2023 Sound Stories

The benefits of social gaming

Image showing assorted trading cards, plastic model and various sized and coloured dice

Since the lockdowns social gatherings have become a shadow of their former selves. Social events for gaming such as tabletop war games and trading card games have also been part of this trend. Here in Canberra, local players and stores have been pushing to rebuild their communities.

Trading card games like Magic The Gathering have players collect various cards to build into decks that they then use to challenge other players. The innate fun of games like this comes from how expressive decks can be but also the strategy that goes into building a deck and countering your opponent’s cards. During lockdown players were able to transition to online versions of their preferred card games, however, the social aspect of the game did not transition very well for those who did not have friends who could also play online

Tabletop war games like Warhammer see players collect armies of small plastic soldiers to paint up and lay on the table to do battle with their friends. The lockdown affected games like these hard, there was little in the way of online variations of the games. To occupy themselves players instead focused more on the painting side of the hobby, as well as enjoying the lore of the game in other formats like novels, audio dramas, and animation.

Due to the changes to social gaming, many have started forming communities that are aimed at younger and newer players as a way of helping them learn or relearn healthy hobby habits.

Going forward many players are excited to return to their old stomping grounds and begin to play cards, roll dice, and socialise with friends new and old again.