I was introduced to board games by my parents as a way of spending time together and having fun. They were always brought on trips or played on rainy weekends. As a girl, playing everything from cards to monopoly and strategy games made me aware of the fact that I was smart. Me and my two sisters and parents had to work together or compete in a friendly manner.
Gaming took a back seat in my teenage years, as I encountered the world of alcohol and the false sense of confidence it gave me in social situations. I used it to gain confidence when making new friends, talking to boys and to forget the stress and problems in my life.
In my first year of University, I finally realised that this was not a healthy way to build a sense of self-worth, confidence, have fun and relax. I was not a nice person while under the influence of alcohol, and always ended up regretting decisions I had made while not fully in control. The realisation hit that my confidence was built on actions by a person that wasn’t actually me.
I decided to end my unhealthy relationship with alcohol and I have not touched a drop of it since. Of course, I still wanted to go out and have fun, meet friends, talk to boys and find a way to relax. I had to start again, building a confidence without the help of alcohol.
This is when board games came back into my life, and reminded me of the confidence they can build, connections they could help me make and how fun they can be.
Board games, were sometimes played among my friends and the people I met, and I became their new advocate at every party. When the social rules and norms of society suddenly are replaced by the rules of a board game, it urges people to both interact and let their walls down.
In this way, they have helped me overcome shyness and lack in confidence. Board games have made me let loose and have fun as an adult, in a healthy way.
Replace your lager with Monopoly every once in a while!
-Karolina Saxerbo Sjoberg
Girl Museum Inc.