It’s hard to believe 2020 is already coming to a close (didn’t that year just fly by?!?) and we’re ready to welcome 2021 as the year things change for the better. For us board gamers, it would be difficult for 2021 to do much worse: The pandemic significantly changed how in-person gaming will occur for the rest of time. But with the vaccines and updated safety protocols being distributed, it won’t be long before we’re putting the physical “board” back in board games. In anticipation of this giddy moment, here are our 2021 board game resolutions for a brighter new year:
We resolve to explain the rules again, and again, and…again
In the Before Times, we’d have little patience for someone who is eager to play a new board game but isn’t paying attention to the rules explanation, or flat-out ignores the rules and has to be corrected (politely, hopefully) each turn. Well, no problem anymore! The simple act of speaking to another human in-person about board games, even under these most trying of circumstances, is seductive—you’d forgotten what you sound like, and you’re a sexy baritone beast. In fact, we resolve to purposely leave sections of the rules out when providing the explanation at the start; it may go against everything we stand for as board game ambassadors, but we’ve missed this.
We resolve to take swift turns
Having been deprived of so much board game camaraderie over the last year, there’s a lot of catching up to do, both in terms of seeing where your friends are at and cramming as much gaming into as minuscule a time slot as possible. Maintain momentum by parsing your next turns as others are taking theirs, rather than check back into the board game only when you’re up. While it may seem as if a stronger focus on the board game would hinder everyone’s ability to reminisce about the Before Times, this level of dedication ensures the board game won’t drag out long enough to sap more time and, ultimately, energy to be around people. It’s been awhile, we have to ease back in.
We resolve not to offer unsolicited advice during gameplay
Zoom hangouts with friends are predictable affairs. The environment is heavily controlled and the ability to unplug from the call is far too accessible. And because many folks are working with unpaid accounts, the calls end swiftly at the 40-or-so minute mark. Let your friends surprise you by allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the board game and, yes, probably make some gameplay mistakes along the way. They might swear and complain, or make some off-the-cuff jokes about their precarious situation—all a chance for your friends to let their freak flags fly a bit. We’ve missed this.
We resolve to not take games too personally
This has been a rough year for everyone, but ultimately an introspective one for many of us. As board game lovers, we understand that board games are a respite and a source of energy for us all. Let them be just that, not a reflection of who you are and who you’ve become. This year is one for being your best and most authentic self—the kind of person who loves board games because they enrich your life, not define it. That said, happy gaming and a happy new year! Can’t wait to see you across the table!