These hours are only for takeout and game rental pickup/return
Mondays: 11am-1pm only
What are we at the game table café doing?
• At this time all our retail games are 20% off so that you can stay home with your family and friends and still play games. This sale is only for card games and board games, so it excludes products like sleeves, dice, and D&D supplies.
• Our Discord has a wide community of people that come to our café and newcomers are always welcome to join us. We have Magic the Gathering groups, D&D, livestreams, demos, and more.
• Order takeout so that you can still enjoy our flavorful food. We are not open for sit down eating at this time. Call (717) 695-0836 to place your order or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org during our new hours to have it ready for you to pick up when you arrive.
Virtual games events
• Daily- link up with other people on our discord everyday to see what games there are to play.
• Wednesdays- 7:30pm- Magic Arena virtual meetup on Discord.
7:30pm- Virtual tabletop game Discord meetup.
• Fridays- 7:30pm- Friday night Magic on Arena. Virtual meetup on Discord.
8:30pm- Virtual tabletop game meetup on Discord.
• Saturdays- 2:00pm- Virtual tabletop meetup on Discord.
7:30pm- Magic arena virtual meetup on Discord.
• Sundays- 3:00pm- Dungeons & Dragons one-shot on Discord.
Listen in on our broadcasts!
• Tuesdays- D&D Adventurer’s league
• Thursdays- 7:30pm- Live stream: Play with Us- this week on 3/26, we have “Splendor”!
• Fridays- 7:30pm- Game Talk Live Stream. Chat with gamers about gaming and other nerdy/creative pursuits on our Discord!
• Saturdays- 2pm- Live Stream: Play with Us.
• Sundays- 2pm- Dungeon Master Chat. Talk with our local DMs live.
Reach out to us!
We play games and need distractions from our own isolation, and feel free to send us your ideas and comments. We want to make this the best experience possible. Here is how to engage with us:
• Join our Discord: https://discord.gg/kdcNQQy
• Follow us on Facebook. We will be hosting online events, and encouraging comments in those events so that we can make them better.
• Call in during our new hours and talk to us at (717) 695-0836
• We’d love you to play with us! Join one of our live streams and ask questions about what you want to know or just leave us a nice comment. We may not respond right away, but we will review the stream after and reply to as many comments/questions as we can.
• Email us at PAGameTableCafe@gmail.com
In this game, players play as CDC responders railing against a global epidemic. As the game plays out, each player takes two actions. One action is taken to save the world and in turn the second action is flipping over another card to spread the epidemic further. The rest of the game is a tense heat to take out the disease.
In a case where we have to stay inside, whether due to an actual epidemic or not, Pandemic is a great game to play with friends and family. It has become one of our most requested games in the cafe, especially in the last few weeks.
In this game, players are a field agent or as a spy master. This team game implores the players on each team to work together to find the other field agents through messages and secret clues. The Spy Master gives one word clues to help allied Field Agents find each other, trying not to be recognized by the opposing teams. Think of this as a more intense version of charades.
This is a great game for families to play! It engages players working together to think about their partner’s way of processing information. This game is kid-friendly and fun-oriented!
This maddeningly interesting game encourages players to think as one. If you don’t- you are in for trouble. The idea is very simple- lay down the cards in your collective hands in numerical order into a pile between all the players. The problem? You can’t talk to any of your other players. It is cooperative in nature, but incredibly self-punitive at the same time. Don’t be dismayed, though. The learning curve is much easier to get the hang of than you’d think! The extra lives and shuriken in your arsenal also improve your chances of success, just be wise about when to use them.
A great team-builder!
Arkham Horror is a living card game composed of a unique blend of choose your own adventure and cooperative horror that puts your detective skills to the test. Each player takes on the role of an investigator working together to defeat Lovecraftian mysteries and conspiracies while also battling your own demons. This game involves strategy, resource management, and a bit of good luck to help defeat. With such vast possibilities to gameplay and outcomes to the storyline based on what you play, there is a ton of replay value packed into the base game. It also has dozens of extra chapter packs available separately. Campaign games are this game’s bread and butter, so if you like legacy games or immersive RPGs, you’ll love Arkham Horror. Narratively satisfying, wonderfully bizarre in its sceanarios, and a lot of fun, even if you lose.
