When I think about my relationship with board games, I'm immediately teleported back to when I was a kid spending the weekend with my grandma and grandpa. We'd play outside all day, then in the evening after dinner, we'd run to the closet to where the board games were stored and would pull out one to play together.
Like most people, my introduction into board games was through games like Monopoly, Risk, Uno, and card games with a standard deck of cards. I'm from the Michigan, so learning Euchre was quickly a vital part of my gaming life. Honestly, this was pretty much it for the longest time. Whatever games my grandparents had, that's what I learned to play. We had a few extra games in my house. Apples to Apples, Disney Trivial Pursuit, and classics like Backgammon, Chess, and Checkers. My home was a video game household.
It stayed that way for a very long time, went through college and played cards, learned Magic: The Gathering just after college and was deeply (and still am) attached to that TCG. It would bring me to the local game shop almost daily, and one fateful weekend, a few friends showed up with board games. These weren't games like Monopoly. They looked complicated, strategic, and fun. I had an opportunity to sit down and learn Ticket to Ride, and while I lost pretty badly, it ignited a spark that has now grown to a flame that can not be extinguished.
From that day on, I knew board games was going to be a part of my life. I've grown quite a personal collection of games over the last 8 years, and have no plans on stopping. I've introduced my friends and family to games. I play routinely with friends where I live, and I'm constantly learning and thinking about board games. My favorite part is how much more creative, yet strategic, I have become in recent years. It is certainly a skill that I've learned to leverage in my professional life.
Big thank you to board games, for being an excellent outlet and escape from reality.