Jul 03, 2013 0 Share

Game for New Friendships


Group of young adults in park with chess board.
iStockphoto

I have made some new friends. As I have mentioned in the past, I am a member of an adult social group that an agency that I am involved with runs, and I met two people that are around my age at the last group meeting.    

The theme of the meeting was “Game Night”—meaning everyone brought games they wanted to play with the other group members. It gave us all a chance to be in small groups and converse. I brought quite a few of my own games which seemed to be very popular with most of the group. While other group members began competitive games of Trouble, Connect Four, Clue, and Tic-Tac-Toe, I settled into a corner where someone I hadn’t met before was setting up a card game. His game looked interesting to me so I ventured over, asked if I could join him, and took a seat. A third group member came over to play as well. Introductions were made and then we started playing.

The game itself seemed very fun to me, although to be quite honest I did not understand it very well at first. My new friends graciously explained to me how the game worked as we played, showing me what each card did and how I could play effectively. I held up fairly well thanks to their help, but it did take me some time to catch onto a useful and successful strategy. I felt like a sitting duck at times, and I was convinced that they could have easily ended my time in the game if they had attacked me with their cards, but they chose not to, allowing me to continue playing and learn more about the game. I thought that was very kind of them, and I appreciated that they were looking out for me. In the end, we all had a lot of fun together, and I learned about something new and entertaining. 

As the evening ended and we cleaned up the game, I thanked my fellow players for the fun time. They then informed me that a local comic book store offered tournaments featuring the game for beginners and invited me to come and learn more about how the game is played. This is something that I am very interested in doing and will be checking it out. If I see my new friends there, I will be sure to say hello and, if there is a spot available, play a match with them. 

Making new friends is not always an easy thing for me to do. I have a best friend and we have a great time together. I also have many cousins that I have a blast with, but I do not always connect with others and their interests and vice versa. I seem to make friends more easily when we have similar interests and we both like to talk about these similar interests. I was delighted at how easy it was for me to introduce myself and connect with two people that were virtual strangers to me. I usually need to have someone introduce me to people—usually my parents—and get to know them over time. I think it helped that we were playing a game because I enjoy playing games and it put me at ease. Games enable me to bond with people over a shared experience and learn some new things about each other as we are playing. They provide for me a level playing field for communication, and I can speak with fellow players without feeling completely alienated. I came to identify with my two new friends in just this way at the meeting, a simple connection without preconceived notions. I cannot see how it could get any better than that.