An old favorite that many families adore. It is a race against gravity as each block is pulled, compounding in difficultly the longer the game is played. Each player takes turns pulling out one block at a time from the pre-assembled structure, being careful to not knock over the tower. The game ends when a player and gravity have a disagreement about which block should have been removed.
A classic party game, great for social distancing, but also great for anytime play. Enjoy the nostalgia if you played it when you were younger, if not welcome to the unforgettable joy that is Jenga.
Hey everyone. As you are all well aware we can no longer host in cafe events or dining. However, we are still here for you. Under the Governor’s Emergency Response Directive we can remain open for food pick up and delivery orders. We are also establishing the GTC Emergency Response Team. Let me explain.
First off here are our current actions. Our New Hours for pickup and delivery orders
Here is what we are working on now. Yes. Game Rentals and Live remote play.
The Emergency Response Team
Our goal with our GTC Emergency Response Team is to provide you ways to stay at home and still play games. We dont want you to be tempted to congregate. So we are going to try and provide you a way to stay connected through us during these times. So join the Discord and watch for our announcements about live streams and gaming.
We will be actively coordinating these actions in the coming days. Please stay in touch with us and join us around the table.
On behalf of everyone at The Game Table Café, I want to inform you of what we are doing to support our community leaders in response to COVID-19. The government has not asked us to do any of these things. There is risk in what we are planning. No doubt these actions will reduce our business in the coming weeks. I know I will not be compensated for any losses by the government nor by insurance. But, leadership often means taking risks to do what is right.
The measures below are precautions designed to reduce exposure and “flatten the curve” through social distancing while still enabling you to support our business in the coming weeks. I take seriously our obligations towards our nine employees. They depend on the income generated by the business. Finding a balance between these two missions is what we are proposing.
Say no to panic but yes to precautions.
As of right now we are no longer going to host large events at the café. These are events that we know will draw more than 8 people for the event.
We do plan to operate normal business hours. We are evaluating this each day. We may transition to reduced hours and/or temporarily close down. Follow us on Face Book to see the latest updates. Right now we think there is a need to provide a safe place for smaller groups of people to meet. We also want to offer options for people who want to enjoy our games and food at their home. The following actions are being implemented starting Monday, but you are free to start when you are ready.
Buy a game and stay home. We are offering everyone 20% off on game purchases.
Buy a gift certificate for use when things are back to normal. Probably the best way to support us and our employees.
Join us on Table Top Simulator and learn a new game. Over the next two weeks we will host game events using Table Top Simulator. Schedule will be posted soon.
Capacity Cap. Still want to visit us but want to keep your distance. Starting Monday 3/16 we are cutting our normal seating capacity in half. This will increase the distance between everyone at the café. If you want to make sure you can get a table, please make a reservation. Walk ins will have the lowest priority. Call in to reserve a spot. (717) 695-0836.
Join us during our slowest times. Swing by for a latte, smoothie and say hi or use the free wifi when the cafe is relatively empty. Mon – Fri (10am – 5pm) We will be there.
Private Party. We can arrange a private party for you and your friends/family. The day and time can be arranged based on our non-peak hours. Make a reservation by calling the café. (717) 695-0836
We are evaluating the best thing to do with each of our regular group and league meetings. We are reaching out to each of those leaders and letting them know their options.
We will continue to monitor the situation and stay open as long as practical. We may end up temporarily closing down the cafe in the near future. Right now we are day to day. You can show your support by implementing the above options that meet your comfort level over the coming weeks. We intend to support you, our employees, and our community as we respond to this emergency.
Your opinion matters. If you have additional recommendations or advice please let me know.
Let’s face it we love to play games. As you gather with your others to celebrate this season you all know you want to bring out some games and try and get people to play. Sure, some will be more interested in football or catching up on the latest gossip. However,these games are sure to be inviting and perhaps help you gather people around the tabletop for your favorite pastime.
Short and Immersive.
Some people are convinced that our hobby only offers games that take hours to play. They grew up playing Risk or Monopoly and have no idea what great games are available today. A short game works perfectly before the family feast. These games have a short play time but also keep people continuously engaged.
