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Playing Games With One Another

February 8th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

My ex and I had one solution for a lot of our more petty disagreements: Mancala.

Every once in a while it was Dominoes, but mostly, it was Mancala. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, a breakdown courtesy of Wikipedia:

Mancala games share a common general game play. Players begin by placing a certain number of seeds, prescribed by the variation in use, in each of the pits on the game board. A player may count their stones to plot the game. A turn consists of removing all seeds from a pit, sowing the seeds (placing one in each of the following pits in sequence), and capturing based on the state of board. This leads to the English phrase “Count and Capture” sometimes used to describe the game play. Although the details differ greatly, this general sequence applies to all games.

In the movie, Disappearing Acts Zora and Frank share a bond over a love for Scrabble. Another girl I used to date enjoyed beating me at Uno and my brother and his girlfriend are the first to get busy on a wide assortment of video games. Together.

So what am I talking about?

I’m talking about the underrated value of board games and puzzle-like activities in a relationship.

If there’s one thing I learned in my last relationship it’s the value of owning a good board game, something competitive and fun that two people can break out any moment. Not only are they a good way to spend quality time together and enjoy each other’s company, they are also a way to lower tempers and quell an argument. You two are beefing with another? Bust out some Jenga. Can’t figure out whose turn it is to make dinner? Don’t argue about it, play something for it.

Competition can breed resentment over those of us who probably take any little game too seriously, but only if we allow it. For the most part, a good game between couples is therapeutic, a necessary tool in keeping two people not only together, but from attempting to choke each other out.  My grandparents on my dad’s side have been together for what I believe is close to 60 years and though I don’t know all the ways they have accomplished such a goal, I know one major factor has to be the closet full of board games they own. Another one of my friend’s is a nurse and owns the game Operation. Why? He likes dating doctors so when they come over, guess what’s going down? You guessed it. Operation. Winner takes all…their clothes off.

I don’t have very much time today, so I’m closing today’s post with one simple request from all my readers. What’s a great game couples should own? I know Scrabble is important, a deck of cards is essential, and I still enjoy Mancala, Jenga, and Dominoes (I’m a certified Dominologist). But I would like to know some more games to own or a good card game to not called War or Go Fish (both classics as well). I’m not in a relationship now, but I’m pretty sure when I do get in one, a good game will come in handy. So come on people, put me onto game.

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  • B.

    I definitely agree and come to think about that can apply to any relationship. Friendship and family definitely a chance to not be so serious. To enjoy the people we are around.

  • Tahani Tompkins

    LOVE THIS! ok now you’re showing a different side…. iiinteeereessting! my ex and i are very competitive. played on opposite flag football teams and the “HEALTHY” competition was sexy. sometimes we’d place side bets[for things like dinner,sexual favors, or surprises, and by surprise i mean taking the dry cleaning for him or helpin edit some of his powerpts so that he could have mantime w/ da homies lol] its nicce when both parties can enjoy the competition and not get too serious… 😉

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  • Be

    I agree totally and play Scrabble at least 2 times a week. It has been a wonderful addition to our relationship. I would suggest Phase 10, Monopoly and Uno.

  • Ms.Riss

    Love this post! My ex and I loved playing games together, scrabble being one of them. One of our best nights was a game of shot glass checkers!

    With that being said, on to your request. Mad Gab!!! This game is hilarious.
    It’s also great when you have other couples over. Me and the ex used this game to solve alot of ” who’d gonna do what ” type disagreements.

    Also, Dave and Busters! I have a rule, that if we can’t have fun at D&B’s together, we can’t be together. D&B’s is a great outing for couples who need to just forget about the stress and have some fun. I suggest the basketball and the trivia.

  • Nik

    Taboo or Catchphrase! You’d have to play with other people as well – but each couple is on a team and it’s so much fun.

  • Brownivyx

    Poker is absolutely essential. There’s tension, trash-talking, body language and you can play for both minor and major stuff.

