My friend Joe threw the thimble across the table at his brother Max. Max was buying up all the property and very slowly putting Joe out of business. I was staying afloat but very bored as I watched Max slowly win. We all knew Max would win, but the game just keeps going and going and going … , and of course, Max was being a jerk about it.
I am talking about, of course, Monopoly. It’s one of the first games we learn as kids. Then we learn (from history and the Sherman Anti-trust act) that Monopolies (in general) are evil. But of course, every kid has already learned this lessons from the board game anyways: If real-life monopolies are anything like the board game, then they bring out the worst in people: greed, jerkiness, and mean-spiritedness.
And so, when families ask which board game people want to play, the mom reminds us that “Last time we played Monopoly, Joe threw the thimble at Max, so why don’t we play something else.” As my friend Joe says, “If you want your family to hate each other, get mad at each other, and general be mean, you play Monopoly”.
When I get together with my friends, I want to have fun. I want to feel closer to my friends, and I want to work together to overcome something.
This is why I like co-operative board games.
As a group, I can remember many times when we barely defeated Asathoth in Arkham Horror, or played that 6 hour game where we just barely won. It’s a badge of honor, it’s a shared experience we all survived and can remember later on in life. It brings us closer together.
And this is why this blog is called “Co-operative Gestalt”: A Gestalt is “an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts”. A co-operative board game is more than just the game: it’s the experience and the memories. A co-op board game is more than just a board game and it’s more than just a co-operative mechanic. It an experience that brings you and your friends together.
Welcome to Co-operative Gestalt: where we explore all the great things about co-operative board games.