Social Games! Literally!

Jan 22, 2014 by

At a recent workshop, one of the pilot teams in Connected Congregations shared that they are planning a game night, and were seeking recommendations of good games that can promote socializing in this kind of event atmosphere. It’s a great question. My kids’ school does a game night every year, both as a social event, and also to help families find new mind-enriching games for their home. We’ve discovered some great ones, while making new friends.

The group identified attributes of good games for this purpose, including:

  • ┬áNo defined beginning or end. People can enter or leave the game without disrupting the flow, and don’t have to commit to one game (or group of people). For example, not Monopoly!
  • Games that require teams help build connection, e.g. one person drawing and another guessing on Pictionary.
  • No winners — it’s about process not points. This can even apply to some games where you do keep score, but points are essential to play the game. E.g. Make ‘n’ Break.
  • Humor, creativity and silliness. Games that allow people to express parts of their personality that you might otherwise not get to see or know in a synagogue setting. E.g. Apples to Apples.
  • Easy to learn how to play. Participants should be able to enter the game and feel confident without needing a 20 minute tutorial or needing to read an instruction manual.

What other attributes would you add to this list?

Then, we asked for recommendations of games on Facebook and got many suggestions, including:

  • Make ‘n’ Break – building with colored blocks to match drawings, racing against the clock
  • Set (matching sets of 3 pictures based on various attributes)

Do you have other suggestions to add to this list? Let’s hear them! Have you had a game night in your congregation? How did you design to maximize the social elements and deepen relationships?

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