An article in Tuesday’s New York Times noted that has it has found a partner in the board game industry. “On Tuesday, the company began holding what it is calling Stir game nights, where singles gather at bars and restaurants to play games like Bananagrams, a word game, and Spontuneous, a music game. The company will present 30 events through the fall in its top 25 most popular markets.’.
Board games are for the most part a non-digital experience. When it comes to a dating site/service getting people to ‘connect’ over a something like a board game makes a lot of sense to me. I mentioned to my wife that our first date many years ago (pre-mobile devices) was at a place called Tiffany Wine and Cheese café and that place was noted for the wide variety of board games available for patrons to play at no charge. It was a perfect low-pressure environment for a first date. Ok maybe I should have avoided the backgammon smackdown I handed out to my future bride (no I have not forgotten) but hey we’re still married so it worked out right?
When it comes to true social interaction amongst people and in particular people who may not know each other that well, board games offer a real-time shared experience that have few parallels. Think about some typical first date experiences. A one-on-one first dinner date comes with pressures all its own. Sharing a movie is also a tried and true first date yet sitting in the dark with what is for the most part a stranger is hardly a way to get to know someone. The same can be said for attending a concert or live sporting event.
There are classic board games like Monopoly, Risk (does anyone play that cold war game anymore?), Life, Sorry, and Clue (ok not quite classic) as well as 1980’s games that are searching for new life like Trivial Pursuit, and Pictionary just to name a few. I remember board games also being useful when the power would go out. That once-primary use of board games probably continues today.
I think Match.com might really be on to something here. What might be more interesting is a possible renewed popularity for low-tech board games that have people not looking at their smartphones but in fact interacting and enjoying involved time with each other.
For board game fans you might enjoy some of the updated games you played as a child (no not Operation or Mouse Trap although I still wouldn’t mind playing a game of Trouble).
Match.com and board games are indeed a good match but it’s my hope that Millenials might find that a good old fashioned board game is actually kind of retro-cool. Yes I know I am such a dreamer.
Do you think board games match well with first dates? What’s your favorite board game?