Lanterns: The Harvest Festival. Playtime 25-30 minutes. On your turn you place a tile to decorate the Chinese Emperor’s Palace Lake with beautiful floating lanterns. Every time a tile is placed everyone at the table receives a lantern tile. Based on the arrangement you just made you can draft cards to ultimately score points. The game moves quickly. Players are drawn into the game by the beautiful array being created and the fact that you are watching to see how other players’ placements will impact your options when it is your turn. This game has been a big hit with families at the café.
Curios: Playtime 15-20 minutes. Let me just say for a 20-minute game you will not find anything better than Curios. Fast, immersive and a hoot-lotta fun. In Curios you are illegal treasure hunters searching the worlds famous archaeological sites for lost artifacts (curios). However, the market value for each type of curios is only partially known by each player. You know some but not all the facts about this shifting market and as each player acts to move their treasure hunters from one site to another you can gain additional information based on their actions. Curios is an immersive game of deduction, bluffing, and quick decisions like no other. This simple and intuitive game is quick to learn and even quicker to play!
Easy to Understand Game Mechanic.
Sometimes we just want a game that you can pick up and play within minutes of opening the box. Especially when introducing games to non-gamers. Here are two of our top choices.
The Mind: One of the biggest hits this year is The Mind. In the Mind you have to mind-meld with the other players around the table to place cards in the correct order. It is more than just a game. It’s a magical experience, an experiment, a journey in which you can’t exchange information, yet will become one to defeat all the levels of the game. The Mind was nominated for the Spiel des Jahres award and won the Origins Award for best game.
Silver: A fast and engaging traditional card game with a werewolf twist! Everyone starts the game with five face-down cards, with everyone being able to see two cards of their choice. On your turn you draw a card. Play it for its effect or use it to replace one of the cards in your village triggering that cards effect. Your goal is to rid the village of werewolves. When you think you have succeeded you call for a vote. Several expansions with additional cards are soon to be released.
Themes to draw them in. Here are a few games where the theme helps draw in new players.
Forbidden Dessert: The is an awesome cooperative game where you have crash landed in the desert and must work together to survive and fix your airship. You’ll need to coordinate with the other players and use every available resource to survive the scorching heat and relentless sandstorm. Find the missing parts and escape before you die of thirst. It plays up to 5 players and since it is cooperative new players can freely ask questions and seek advice from the other players.
Fuse: Fuse is a timed cooperative dice game. There are 20 bombs aboard your ship and you have ten minutes to disarm them. Dice are rolled, players select dice to resolve their part of the disarm requirement, and you succeed or fail as a team. It is a race against time that is sure to have everyone scrambling and working together.
As a Millennial, I hear the whispers in the dark surrounding me. Millenials are lazy, burdened by debt, and they’re killing cable and brick-and-mortar stores. They’d rather have craft beer and avocado toast than a house, and they’re always staring at a screen.
But by definition, they are the generation that first grew up with technology. Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials spent most of their formative years surrounded by gaming consoles and computers. We remember our first Gameboy and our late hours playing The Sims on the family’s first computer.
Fast-forward to today, Millenials are in a tough spot with low employment levels, crushing student debt, and rising costs in healthcare. Millenials reject the notions of yesteryear in favor of cost-effective and progressive solutions.
Tabletop doesn’t mean unplugged.
So what draws a Millenials into tabletop gaming? Millenials are not swapping screen time for face-to-face fun. They’re not ditching their phones to play a round of Clank in Space. Odds are, their Twitter feed and Snapchat followers are going to know they’re playing. Games like Werewolf require a mobile app to play, and I know too many people with their character sheets and spell lists tucked on their laptops.
Millenials want to escape into alternate worlds, beyond their student loans and tiny apartments. They have an affinity for nostalgia and cost-effective entertainment.
Fantasy is Main Stream
The line demarcating a nerd of the 70s and 80s – pushing up his glasses and rolling a D20 – is dead. Millenials grew up alongside Harry Potter, and they watched The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars in theaters. Today, Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV shows in history, and Marvel is knocking comic book movies out fo the park. Fantasy is no longer reserved for nerds, and Millennials are soaking themselves in these worlds away from life’s burdens.
