Date Nights with Board GameS

by Corey Goodwin

So we took a survey through Facebook and in family feud style, the percentages and numbers used in this blog are based on at least 100 responses to the survey. The responses are interesting and while they don't represent all of our readers, I think they do give a good indication that can be applied to most people. If you agree or have anything to say let us know!

1. Board games don't care about your relationship status!
- Survey says: 55% married couples, 5% engaged couples, 21% single, and 19% dating

The thing about board games is they are designed to engage the people playing. Whether you choose board games for your date as simple as Connect 4 or Guess Who, or as in depth as Dinosaur Island or Gloomhaven, the bottom line is the same - the game acts as a medium for interaction between you and your date! You'll find many recommended ages and player sizes on the side of a game box but it is a bit harder to find recommended relationship status on the side. If you wanted to put a twist to the date there are board games for that! Fog of Love for example is a 2 player game where players create and play as two characters that meet, fall in love and face the challenges of relationships together! Want something a little lighter? Codenames Duet is a great co-op game that lets your date and you work against the clock to find your hidden agents. The catch is each player can only use one word clues the whole game! Either way, board games don't know or care if you are married or single, they just want you to sit down and play.

2. Board Games don't care about your age!
- Survey Says: 90% Ages 18-50, 10% all other ages

Date activities are supposed to be fun, energetic, a time for connecting, finding out where you complement each other, discovering where you don't work well together and what to do about it...wait am I describing a date or Dungeons & Dragons campaign?! 18 years old or 50 years old, a board game adds the element of "play" to your date. Studies have shown "play" is important at any age as it develops a person in various areas including increasing empathy, sharpening social skills, building creativity, improved problem solving and clearer communication. Not only do these skills benefit a person, in a relationship these are key components to growing as a couple - and you never stop growing as a couple. Board games just want you to play together!

3. Cost of Board Gaming
- Survey says on dating activity spending: 35% spend $50 or more, 25% spend $36 to $49, 21% spend $26 to $35 and 16% spend $16 to $25.

- Survey says on dating activities (participants were able to choose more than one): 82% Dinner and a movie, 59% attending the theater, 50% going to a concert, 43% grabbed coffee, 29% played putt putt, and 44% other activities which included paintball, brewery tours, walking the in park, going to the zoo and more.

All of these activities are awesome but the point of this blog is to give you reasons to consider playing a board game for your next date (and maybe even the next one after that). Why are board games a great alternative to common dating activities? Because, as most answers reveal, a majority of you are going to spend $50 on an activity that you will spend $50 to do again, and $50 the next time - by the 3rd or 4th time you are up to $200 dollars to keep participating in the same activity! Board games on the other hand have a one time cost and most light to medium weight games will range from $15 to $50 dollars per game! If you do the math, lets say you buy a game at Target for $32 dollars and made it point to play it 4 times for your date nights - that averages to $8 an activity or $4 a person! Now you have $46 to do a different activity, experience a different food or just save for your next board game or expansion! Don’t like the game you bought? That is okay, try to resell it or donate it to your local library and try again!

4. Planned or Unexpected Date!
- Survey says: 53% never have date nights, 20% have date nights 1-2 times a month, 17% have date nights 3-4 times a month

Lets be real here, there are many factors in life that we pass off for reasons why we don't make it priority to go on dates as much as we would like. One I would like to focus on for this point is logistics - it takes time, effort and planning to carve out a specific time for a date. What do you wear, where to eat, what to talk about, will the food be good, will the activity be a dud, what is the weather going to be, is it going to rain, will it be hot or humid, and so many more things to consider! If you choose to play a board game for date night there might be similar questions especially if both of you are playing a new game. A big difference maker playing a board game as a date is the time is centered around 1 activity - playing a game. You can play at home or at a coffee shop (depending on the game), play dressed up or play in your pajamas, play a light game multiple times or play a heavy game one time, play while eating or play after eating - the purpose is to play the board game. Another difference maker board games can make for date activities is anytime you choose play a board game with your significant other it can end up being an impromptu date. Instead of just playing a game, take the game out somewhere that matches the theme! The same level of happiness can come from a planned date or an unexpected date and board games are welcomed at both!

5. Board Games doing what Board Games do best!
- Survey Says on double dates: 54% never go on double dates, 27% 1 to 6 times a year, and 19% other/non-frequent

The responses to this question, to me, were the most shocking. I am a fairly social person and the thought of not enjoying dates with other couples doesn't even cross my mind. But I think this question is a culmination of the last two points - the costs and logistics of going on a date is a lot for one couple, trying it with two couples is a nightmare...for some. In reality the benefits board games have on this point are very similar to the last point just with more people! Invite another couple over for a dinner and a game, host a wine tasting with a game paring, schedule a regular game time with another couple over Dominoes or Chinese Checkers, or introduce a new game to another couple. The possibilities are there and you don't have to leave your house! Going back to point one as well, board games are designed to engage players - turn a normal date night into a double date with a board game!

Corey GoodwinComment