Board games are a fun alternative to screens. The challenge with any game, but specifically a board game, is finding a title that navigates that delicate balance of being challenging – yet not too challenging for the younger members, fun but not easy, interesting but not too complex, simple yet not too childish. Finding a game for families to enjoy can be difficult.
I have to admit that I am not much of a gamer, so in a sense, I was like a fish out of water as I walked around Gen Con. I love my comic books and my superheroes, but there were characters and stories that I was completely unaware of as I mingled with the masses.
And though at one point I found myself walking with a person dressed as Deadpool riding a unicorn, I soon found that I was exactly where I belonged.
Like many parents, we struggle with the attraction of the screen. We have watched many a movie this summer and played many, many video games. While I enjoy all that, I still would love to engage with my family the old school way – around a table with no devices needed. Gen Con afforded me with many options.
One of the things that I absolutely loved about the convention was the fact that the companies had essentially two purposes: 1. They obviously wanted to sell you games. 2. More importantly, they wanted to introduce you to those games and give you an opportunity to play them.
If you have never been to Gen Con (this was only my second time), you need to be prepared for the sheer size of the event. It sprawls not only overall (and I mean ALL) of the Convention Center, but it spills into Lucas Oil Stadium as well. To say it is massive, is an understatement.
Throughout the event, there are tables set up for you to discover and play games of many different varieties. Most of the brands have people on hand that will walk you through the instructions and then will either play a game with you or assist you and a group during a game.
My quest was to find games that I thought my family would enjoy and to try something new. While the thought of sitting with strangers and playing a game felt unnatural to me, I found it to be quite fun. One of the first things that I realized was that the brand reps were all truly excited about their games. I found this pretty refreshing and encouraging.
It was also pretty cool to see that there were sections dedicated specifically for kids and for families. In fact, I found a full section in Lucas Oil called the Kid Zone Training Ground – an appropriately named place for kids to learn the basics of gaming.
So did I play? Yes, I did. I played with ghosts, I played trivia, I played with flying pigs and superheroes, I played with tops, monsters, and much more.
I walked out with a pretty impressive assortment of games which I will be sharing in upcoming posts. So if you are looking for fun games to spark family game night, or even a parent night out with friends, stay tuned as I will detail some of my favorite finds from the event and the brands. I’ll show you how we got “board” after Gen Con.
Creed Anthony is a husband, father of two, teacher, and writer. He enjoys quiet moments with his family – although quiet is actually a relative term. His children are 4 (the boy) and 8 (the girl) and his pride for them is without bounds. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Creed enjoys visiting new, fun, family friendly places in Indy. He is a Cleveland sports fanatic, comic book fan, avid movie watcher, and loves to write. In his spare time, he serves as the organizer for the Indy Dads Group.
You can find Creed online as “The Captain” at Tales From The Poop Deck, or on Twitter and Instagram. He is also a frequent contributor at LifeofDad.com and the only dad blogger “endorsed” by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He would love to hear your suggestions of fun events with the kids – or dates with the wife! – around Indy. Send them to him at [email protected].