Trend Alert - The New Game To Play

Across the country, men and women are rolling the dice on romance—literally. Happen explores why these events are truly win-win for all.

By Laura Gilbert

ver wished you could look deep into someone’s eyes, feel your heart flutter…then utter “Uno!” or “It was Colonel Mustard, in the study, with the candlestick”? If so, then you’ll love joining in on the newest craze that’s helping unattached folks score in more ways than one: board-game nights for singles.

In bars and cafés across the country, single people are gathering over rounds of Scrabble, Pictionary, Taboo, Cranium, and other diversions
In bars, cafés, and clubs across the country, single people are gathering—and making sparks fly—over rounds of Scrabble, Pictionary, Taboo, Cranium, and other diversions. “These events appeal to everyone because they’re naturally interactive. You don’t have to worry about making small talk,” says Lynn Reich, manager of Social Circles, a group that plans events for single folk in New York City. Even if you don’t know a particular game at first, “it's great for team-building while being social and fun.”

Some game organizers cater to specific audiences: New York’s Urban Outings throws game nights for gay men; the Unity Church of Christianity in Houston, Texas hosts events for Christians; and in Los Angeles, My People Connection caters to brainiacs with strategy games like Settlers of Catan or Betrayal at House on the Hill.

The beauty of game playing, say its hosts, is that it keeps you occupied with an activity while simultaneously revealing personality traits. “The foundation of a relationship is a shared experience, and playing games does that automatically,” says Brian Stein, cofounder of Urban Outings. “We had one couple who met over a series of Monopoly nights, then wound up moving to Paris in this whirlwind romance. It’s great to think you can go from selling hotels on Park Place to Paris!”

When it comes to bar sports, New York City-based freelance writer Laura Gilbert will take Scrabble over billiards any day.
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