From Controllers to Dice
A lot of Millenials have fond memories of spending time with a friend or sibling while they play A Link to the Past on their Super Nintendos. Though Millennials have grown up on video games, they have changed drastically within the last decade. Companies are doing what they can to milk every penny out of each game. Between additional downloadable content (DLC), subscriptions, and paid loot boxes, playing video games is expensive.
On top of that, to play with other people, they also need to purchase a copy of the game. Though a board game and a console game can both run around $50, only one person needs to buy it for a group to enjoy. They are easy to pick up and play with your friends or even your grandparents.
Gaming Cafes and Bars
Millennials can’t afford big purchases like houses, so they use their money for experiences rather than things. That means delicious food, enjoyable company, and entertainment. Places like The Game Table Cafe offer all these things at affordable prices. From strategy, card games, roll-and-move, and cooperative, there’s a tabletop game for every taste. And you can jump from Settlers of Catan to Monopoly to something weird like Exploding Kittens. The options are endless, and so is the fun.
Lucian Huang, at your service. I am but a humble servant of Deneir on my own quest from my late master. I found refuge in the city of Orm in this treacherous land of Agasteel. Journeying with me are two rangers, a bard, and two druids.
A farmer to the north needed our help dispatching a giant wolf that made a meal of his flock. After getting our mission, we followed the tracks to a cave. Inside, a glowing pair of red eyes greeted us and out stepped a wolf twice the size of a cow. We knew this was not a normal wolf. And while he growled at us, we had to make a decision on what to do. Do we rush in an attack? Use the druid to talk to him? Look around for anything useful? Run away? These kinds of decisions make Dungeons and Dragons an exercise in creativity, problem-solving, and teamwork.
1. Learning New Things Helps Your Brain
Studies have long been pointing to the benefits of continual learning through a person’s life. From delaying cognitive decline and improving memory, life-long learning keeps your brain active. Before the game even begins, it requires learning the game, reading about your characters, and a bit of research into the possible combinations of skills, abilities, armors, and weapons.
It may seem a bit overwhelming, but a good Dungeon Master, or game host, will guide you in your comfort level. You can settle with a pre-made character (drafted by your DM), pick the recommended configurations from the book, or create a combination all your own.
For those who love Dungeons and Dragons and want to dive deeper into the game, there are innumerable styles of play, lore, and nearly two-dozen official books to widen your horizon. Or you may go so far as learning to be a DM yourself.
2. Harnessing Your Creativity & Problem Solving
Creativity alone has many benefits which is good news for a game centered on designing your own story. To start with, creating your character involves much more than numbers on a page. What do they look like? What’s their backstory? What are the mannerisms that define them?
Everyone is capable of creativity. It’s freeing, stress relieving and promotes self-awareness and self-expression. When you play, get into character if you want to. Speak like them and make choices based on what they would choose, not you. I had a Cleric character named Laucian. He was very devout and saw all beings as innocent until otherwise proven. On behalf of Laucian, I refused to fight in instances involving animals and I ran headlong (stupidly) into battles against known enemies.
Creativity also boosts problem-solving capabilities. In D&D, you build your own story. How will you face obstacles? What’s the solution to the puzzle lock on the ancient temple? How will you get information from the barkeep?
A DM friend of mine played the same campaign for two different groups. In the campaign, we had to rescue captives in a large goblin and ogre camp. My group used a combination of spells between multiple people to project a symbol of their deity in the sky and use a thunderous voice to mimic him. Basically, we incited a goblin riot against the Ogres and snuck people out during the fighting. The other group made a giant construct to scare them out of the camp. Either way, we both succeeded in our objectives.
There are no multiple-choice questions in D&D, and as long as it’s within the rules, you can approach any task in whatever way you wish. Sometimes, the most creative solutions are the most fun and make for great stories long after the game is over.
3. Working Together & Improving Communication
Forget those Escape the Room games for your company Team Building days. The time limits and pressure to be puzzle wizards don’t exist in Dungeons & Dragons. What does exist is working together to dispatch foes or navigate an abandoned mine. As I mentioned from the example above, it took all of us to put on that light and sound show to free those captives.
