How Do Engineers Get Social?

It’s a story familiar to all of us. Life gets busy and important things fall by the wayside. Things like getting rest, unwinding, and really enjoying ourselves.

Even when we have down time, there’s lots of competition for our attention. Streaming movies, big screen TVs, computers, tablets, phones, etc. We spend more time staring at flashing screens than we do socializing with other human beings!

If you’re someone who spends a lot of time working alone in an office (or at home), it’s not unusual to feel lonely and to crave interaction. You could make frequent trips to the local basketball court to get your social fix; but if you’re not particularly athletic (or if your knees tell you “no more!”), try something new to get out of the house and interact with people face-to-face: board games.

It’s true, board games have been around for practically forever, and playing them is not a novel idea. But we’re not talking about the games we all grew up with, like Monopoly, Pictionary, or Risk. We’re talking about collaborative games where it’s you and the other players versus the game.

These games are the ultimate in socializing. You have to work together as a team to meet objectives during game play. The games are strategic, have good stories, and are simply fun to play.

Here are some recent favorites:

Gloomhaven

Gloomhaven, like D&D on steroids!

Think Dungeons and Dragons on steroids, where the game itself is the Dungeon Master. There are lots of different quests you can go on, and, if you play well enough, your character gets to retire (and you get to create a new one). The sheer size of this game might make you wonder how the creators kept it all straight, but they did, and this one game itself will provide months of enjoyment.

Pandemic Legacy, Seasons 1 & 2

Pandemic Legacy, Season 1

One of the most popular board games of all time is the Pandemic series. The basic premise is that a sickness of some kind (plague, virus, disease, you name it) has affected the planet. You and your teammates must race around the globe to prevent them from wiping out all of mankind on the planet. In these games, you have a 12-month clock that you’re racing against, as well as different clocks for each adventure. If you like strategy, twists, turns, surprises, or thrills, these games have all of them in spades.

Try Before You Buy!

While the advantages these games provide are priceless, actually buying them can set you back a pretty penny. If you’d like to give ‘em a go before you make a financial commitment, check out a local gaming cafe. In a gaming cafe you pay a small entrance fee but then have a wide variety of games to choose from. You and your group can stay as long as you want, and they offer food and drinks, too.

Games might not be your thing, but it’s still important to go out in the world and feel the sunshine on your skin – and interact with your fellow man. Your mental health will thank you!