I’ve never been much of a sports person. I like playing badminton every once in a while, and I enjoy the occasional good tennis match on TV, but other than that, I’ve never been what you might call an avid sports fan. Games, though… now, those are a different matter. I love games.
Board games used to be all the rage when I was a kid. They were expensive, so we didn’t own too many at home, but the ones we did have, I cherished. My brother owned a big Scotland Yard set that I found fascinating, simply because it had so many parts and so many rules. I was too young to play, but I’d have fun just watching other people do their thing. When I was a little older, I got my own Clue set to fawn over. It was easy enough to understand, but it still took time to play, which I really enjoyed. (I hate games that get over too quickly because I’m greedy and want everyone to stay with me as long as possible.) When I was around 15, my extended family took a trip to North India. During the long train journeys or late evenings at hotels, we’d play card games. We were around 10 or 11 of us, all of different ages, so even a simple game could get loud and rowdy, exactly the way I liked it.
And then, for a while, games sort of vanished from the equation. It still surprises me that we never did any big game nights at university, considering we had the numbers and we had the time. We might have played Jenga once or twice, but that was it. I also played Scrabble every once in a while with my brother and sister-in-law in those years, but those occasions didn’t pop up nearly often enough. The next time I really got to play was when a bunch of colleagues invited me to go out and have some fun on one of our (rare) light days at work. Singapore has a few places where you can pay to chill for a few hours, eat some snacks and play from a wide selection of board (and video) games. We played games I’d never even heard of before; that was how behind I was on them. We stayed there for a long time, made a lot of noise and generally had a good time.
That’s the way I like my games. Lots of people, lots of noise, lots of laughter and lots of insults being thrown around. I like playing with people who really get into the game, who get serious about winning. I wish more people did game nights; I’d definitely do it if I knew enough people who’d join in. There’s something special about just sitting around with a big bunch of friends and indulging in a few hours of simple, good fun. It’s stress-relieving, entertaining and uniting.
These days, though, it seems like the only game that unites all of us is Game of Thrones. Which is fun, too, but in a totally different way.