Board Games

Board GameBoard Games are just that, games on a board that you sit down and play at the table. There are many games that most of us would easily recognize by name and just as many more that you have never heard of. Most of us regardless have a few of these sitting around somewhere in our houses.

Board games offer a lot of value on many different levels. As far as a financial view, you pay for the game once and then it is yours to own and play as much as you want. With many families struggling in the recent economic times, this one time purchase can go a very long way.

Another value of the board game is that it comes ready with rules, suggested ages, all the parts you need, & generally a standard time frame of play. Basically, all the work is done for the game and all you have to do is play it and have fun!

Card Games

Playing CardsWith one deck of cards you can play countless games! The great thing about card games is that there are so many different games for all kinds of different ages and skill levels. There are also other types of games that use their own kind of cards to play.

With a traditional deck of cards you can easily play a game for any size family. There are also games for multiple decks of cards as well. One of the nicer aspects of card games is that they generally bridge age gaps well. Another nice feature of card games is that they can be very quick. This can allow you to rotate through everyone in the family allowing each person to pick the card game, helping keep everyone involved with the decision process.

In more recent times I have seen several new games using unique cards to play. These games are often a combination of collecting cards and playing the game. Generally you need to build your own deck and play against other people and their own decks. While I have never gotten too attached to any of these games, I always enjoyed that combination of collecting and building the deck. This also opens up things such as trading cards from one person to another or buying a couple packs for the family and having a draft to pick out of the new cards.

Video Games

Playing Video GameMany people do not associate Video Games to a Family Game Night. However, I can tell you from experience that they can work very well!

There are many games now that cater to multiple players, such as party games, musical instrument games, & dancing games. My family personally has had great times with all three of those types of games.

Even if you feel that today’s video games are beyond you, and maybe they are, you can still have a lot of fun as a family playing them. Some games such as the music ones even cater to each player being at a different skill level from basic to advanced. Even for someone like me who has tow left feet when it comes to dancing, stll had a lot of fun playing the dancing games with the kids.

More and more now, some games are also being made so that you can play against other people online. This can be an interesting way to play with a family member or friend that can’t physically be with you as well. Also, you can find other families to play against and have fun that way.

Computer Games

Kids and ComputersComputer games can be a bit more challenging to play together as a family. However their strong suit is for the family that is separated by space. There are also many homes now that have more then one computer and then they can be networked together.

When it comes to online games, the sky is basically this limit as there are so many games and types of games out there to be played. There are games that are free and games that cost money or require a subscription to be played.

MMOG’s (Massive Multiplayer Online Games) can be very fun for a family to play together, whether or not they are in the same house or miles apart. Back when my family was smaller, just the three of us, we used to play a MMOG together and had tons of fun. Obviously each person needed their own computer for that to work though, so this may not be an option for everyone.

We have also played individual games on a computer, but did so taking turns and trying to get the high score. This in my opinion is not really the best way to do something together as a family, but it can be one of those in between things as well.

Role Playing Games

A role playing game is just that, a game where you play the role of a character. There are many different rules sets and genres available for these types of games.


· Fantasy WorldsRole Playing Game
· Sci-Fi
· Historic
· Comedy
· Modern
· Horror
· Super Hero
· And more!

I have been playing Role Playing games since I was about 9 years old. I probably started a bit young, but in the long run I learned a tremendous amount from Role Playing Games. From an increased vocabulary to learning how to work in a group to many other things!

The basics of Role Playing Games are that each player takes on the role of a character in the game. There is one player who is the Game Master and directs the storyline that the other players play through. Another way of looking at Role Playing Games is that it is a shared story telling experience.

Young Games

Young KidsThroughout the gaming world and all of the various types of games, there are three basic levels of games. Games intended for young children, teenagers, and finally adults.

Games designed for young children are often designed to be short and sweet, so as to stay within a child’s attention span. These games typically take anywhere from a few minutes up to a half and hour to play. The rules are simple and few to keep them from being too complicated.

When it comes to games for my younger children, I look for ones that are easy to set up and play quickly. I have found that there are too many games these days that can take more time to set up then they do to play. Also, be careful of games with lots of pieces, as the more there are the easier they are to lose. I always recommend putting all of the game pieces in a baggie that can be sealed.

Family Games

Family Games
Bill Branson (Photographer)

Games at this level have moved beyond the most basic game concepts and now are including more and more mechanics in the game design. Most true family games would be considered to be at this level, as younger players with some guidance can play them.