  • Aisha

    !!!! Yesss!! Madden has always worked (I’ve only won once, but I love football so I play), Card game “spit” or “speed”<— I am the master at both. Jenga, Mancala, and Scrabble are great games. A good game relieves tension 🙂

  • Orama

    30 seconds would be a fun game to play with another couple. Or monopoly or even doing a puzzle together if you’r both into puzzles

  • Shondabear

    Speed would be a great game to play with your significant other!

  • Growingupto30

    I’m new round these parts…but I love this post. Great Idea. I need to up my board game library anyway. Thanks!

  • esoteric

    I’m supppppppppper serious about my board games! I’ve played the Truth or Dare Jenga, Taboo and my favorites Monopoly and Scrabble with my guys. A guy actually taught me how to play spades and every time I play I of course think about him. In addition to board games I use to play Super Mario bros with the “one I missed out on” and we online gamed a lot too… it was a super great way to stay connected while he worked… we loved online battle ship “here shippy shippy”… My suggested board game would be Connect Four!

    SN: The “one I missed out on” actually sent me a text this Christmas in excitement over his new Super Deluxe Scrabble Board which of course I spitefully assumed his wife bought him….

  • Slimuel L. Jackson

    Twister. That is all.

  • Brittany House

    Love the post!!!! That new electronic monoply is the ish!!! And some RPGs.

  • Kae-Toya

    JOZEN you need a yahtzee, a boggle, mahjong,

  • naturallyalise

    My SO and I found a 80’s Trivial Pursuit at a thrift store for $2, whenever we play it lightens any mood we were previously in. Or when he is grumpy I’ll pull out a random card and quiz him, always makes for a good hearty laugh and tension breaker.

  • Syrita Jackson

    Spoons! Yes the double entendre helps…I have played some down right mean games of spoons…Always ends because one of the players dies laughing at how competitive two people can get over some spoons!

  • Shay

    Can’t believe no one has mentioned OTHELLO! Oh I love that game!!! Oh, and try busting out a few kid games like Chutes and Ladders or slap jack!

  • Ctbmac

    sequence, monopoly deal, last word, rummikub

  • Nadira Rae

    SPADES! Nothing strengthens a relationship like good ol’ fashioned teamwork (your partner BETTER know how to play though lol).

    My parents play pinochle often (it’s very cute, because they’re always trash-talking during the games lol).

    Connect Four, Trouble, Scattergories….Scrabble is my ABSOLUTE favorite (I’ve always said if I can find a man who can beat me in Scrabble, I will propose lol)

  • Esquin

    Mancala… I love that game. It’s all about strategy and getting all those marbles!!! But enough on my love of that game…I’m going to try this out in my next relationship, I think there may be an absolute method to solving the madness of petty arguments

  • leressa

    I love all of the games that have been mentioned but I also have a great love for the dvd version of the price is right… we get all into it like it’s really stuff we are going to We also really enjoy Deal or no Deal, and balderdash… which is a hillarious game of bullshit… This post makes me realise we haven’t broken out the board games in quite sometime.. I guess that’s what we will be doing for date night on saturday.. thanks Jozen!!!

  • Threesidestoastory

    Hott Hands…this can go either way depending on how frustrated you are with each other..but my ex and I use to play it all the time lol.

  • mo

    ummm….hello-BATTLESHIP. hands down. cant believe i havent seen anyone mention this yet.

  • Nikki Gamble

    One word…………Chess.

  • Jinx Moneypenny

    Chinese Checkers!!!!!!!!! I love Snakes n Ladders too.

  • Alana

    Spades! You and your boo against some other couple…when you guys win…man, bragging rights and accolades bestowed upon each other…

    “Man baby. This is why you’re my team mate.”

    “Yeah, babes. We spanked that arse”

    See…this leads to at least one day of lovey dovey ness.

  • FlyBrownie89

    So true! lol Spades is def a team game so if you and your man work well together it will bring you together even more.

  • Foxy

    I agree with Sequence