Last week while sipping tea in Sugarhouse I came across Game Night Games. Inside the store, a group of people huddled around tables. They were focused on the task at hand, winning games.
Stepping into the Game Night store feels like a step back in time at first. Yet, after a few minutes it recalls a knowing comfort. Board and card games are can be some of the first ways people learn to make strategies, set priorities or gain a competitive spirit.
When asked to touch on the difference between board games versus more electronic gaming store employee Phil Kilcrease weighed in. "It's more social," he said. "You actually see your opponent. You get to interact."
That face to face interaction is absent in electronic media. When you look at a profile on Facebook you don't see a person. You see a character that they've electronically crafted. When you play a game on Xbox LIVE the spirit of competition can devolve from one of camaraderie and learning to one of slander and jest. To the gamers at Legend of the Five Rings night, held every Monday, personal interaction is key.
Additionally, Daben Steele points out that video games are designed with a finite set of rules. He said that more analog games leave the possibilities up to the players, who can craft their own journey. This in itself can be more mentally taxing, but the sense of reward that comes with a victory is more satisfying.
While the gamers' conversations on Legend of the Five Rings or Dungeons and Dragons night might provide content for a skit on Saturday Night Live, the takeaway is an alternative message. These players care about what they do, they want to improve and they welcome and teach newcomers with enthusiasm.
Game Night Games hosts an almost endless array of nightly activities. Every Monday through Saturday night, starting at 6 p.m., the store is busy with some gaming activity that is open to the public. To see a specific list of what's happening when check out their calendar of events.
Who knows? You just might step into a dungeon.