My family and I were able to talk about issues and current events that were happening in the world without having biased opinions that social media might bring.

This entire experience helped me realize that my opinions can be shaped without those on social media. I read more news about events happening around us. I was especially intrigued about the Superbowl that was coming up and what were the rumors and opinions surrounding the game. This helped me look at news in a new perspective and helped me realize there is more than just the glance at my phone.

In relation to my friends, for the first couple days, I felt extremely out of touch with them. I felt like I was missing out on important information or "tea" as my friend would refer to it as. I was especially worried about my Snapchat streaks and what would happen to them in my absence. However, by the end of the week, my entire mentality had changed for the better. I began to understand how trivial such stuff like Snapchat streaks were. My friendships were not defined by factors such as how long our streak was' it was more about how we felt about each other and how close we were.

Events that were covered on social media also began to have a negative effect for me as I would begin to see the dogmatic view that came with such a personal thing like media. I began to see that I was only seeing what I wanted to see and had to explore my boundaries to learn more about the world around us. As the week ended, I noticed that my screen time on my phone had gone down by 75 percent and that I was sleeping close to an hour earlier than usual.

These statistics shocked me as I realized how bad my addiction had gotten. While I did re-downloaded the apps, I noticed that I am not dependent on them as I was eight days ago.

At the end of this whole experience, I can say that I felt like a person coming out of rehab. I felt a lot better as a I realized that I wasn't constantly checking my phone every five seconds to check for that latest Snapchat or twitter update. This experience helped change me into the better person I am, even though this challenge only lasted for a short period of time.

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