Games are a universal human pastime that likely date back to prehistoric times. And although the games have become more sophisticated over recent years, culminating in today’s high-concept video games, their essential function as entertainment, mental exercise, and outlet for the competitive spirit, has not. One aspect of gaming that shouldn’t be overlooked, however, is their social role.
Bringing people together
Some may find it surprising that even though it’s now possible to play all kinds of games online with other people, we still enjoy having friends and/or family round for a games night. While it’s true that online gaming can be hugely satisfying, and that it has grown increasingly sophisticated and impressive over the years, playing games can still bring people together in a way that is unsurpassed and hard to beat.
We are social animals and need face-to-face contact with those that we love. But we also enjoy social interaction best when we are engaging in a shared activity. This might be a night in the pub, or going out dancing, or to see a show, a film, or a concert. It might also involve attending a sporting event, or getting together to do pleasurable work like gardening.
Something for everyone
The list is endless, but not all activities are suitable for all people. Not everyone drinks alcohol, or has an interest in sport, or likes the same kind of music. Working socials like gardening may require participants to be physically fit and able. There is also the question of cost. A games night is the perfect solution.
Easy to organise
The advantages of a games night is that it can be hosted at home and the costs are minimal. It’s easy to find a game that everyone will enjoy, and they can be tailored to the needs and abilities of those present. Traditional board games are still a perennial favourite, and you can even play online games together at sites like Casinouk.
Popular and versatile
In-person games nights aren’t in competition with online gaming, although the latter certainly saw a rise in popularity when people weren’t able to get together due to lockdown. The enduring popularity and versatility of gaming as a hobby means that we enjoy them both as a social glue and as a way to pass the time when we’re alone. The only real competition is between players in the game!
As mentioned above, people can get together in person to play online games. In fact, games on the internet and games you play together in a room fulfil complementary but different roles. Many people enjoy the anonymity and security of playing online from the privacy of their own home, as well as the convenience of being able to play at any time of the day or night.
Playing games with others requires planning and compromise, as everyone needs to agree on a time and place, as well as the game to be played and the duration of the session. This doesn’t detract from the fun, of course. Games nights and solo online gaming are enjoyable in different ways and most people enjoy both forms on different occasions.