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Despite my enjoyment of board gaming, I still clung to a belief that it was something I enjoyed, but merely an occasional pastime. The vast majority of my personal gaming was still devoted to Nintendo using either my 3DS or my Switch. Marios and Links cluttered my consciousness. Usually I would wait until my wife was asleep to flip on a switch (no pun intended) and divulge into these data-coded worlds. However, there were times when I would play during the day to occupy small pockets of time.
One of these small pockets of time occurred during the first week of January. As I sat on my swiveling recliner, my wife attempted to hold a conversation with me. Obediently, or at least to fein attention on whatever topic she was on, I rotated the chair to her. I heard her and responded, but the majority of my attention was resting on that screen and what was happening on it.
It was at that moment that it happened! My epiphany!
I had a relationship with gaming. Anyone who plays games does. But my relationship was primarily focused on a screen and myself. It was a tight, exclusive, restrictive two-entity relationship. That's what video games were to me. It was just me and the world cast before me on a bright, vivid screen. It was me and my projections.
In that moment I realized how isolating my relationship with gaming was. My experiences with board games then raced through my mind. The times I spent playing board games were packed with people I cared about. It was a broad, all-encompassing, welcoming, strengthening, inclusive relationship.
I had accidentally created a situation where I was shutting people out. Board games, while not as socially acceptable it seems, is much more social. Ironic, but eye-opening.
Have I played any video games since that day? Yes, but not nearly as much. In fact, the percentages have completely flipped. Board gaming has become 95% or more of my gaming life, and I couldn't be happier.