And it will take your whole team to figure out how to cross a rickety bridge when half of you are wearing heavy plate armor. Have an idea? Speak up. Make decisions together. Lone wolves will get themselves killed. And for heaven-sake, never split the party!
Often a bad roll or a bad decision can make situations dire. I was in a group during that rickety bridge scenario. A plate-wearing dwarf tied herself to a team-mate. Neither expected the dwarf to fall and sink to the bottom like a stone. And as physics would dictate, the teammate was ripped from the bridge thanks to her tether. It took quick thinking and a lot of rope to get them to safety.
Table-top role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons promote creativity, learning, working together, problem-solving, and communication. These elements are great for the brain and important to life. Grab a group of co-workers, friends, or meet some new people and settle down for a game. Unlike other team building and “get to know you games,” you can drink coffee and eat delicious food while you bond over how you’re going in infiltrate the enemy base.
How did the wolf story end? The druid noticed that not only was he injured, but the wolf was actually a she. As he drew close to tend her wound, he discovered that she was a mom and her pups were missing. After some prodding, the wolf told us about the humans that kidnapped her puppies. If we struck first, we would have never discovered the real enemy3
Join us any day or night for great food and coffee. The Game Table Cafe has much to offer anyone looking for a great sandwich for lunch or diner in Mechanicsburg or Camp Hill. We are a unique restaurant because besides great sandwiches, we have the library of games for people to play. Many people think of us as a destination location or a great date night restaurant. We are a great place to meet up with friends and family for an outing, but first and foremost we are a cafe. As a restaurant in Mechanicsburg, PA; we have some of the best sandwiches and lunch and dinner options in the area, made fresh and with love! We love it when people pop in for lunch or dinner. We can make it to go, if you need to grab and go, and we also are happy for you to get a bite before or after the movies, or chat with friends over a latte and a scone.
Our sandwiches are made with high quality ingredients and are made to order. We have several original sandwich options, such as our Dominion sandwich – a toasted sub sandwich made with 4 meatballs in a creamy, mushroom and onion stroganoff sauce and topped with provolone cheese. Our Scoville sandwich has the perfect blend of creamy, spicy and crunchy! Colby Jack cheese, cream cheese, chopped jalapeños and crushed blue corn chips on a ciabatta roll and pressed until hot and melted. All perfect for that quick bite to eat during lunch or for a late snack after the movies. You won’t find anything like these sandwiches in Mechanicsburg for lunch or dinner except at The Game Table Café. Simply the best sandwiches around.
What is better to go with your sandwich than a good soup or salad. Our soups are made in house in our Mechanicsburg kitchen, we offer a variety of delicious choices. Unlike many area restaurants who purchase pre-made frozen selections. Our soups are made with fresh ingredients and our customers rave about them. Gluten Free? Many of our soups are gluten free. Additionally, we can transform any of our sandwiches into a salad. We have salads and frittatas which also satisfy the diner who is avoiding gluten.
How about wrapping up that quick lunch with something sweet. After a sandwich or soup, you should definitely check out our baked goods. We have a selection of scones, muffins, brownies and cookies all made right in our Mechanicsburg ovens. These pair nicely with our freshly roasted and brewed coffee and espresso drinks. Many people in Mecanicsburg claim that we have the best cold brew coffee on the West Shore. Our coffee beans are freshly roasted and are used in all of our coffee and espresso drinks. We have soy, almond and coconut milk for those who would prefer that to milk or cream. In the warmer weather, try our sugar added fruit smoothies and creamy frappes. If you are in Mechanicsburg or Camp Hill and you need something to cool you off our smoothies and frappes are the best. No better way to cool down than to stop into The Game Table Cafe!
If you own a business in or around Mechanicsburg or Camp Hill; we would love for you to consider The Game Table Café for your next lunch meeting or office outing. We love it when people come in to play games, but we are very happy to just feed you some of the best food in Mechanicsburg! We have a catering menu and will do whatever we can to satisfy your needs. We have a cake decorator on staff that would be happy to make you a birthday cake, cupcakes or giant cookie.
