Kids of this age are connected. From their first ultrasound selfies, daily OOTDs, and App driven Nannies, teens almost never go offline. Their hunger for information starts with interests, leads to addictions, and results as dependence. A satirical website talks about a teenager who was petitioned to be euthanized by her parents. They were convince she had gone brain-dead, only able to roll her eyes and text. It is an accurate parody – reflecting the deficiency in conversations and relationships unpixelized by the internet today.
VP’s advice? Disconnect, and play board games.
1. Parents can look silly while still being cool. Games like Space Cadets Dice Duel, which involve rolling tons of dice trying to get symbols to maneuver the team’s ship in the right position to attack the other team’s – helps one role-play. Kids can manage different parts of the spacecraft like thrusters, weapons and shields, while the parent can tell the kids what to do in order to disable the other ship. Imagine the hilarity when they realize that their target has moved behind them as they launch torpedoes on the wrong side. Thanks alot, dad. Still – the memories stay, long after the last phaser has fired.
2. Live your own spy-kids franchise. Well, not exactly, but Spyfall, certainly gets there. Up to 8 players join in – with one person being the spy card. The other seven receive the same location cards, with specific roles. The goalis wheedling out who the real spy is. Players do this by asking questions, attempting to ferret out inconsistent responses. The spy’s goal is figuring out where he is – and end the hunt victorious.
3. Teach life principles. Aspiring for a young entrepreneur? Teach junior the basics of capitalism, fairplay and cooperation with a game of Panamax. Up to four can play as the CEOs of mighty logistics companies, moving cargo through the Panama Canal. Collaborate with your competition to rule the waterways’ traffic. Corroborate with military powers for cash. Learn to invest and buy stocks at opportune moments – reaping long-run benefits. The winner, like in real-life, is the one who adapts to situations – claiming the advantage at the right time.
4. Build castles and wonders. Check out the game Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Players try to make geometric sense of variedly shaped room tiles, in order to build expansive castles to out-do their opponents…and themselves. Another epic construction game is 7 Wonders, where players take charge of ancient empires, researching science, building monuments, trade or wage war with nearby clans to gather enough resources to raise their civilization’s greatest wonder.
5. Go on a fantastic adventure. In Mice and Mystics, families get to play as noble knights turned into Mice, how cute is that? Take heed though, as our heroes are chased after by the evil Vanestra. The family gets to play as the noble and nimble prince Colin, the castle smithy, burly Nez, Tilda the faithful healer and Maginoz the wise. Spend many weekends battling evil henchmen turned roaches, spiders and rats! Go through literally books of adventures together, squeaking through challenges by the tip of their tails.
These are just some of the great games out there, games that can make real connections with family and friends. Be a good parent and seek them out. Until next time make your games count!
Written by: Ron Villaver
Edited by: Reg Tolentino