Home Entertainment 3 tips for hosting the best game nights of all time

3 tips for hosting the best game nights of all time

Things to do

Kathleen Donahue from Labryrinth Games & Puzzles shares her advice.

The first Games for Change Festival board game night at the Uncommons Cafe, hosted by
The New York Games Non-Profit Babycastles. Photo by Gabi Porter about Flickr.

Board games are bigger than ever and having your own game night is a great activity for cold winter evenings. Kathleen Donahue, Owners of Labyrinth Games & Puzzles on Capitol Hill give some tips.

1. Set expectations

Board games range from devilishly complicated to lazy and forgiving. Make sure the guests know what kind of game they are entering. "If you have a big get-together, I'd recommend you several options because you never know what people want to play," says Donahue.

2. Learn the rules in advance

As a host, you are the default gaming expert. So crack the instructions before you arrive. If it's a complicated game, YouTube may show video walk-throughs. Think about sending links to players before starting.

3. For inexperienced ones, party games are best

"If you introduce people who are new to games, I would stick to games that are team-based or not very serious," says Donahue. Examples are code names that contain clues and word comparisons, and telestrations, a cross between Pictionary and phone. "They are great, either because they can be played as teams or because winning does not matter – it's fun to play." Donahue also recommends Secret Hitler, What Do You Meme? And superfight.

This article appears in the January 2019 issue of Washingtonianer


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