The best lunch in Mechanicsburg is found at The Game Table Café. Read our 5 Star reviews on Yelp, Google Plus, and Facebook. Our lunch menu is full of fresh and delicious sandwiches, soups and fine coffee! There is no better place to get a meal made to order, served with a friendly smile! We have a variety of items that are perfect for your lunch break! Sandwiches, soup, frittatas, salads, snacks, and baked goods. As well as coffee, teas, smoothies, frappes and a selection of bottled drinks.
Don’t forget about our freshly roasted and ground coffee! Lattes, Cappuccinos, Macchiatos, Mocha Lattes and brewed coffees provide you with the boost of energy you need for the afternoon ahead. Our hot chocolate and Chai lattes are creamy and delicious. Try our “Potion of Glibness” for a little extra kick! Espresso, espresso and then flavor….Bam! What! As the weather warms, don’t forget that we have the best cold brew coffee in Mechanicsburg, Camp Hill or anywhere on the west shore, and freshly brewed iced tea. Our chocolate frappes and fruit smoothies are cold and refreshing. Try a shot of espresso in the vanilla frappe for the flavor of coffee ice cream, and if you like pumpkin pie, our pumpkin frappe is top notch.
Nowhere else can you find sandwich recipes that are as unique and original. Where else in Mechanicsburg can you find a stroganoff meatball sub or a jalapeño popper grilled cheese ciabatta sandwich? Our tasty soups are made in house. The selection of frittatas changes weekly, made with fresh ingredients. We have gluten free, low carb, and vegetarian options available. We are happy to take any of our sandwich ingredients and create a salad for you. This is the place for a great lunch in Mechanicsburg.
Then, there’s the baked goods…a little something for everyone’s taste…scones, cookies, muffins, brownies, cinnamon rolls… mouthwatering treats to satisfy your sweet tooth! Most of the baking is done during the daytime hours so you may be lucky enough to get something right out of the oven when you come in for lunch. Where else in Mechanicsburg can you get a Boss Monster cookie for lunch. Our Boss Monster cookie is a giant cookie with a variety of tasty goodies like chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels and caramels hidden inside. The Lembas bread has been known to sustain many a traveler at the Cafe. Our brownies magically disappear, particularly our specialty brownies that are covered in peanut butter, mint or espresso icing. The Game Table Café is a must stop for lunch and a great sweet treat after lunch.
We understand that life is busy and sometimes you just don’t have time to stop for lunch to eat, but we are happy to make your meal “to go” if you need to get back to the office. You can even call ahead and we’ll have it ready for you when you come by. If you do have a bit of time for lunch, the daytime atmosphere at the Game Table Cafe is quiet and relaxed. It’s the perfect place to catch up with a friend over a great meal, use our free wi-fi to catch up with your e-mail, or even catch a quick game from our extensive library. If you’ve been here for Friends and Family night, or for another gaming event you know that we have a lot of fun playing table games, but now it’s time to remember that beyond the games we have really good food. Come out during your lunch break and get a great meal right here in Hampden Center in Mechanicsburg.”
In recent years, the popularity of board games has skyrocketed. Of course games like Monopoly and Life have been around for a while (and I’m sure they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon), but within the last five years or so, board games have had new life breathed into them with an influx of Euro Style games like Settlers of Catan. Why have board games become so popular? There is a growing desire to interact and socialize with family and friends without screens getting in the way. Board games are the perfect way to do that because you have to be present if you don’t want to lose. Also, board games are just plain fun! Board games are a great form of entertainment and just like there is a TV show for everyone, there is a board game for everyone.
So why am I telling you all of this? Basically, if you haven’t already hopped on the board game bandwagon, you really ought to. Did you know that there are actually quite a few health benefits associated with playing board games? Yes, that’s right! Playing board games is not only fun, but healthy!
1. Strengthen Relationships
This may seem counter-intuitive if you’re playing with a bunch of really competitive people, but it’s true. One of the best ways to develop trust and intimacy with another human being is to share laughter and fun. Having a regular game night with your loved ones can be a great way to strengthen your bond with them. I try to get my family together semi-regularly for a board game night and while arguments do break out sometimes, we’re all usually ready for the next game night shortly after. In addition to strengthening your existing relationships, board games can help create new friendships. We’ve seen plenty of complete strangers become good friends with a little help from gaming.