At this level you will also see many more different types of themes available. Strategies become more prevalent at this level and encourage more thinking about what your doing. Game times will also generally be a little longer at this level as well.

This is where you should concentrate in your game collection especially when you are first starting you Family Game Night. These games can span the whole family young and old and will become the backbone of your collection.

Adult Games

Adult GamesGames at this level often require either a lot of strategy & advanced thinking, or require life experience in general. Generally young children will not be ready for games in this category, though I always try to include the kids as best as possible. While not always the case, these games generally take a little longer to play as well.

One thing I like to recommend for parents that enjoy these types of games it to look for the junior versions of them for their children. More often then not, manufacturers will make a version of the adult game for the kids as a springboard to getting them able to play the normal game.

These games are not always the best games for Family Game Night due to their complexities, however they can still be a valuable asset. When your kids see you playing games they naturally will want to play them too and can help you get a Game Night initiated.

Winning & Losing

Winners & LosersWith almost every game come winners and losers. This can cause challenges for the parents, especially early on. However, the more Family Game Nights you have the easier this should be, as everyone will have times to win.

This aspect of gaming to me as a parent is a valuable teaching time for my children. I work hard at helping my kids learn to congratulate the winners and focus on the positive aspects versus the negative. I think that this is one of the more positive aspects of the whole process, being able to teach your kids how to be a gracious winner and loser.

I encourage parents to make sure that the kids have a clear understanding going into Family Game Night, that there will be winners & losers and that everyone will have their time to win & lose. Setting up expectations before hand can help avoid any problems from those early losses.

Record Keeping

Clip BoardThis is a very optional feature, but one that can be just as fun as the games themselves. Personally I love to have data about the activities that I do in my life and my wife likes to make fun of it too!

Much like a baseball player has a batting average, you can track wins and losses overall or for specific games. Depending on the game, you might also be able to keep track of certain aspects of the game as well. Keep track of certain stats along with wins & losses can help mute a loss when a player may have had a great moment in the game, but lost in the end.

In the end, it all boils down to having fun, and if this is something that works for you and your family that is great!

If you have any questions about the Games I would love to help! Just ask below! Also please feel free to share any tips you may have!


10 Replies to “Games”

  1. James, I have lots of ‘favourite’ games, mostly cards and board, as I love playing them. I do jigsaw puzzles too and have found a great site for them – both free and where you can create puzzles from my own photos. If you are interested the link is

    When I was at university in Vancouver, many years ago, Risk was the game of the moment. The wonderful thing about that, and a great socialising trait, was the ability for a game to go on for days. When someone got tired they passed their place to someone fresh. So lots of new and old faces circulated over these days. I tracked the game down recently but boy is it expensive now.

    And I agree that games are a great way of family and friend bonding. We lived in mining camps across BC and games were a daily part of our lives.

    • Risk certainly has a lot of great elements to it, but at the same time can also go on for epicly long times! The nice thing is that it is not overly complicated and almost anyone can play along with it as well. I really appreciate how you guys would trade out places in long games like that, very interesting.

      There is just something to be said for sitting down together with family and friends around the table and playing a game. It certainly provides a ton of entertainment and bonding time!

  2. Good idea for your website.It may help families get back to interacting with each other by investing in board games.Good job.

    • Thank you much Latonia, that is my goal here! I am all about sharing with others what a great experience it is to play games with your kids, so many benefits to be had!

    • I played Monopoly a lot when I was growing up. Had it for my kids until they borrowed the money and pieces to make up a game and everything was lost. Now that they are a little older, maybe I am safe to pick it up again for them.

      • Hi James. Nice job on your site. It’s very informative, easy to navigate and takes me back to when I was a kid playing games with my parents. Cool niche. I was going to ask. Are your Google ads through Google Ad sense?

        • Dwayne, thanks for stopping by and I am glad that I was able to resurface some childhood memories for you. As for your question, you are correct.

  3. You know, that record keeping idea would have an additional benefit if you have children. It would let you know if a particular child was consistently losing at a particular game. You could then cope with the issue by either coaching the child, giving the child an advantage, or tactfully maybe leaving that particular game off family night fun until the situation has been resolved.

    I really like this site.

    • Thanks Max. I will have to expand on the record keeping concept as that is another great angle! I appreciate your feedback and hope you come back again soon!

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