Game Night – Fun & Free, what more could you want?

29 Oct

It is Friday.  And that means the next few days should be filled with freedom and relaxation (unless you work weekends, in that case, I am sorry).  For all you ‘Budget Conscious’ people out there, the weekend is also a time of conflict.  You want to hang out with people, but the usual ‘dinner and movie’ plan will (in all likelihood) annihilate your budget.  $50 bucks down the road all you have to show for your ‘good time’ is a full (or in my case aching) stomach and a tattered movie stub.  Do you want more from your weekend?  If you answered, ‘yes’ then read on!  (Am I starting to sound like an infomercial, yet?  If so, mission accomplished!)

Why not break the monotony and host a Game Night at your place?  The rules are simple and the cost is perfect (cheap to ZERO).   Just follow the 3 simple rules below and Game Night fun can be yours.

Rule #1:  Pick a game (or two) appropriate to the size of the gathering.

For 4 – 6 players you can go ahead and pick something with more complex rules or involved thinking.

Suggestions:  In a Pickle, Last Word, Scattergories Apples to Apples, The Game of Things, or even go ‘Old Fashioned’ and play a card game (Nertz is a great choice among good friends) or dominoes.

I‘ve played all of these in a Game Night setting with varying degrees of success.  WARNING:  When tried with more than 10 people these games will become trying and boring to most.  So make sure you follow my advice OR ELSE.  Also games that require knowledge about the other players (Imaginiff I’m talking to you) aren’t very fun if you are playing with a new group.  Again consider your audience and you will be fine.

(Note:  Never buy a game based on the smiling family on the box – this game is fun, but only with limited players and an established group)

For 6 or more players Catch Phrase is my favorite way to fly.   But I’ve also played Buzz Word or Taboo with a larger group and had a great time.  Bottom line, the game needs to be easy to understand.  Bonus points for one that involves shouting out answers – that way you can maximize participation.

Rule#2:  Decide that winning is far less important than getting to know people.

Please don’t be ultra competitive at Game Night!  Nobody wants to be or play with ‘that guy.’  Friendly banter:  yes.  Battle of the sexes:  perfect.  Making everyone uncomfortable as you punch your best friend and shout:  You’re going down, you idiot – not allowed.  Get the picture?

The idea is to have fun.  You can keep score for bragging rights, but just make sure that no one is getting emotionally vested in the results or else MAYHEM will ensue.

Rule#3:  Provide great snacks

This is where a small cost may come into play.  However, you can still go cheap.  Most people will be impressed with baked goods and an assortment of drinks.  A Game Night at my house would most likely include brownies or cookies (or both if I’m feeling generous).  And I might even throw in some chips and salsa/cheese dip/guacamole for those (weirdos) who enjoy salty snacks more.  Play to your talents.  In my experience even slice and bake cookies will kill.  To upgrade to dinner thing, you could ask people to bring stuff and create a mini-potluck.  The sky is the limit, my friend.  Remember, no food won’t ruin game night, but cookies will make it that much more fun (and people will be more likely to come to your next gathering).

I hope I’ve inspired you to try your hand at hosting a game night.  It is a great way to spend time with people without spending your future kids’ college funds.  And you avoid the risk of paying 10 bucks for a sucky movie.  I’d say, all signs point to call your friends and schedule a Game Night ASAP.  Who knows?  It may become a recurring thing.

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One Response to “Game Night – Fun & Free, what more could you want?”

  1. gavitron9 October 29, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    I love game night. Put on a good record and whip out a classic like Scrabble or Monopoly and you’re good to go!
    -Michal

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