Hello BGDL community!
I am sure that many of you, like myself, have been touched and inspired by the “Game Design Matters” stories Gabe has shared in the past (boardgamedesignlab.com/why-game-design-matters). His stories of the homeless coming together over board games and the friend who played Ticket to Ride to help battle through cancer are incredible testaments to the power of games to bring people together and help people find joy. They also resonated with me on a personal level because I’ve seen some similar stories in my own life, as I imagine many of you have.
So, I thought I’d create a place here on this amazing community for people to share their own “Game Design Matters” stories. Whether it’s a loved one battling illness, friends growing closer together, or just seeing the smile on someone’s face as they experience that great game for the first time, I know we would all love to hear your story of why game design matters. Whether it’s a game you’ve designed yourself (awesome!) or not, please feel free to share your story here.
I’ll kick this thread off with my own story, one similar to Gabe’s experience with his friend and Ticket to Ride.
My wife and I always enjoyed games, but a few years into our marriage we became close with a husband and wife who really took our game horizons to the next level. They introduced us to many great modern board games, from Dominion to Stone Age. Their kids also loved playing games and always wanted to be a part of game night. However, one of their absolute favorite games was 7 Wonders. They introduced us to 7 Wonders and we played this with them almost every time we got together, which was less often than we’d have liked since they lived a few hours away.
Several years ago, the wife had a severe relapse in a cancer she had previously beaten into remission. She was in her early 30s. As her health deteriorated, we were able to continue to see her laugh and smile as she would beat us yet again at 7 Wonders by hoarding every science card in the deck! She was a strong woman of faith and knew where her eternal home was, but the pain was still real and playing games helped her to forget that for a time. As she was able to do less and less, sitting at a table and playing games was almost always something she could manage. Our very last time we got to see her and spend time with her was in a hospital room, after the last therapy had been tried and they elected to go on hospice care. Our last memories with her are sitting around that small table by her hospital bed with her and her husband, praying together and playing one last game of 7 Wonders.
For me, that’s why game design matters. I can’t wait to hear your story. Thanks all.