No Age Limit

Last week I had the pleasure of having my parents over for the first time since I moved to Poland. During the day they went for their usual activities – visiting and enjoying life – so, most of the time we spent together was in the evenings. And what better thing is there to do in the evening than have a good chat over a glass of beer or water and… play a board game?

This is an NSKN Blog Classic post, originally published on the old NSKN Games Blog in July 2013.

You must know my parents are not young anymore, they lived most of their lives in communism, and the only games they played are chess and bridge. They have no gamer friends and up to the point where I started NSKN, they kept thinking that games are for kids alone.

I must admit that I was surprised and happy to hear my mom saying that she’d love to try a game, any game (well, maybe a not too complicated one). So I thought we could start with something light, just to add some spice to the conversation. We put Kingdom Builder on the table and after 10 minutes of explanations, we simply played. It took us about an hour to go though a 4-player game and I was thinking that the board games night is over. To my surprise (again) both my parents requested a re-match, now with full understanding of the rules. An hour later we had just finished our last match of the evening, with my mom having managed to win one game and my father coming second twice.

Playing Fresco with my parents.
Playing Fresco with my parents over a bit of Polish beer.

The next evening they wanted to try something different, maybe a bit more complex, but still in the light game category. We went for Fresco with expansion and we had another pleasant evening. I think that the “virus” is slowly getting to my parents, and soon they will be interested in even more complex games.

This was just another proof that gaming has no age limit. You don’t have to start in primary school and go through the usual path (Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, etc), the door is always open, even when you’re already retired. I am also happy that my parents understand better and better what I do for a living. It’s hard to explain that for a whole week, 12 hours a day, I’ve been doing nothing but working onan idea for a new game mechanism (and it’s still not ready). But with time and more games played, I think that it will slowly start to make sense.

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2 thoughts on “No Age Limit

  1. The cool thing is that there is also no bottom age limitation. We started playing games with our daughter when she was not even two and now she’s four we’re getting slowly to playing some decent games 😉

  2. My parents weren’t much into boardgaming initially either, mom was played out from her childhood and only really engaged in games with us to be nice. Dad participated a little bit more, but it was mainly a deck of cards and trivia games that caught his fancy.

    Then they came to visit me once, and admittedly I hadn’t fully gotten into the boardgaming hobby myself just yet, but I did have a copy of Ticket to Ride and convinced my rather reluctant parents to join me in a game. They caught on quickly and we actually played many matches long into the night that evening. The same week they bought their own first copy of Ticket to Ride (now they have many more versions of it than I do). Later on when I had started doing boardgaming more actively I decided to try them on Catan, and they had fun with it, but even more so when I introduced the Seafarers expansion to it. Mom and I now share the same favourite expansion; Cities & Knights, and the look on her face when I gave them that expansion for Christmas one year was priceless. Mom has also come with me to my boardgaming club once when she was visiting and plans to join me more times in the future, and she loves joining me and my friends for games when I’m there or she’s here, and has become very open minded towards trying new games. She’s also playing games with my nieces, and has so far introduced the oldest to Ticket to Ride 🙂

    Dad isn’t as active in boardgaming as mom is, since he loves doing a lot of other things when I visit, but when he’s visiting me together with mom I tend to bring out some games for us to play together.

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