There is an ever-growing number of ways to play traditional style board games online. It should come as no surprise in these pro-internet times that there would be a push to digitize one of human’s greatest pastimes. There are obvious benefits and flaws to this, and I wanted to share my take on them. Especially now, since there is a drastic decrease in social gaming with all the quarantining.
I don’t want to just talk about it though I wanted to experience it. As I am currently in a city under quarantine, I thought this would be a great time to do my own study of this increasingly popular phenomenon. So, with the help of a few friends and some downloaded software, I did some digging and experimenting in the online world of group gaming.
It was a big hit with me and my friends. There are tons of options for traditional games whether cards or board games or even role-playing games are your jam. If you are looking for something new though, there are also nontraditional group games worth looking into. My friends and I had a blast talking, playing games and just overall refilling our social meters which have been running so low lately.
Some other great things about these games are fast clean up, because it’s all-digital, gone with the press of a button. Easy setup, again, push of a button. These games also tend to play large groups, but even if someone does get left out the games pass so quickly it isn’t long before they can join in.
There are some cons to this setup of gaming, but nothing is ever perfect. Probably the biggest problem is the learning curve with some games. Even games we already know how to play took us a while to get the swing of the first time. It’s like learning the game all over again when trying to figure out different website layouts and buttons and some of our friends gave up the ghost before we even started really playing.
There is also the issue of, if you want it to have an experience even close to a traditional game night, you are going to have to put in the work. We not only had the games we were playing running on a device, but we also had a separate device running to chat and see the people we were playing with. It really became a hassle for me because I have a partner, I live with who also wants to play games, which means figuring out a way where we could both see and participate.
My final thoughts on online board and card gaming are a bit complicated. On one hand, I loved it, but I also just had been craving any kind of social interaction and games. There were some steep prices to pay, and not just money-wise either.
There’s a big learning curve for these types of games, especially if no one in your group has ever used something like this before. There’s also the device aspect, where if you want an immersive experience, you’ll have to work for it.
Overall though I do think it’s a great way to close the social distancing gap, but I don’t think id make a regular habit of it when I could just play games with friends in the flesh.