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For a lot of teens, board games do not exactly spell fun — not even with Scrabble tiles. And let’s face it, once you’re over the age of ten, most familiar games seem to either be for little kids or for complete geeks. It’s understandable that many teenagers are convinced there are better things to do with their time. And there are. Like finding games that actually make for a fun get-together with family or friends.

Right now we’re living in something of a board game renaissance. While some classics like Monopoly are still good for an evening of friendly competition, there are some newer, lesser known titles, that are worth checking out. They come packaged with creative concepts, and fresh ideas — cooperative games like the Forbidden Island/Desert series, simple and quick card games like Sleeping Queens, and the award winning strategic crowd pleasers: Ticket to Ride, Catan and Seven Wonders. But there are loads more, and this isn’t an advertisement. Yes, they are “educational”, and promote “helpful learning skills”, but that’s not why you should play — do it to have fun. Any game you like is good and any time you spend having fun with real people in the real world is good. Unless, of course, competitiveness has caused generation-long family feuds, in which case I highly recommend Solitaire.

In 21st century, so many of us are all in their own worlds of social media, video games and TV. And, admittedly, I do those things all the time. But I also try to play a board game every once in a while, because- particularly in my time off school — after a long day, while I do have plenty of opportunities to do the above things, it is nice to have face-to-face time with family or friends. And, I think, what better way to do this than try to form the best working society, build the best wonders, or escape a sinking island together? I don’t think that movies or video games are wrong, but if your parents disagree, or if you are just looking for a new hobby, this is a great place to turn that you may not have thought of.

Board games have a promising future, and I think that any teen should have the chance to be a part of it. If your parents — or even you — want to turn off the screen and get together at the table for some time together, then yes, you can learn geography, or spelling, or even running finances, but don’t try to make everything you do educational. Just have fun with games. And check out the above games or others if you want in on the fun.