An image of the Axis and Allies Pacific board game box

Board Games – An Underrated Form of Art and Socializing

Over at Ars, there’s a special article on board games that you might want to read…

I have suicidal depression—and board games saved my life
Cardboard bits returned color to a monochrome life.

by Laurence Kirkby – May 14, 2016 7:00am MDT

I have suicidal depression.

That’s not a great opening line, and it’s not something I enjoy talking about, but it’s an important piece of who I am. From the age of 16 onward, depression led me to slowly curl in upon myself until the idea of leaving the house left me pressed into the corner of my room, shaking.

I’ve always enjoyed board games. For years, while my mind was caving in on itself, Monopoly was my favorite. I was “that guy who knows all the rules from memory.” I would crack the game open at any occasion I could. Over time, I even found ways to make it a drinking game, and I invented a truth-or-dare variant. I foisted that game on everyone I know. As my depression worsened and social situations gradually became horrendous, board games helped—really helped. At the time, I couldn’t see that. I just knew that I liked to get people playing Monopoly.

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It goes on to be a bit of a long and interesting read…

I’d just like to make a note for y’all before you go off and read.

Board games are a form of art that is so peculiar that people generally don’t understand that they are art. Board games mix storytelling, with some performance art, and cements it all together by making it all interactive. Boom. Art and fun all in one.

And I have trouble understanding how any of the ‘interactive art’ you find at museums can ever come close to board games for people. One of them always has to make a labored statement… while the other is about having fun with the people you love…

I think perhaps we don’t appreciate the ‘basic’ things in our lives as much as we should.

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Steve Zissou

Steve Zissou - a pen name. But who cares. Jordan works too.

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