2. Improve Social Skills
Remember what I said about no screens getting in the way? Exactly! I’m sure we’ve all heard those accusations that young people don’t know how to socialize because of modern technology. Play more board games with them! Additionally, not all board games are competitive. There are plenty of cooperative board games like Pandemic or Castle Panic that can be great for team-building and teaching cooperation. Playing board games can also help ease social anxiety. We’ve had a lot of regular customers tell us that they’ve been able to overcome crippling social anxiety when they’re playing board games with others.
3. Laughter is Good for Us
They say that laughter is the best medicine, so it logically follows that playing board games may be the best medicine too, right? Maybe that’s leaping to conclusions, but science does show that laughter is good for us. Laughter releases endorphins, the “feel-good” chemical in our brains. These are the same chemicals that are released after physical activity like exercise or a physical contact with another person. These “feel-good” chemicals not only make us happier, they also make us more tolerant of pain. To induce laughter why not start a game of Coup or Cash ‘n Guns?
4. Reduce Stress
All of this quality time with the people you love most and the release of all of those endorphins will hopefully lead to reduced stress. In fact, according to a study from RealNetworks Inc., 64 percent of those surveyed said they played games to relax while 53 percent said they played games for stress relief. If you’ve had a hard day at work, perhaps a quick game might be the perfect way to de-stress.
5. Lower Blood Pressure
In addition to reducing stress, endorphins can be helpful in lowering blood pressure. It is believed that endorphins help to relax the muscles, thus allowing blood to flow easier, which is likely to lower blood pressure. This, of course, will help lower the risks of problems associated with high blood pressure like heart disease.
6. Can be Therapeutic
With all of the above benefits, it naturally follows that board games could be used as a type of therapy. Board games can help increase motor skills and basic functioning for those who are mentally or physically disabled. Just check out what The Bodhana Group does using tabletop gaming to help kids!
7. Teaches Goal-Setting and Patience
If you want to win, you’ll need to set goals and then be patient as you work to achieve them. Most modern games require a lot of strategy. Almost every turn you need to reassess the situation and maybe even adapt your goals and ultimately your strategies depending on what other players have done since your last turn. This can especially be a great benefit for children (of course you may want to use Catan Junior instead of regular Catan in this case), but I’m sure we all know adults who could use a lesson in patience as well.
8. Stimulates Creativity
There are a lot of board games that require you to build or create something (like Junk Art or Kingdomino) and even board games that require you to use your imagination (like Once Upon a Time or Mysterium). Even putting together a deck for Magic: the Gathering requires a bit of creativity. If you’re into role-playing games, Dungeons and Dragons can be one of the most creative games in which players need to put themselves into the shoes of their characters as they play through the game. Getting in touch with your creative side can help bolster your sense of individuality which in turn can boost your self-esteem.
9. Increases Memory and Cognitive Functioning
I’m sure we all know the stereotype that people who play Chess are smart and nerdy, right? Well, there might be a little truth to this stereotype because playing Chess has been proven to improve test scores of middle-schoolers with learning disabilities. Of course different games will involve different skills depending on what the ultimate goal is, but for the most part, board games challenge your problem-solving and decision-making abilities. Each game you play will encourage you to strategize and make calculated decisions to get you closer to winning. Some studies have even shown that board games increase your focus and speed up your response time.
10. Decreases Risk of Mental Disease
Because of your increased brain function, you will be at lower risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s when you grow older. I’m sure you’ve heard of the studies that show that solving puzzles like crosswords or Sudoku help lower these risks as well, but have you seen this study from The New England Journal of Medicine on board games? In it, 469 people aged 75 and older were asked to list what activities they did in their free time. Ultimately, 124 of them developed dementia, but the study showed that those who listed gaming as one of their activities were less likely to develop dementia.
So there you have it! Just in case you needed any more excuses to make your way out to our cafe, here they are. In fact, maybe even take a lunch break and come grab a sandwich and play a quick game-it’s great for your health after all. In the words of Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, “we don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”