There’s a lot of hobbies out there, and some are undeniably better than others (like having a stamp collection is better than a cocaine habit, you can’t deny it). But one of the best things to get into is board games, and I should know! After all the games I’ve played, I’ve come up with 5 solid reasons to tell you why getting into board games is a good life choice that you should make.

1. It’s Fun.

This is obvious. Probably shouldn’t even have to say it, but I feel like there’s still some people sitting out there going Wow, board games are dumb. No. They aren’t. Maybe some run-of-the-mill games get a little tired and boring, but there are so many board games out there (I’ve played over 120 different ones myself) that have interesting back-stories in their rule books, as well as in-game “flavor text” which can include character roles and abilities, witty character dialogue, or just more story elements. (Have you ever wanted to wield a katana while making puns? Well your ninja-esque character might get to. Read the flavor text. It’s entertaining.)

Flavor text appears on top and card instructions at the bottom.

2. Mental Agility

A lot of board games make you think, probably more than most people do in an average day. It gets the gears in your brain going and exercises it in a different way than scrolling mindlessly through websites or even reading a book. Games allow you to strategize, think ahead, and sometimes even work as a team. Your brain will thank you for letting it stretch and think beyond one 140 character sentence at a time.

3. Making Friends

As you could probably guess, I hope, most (*all) games are designed with more than one player in mind. So you have to make friends in order to play! (Just talk to people. I promise, most of them won’t bite). Local game stores will also often have open-gaming nights (google it, it exists) for you to come play random games with random people! Everyone’s only a stranger until they’re a friend, after all.

See how it says 3-6 players? Yeah, friends are cool.

4. Decision Making Skills

What should I have for dinner? … Should I wear the blue dress or the red one? …  I can’t decide…
Some people can take hours to weeks to make a simple decision (I should know. I won’t choose anything if I don’t have to because I just don’t do decisions). In board games we call that “analysis paralysis” – you spend so long thinking about all your options that you end up taking turns that last well over the appropriate length, because you’re frozen..paralyzed…please tell me you get it.

Well, guess what? Your friends hate you. Don’t worry, only in the moment, not permanently or anything. After a while though, you’ll realize just how annoying it is if someone (or you) takes a 20 minute turn, and you’ll learn to make choices a lot quicker. Hooray for life lessons through board games!

5. A Break From Technology

For the love of god, put down your cell phone. In fact, leave it in a completely separate room when it’s board game time. There’s no reason to check Twitter and Facebook, or have the TV on during a board game, it takes away from being completely immersed in the story, and it ends up ruining the game for everyone. Board games are a break from technology worth having.

Your status can wait.

So as you can see, board games are pretty darn nifty! (So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise). If you aren’t already heavily into playing board games, you should probably go pick up a few now, call some friends, and play for the next 24 hours, at least. Enjoy, and you’re welcome!