Quarantine Birthdays (Take 2)

Blink and you missed it, but the world recently celebrated the one year birthday of everyone’s favorite coronavirus variant, COVID-19. The celebration was off the chain—if by “celebration” you mean “mask,” “off” you mean “on” and “chain” you mean “face.” The occasion also highlighted how the disease can closely resemble those who were born in the spring: quarantine birthdays, especially those who spent last year’s special day under lockdown, as well. This fact is not lost on gamers who may have been longing for some board gaming this time around, and many are understandably bummed at the prospect of yet another remote party.

But turn that frown upside down! (We’ll have to trust you on this, we can’t see your lips underneath your mask.) There are still plenty of ways to invigorate your birthday even if we remain distanced from our friends and family. For instance…

God Bless the USPS

Long before the advent of email there was a thing called simply mail. It arrived in a “box” and was, in case this wasn’t clear, a physical entity. Yes, not even Pokemon Go is this real! These long quarantine days offer an excellent opportunity to reacquaint yourself with the fabulous United States Postal Service; neither rain nor sleet nor deadly disease can stop them. Consider sending your friends copies of your favorite card game, or a party game such as Codenames. Have them set up their own space with a webcam or phone camera pointed toward it. Now your Zoom game can feel like the real thing for at least a few of the folks playing, and even the act of watching shuffle cards can serve as the kind of ASMR experience we all crave.

Luckily, we’ve made this a breeze for you with an UnboxBoardom subscription! A great birthday present if we say so ourselves 🙂

Bake Board Game Goodies

There is no shortage of board game pieces in the world—both in supply as well as variety. Take advantage of this fact and customize a gift for your special friend with a batch of Canasta cake, meeple marshmallows, rook cookies or a tall souffle of your family’s secret Forbidden Dessert. Then make like a Door Dasher and drop those goodies off at your friend’s place. Join them on video chat as they chow down on the sweets while reminiscing about excellent strategies you’ve implemented when those board game pieces were real. And yes, you could attempt to convince your friend to put the leftovers in the proper board game box to be revealed when gaming can happen in person, but maybe try the freezer first.

Wear Your Favorite Games on Your Sleeve

Short of constructing a sandwich board reading “I like this particular board game” to drape over your buck-naked bottom, there exists no way to let strangers know about your love of board games. Until now! Introducing T-shirts, the convenient way to help others understand your affinity for Twilight Struggle while maintaining the ideal body temperature for existing. This is guaranteed to be a conversation-starter when running out for groceries or waiting in line for the vaccine. Consider masking up with a piece of cloth bearing the insignia of your second favorite game, as well, for maximum flashiness. These items of clothing can be worn on Zoom birthday calls as a way to remember the good ol’ days of gaming in the flesh, and drum up excitement for that first post-COVID dice roll.

Skip This Year

As long as most of our plans have been delayed until late 2021 or early 2022, you could opt to host a double-header birthday next year, with enough gaming to boldly callous up your hands. Tell your friends soon, though, so they can conserve energy and start coming up with excuses to bail early. So skip this year, but you’re still allowed to collect $200 from Uncle Pennybags.

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