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Board games, cards can bring families together while at home

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat
Social distancing means being stuck at home, which gives many households a reason to dig into that closet full of games to help pass the extra time.
Social distancing means being stuck at home, which gives many households a reason to dig into that closet full of games to help pass the extra time. Here are some gaming tips and recommendations from Nick LaLone, Ph.D., assistant professor of information systems and quantitative analysis, whose research involves human-computer interaction and play, and Charles Fisher, supervisor for the UNO Creative Production Lab at the Criss Library:Games You May Already Have at HomeMany old board games were created for children to play during epidemics like polio, so they were made to take forever to play. One advantage to board games is that they allow a group of players (i.e. family members) to all play at once.Candy LandMonopolyLifeSorryMost people have a deck of cards or a several deck of cards as well. There are so many games to play with a deck of cards, from the one-playe solitaire to large games of Go Fish, and this opportunity could also allow a family to create their own game to play with cards to help pass the time.TechnologySome people are isolated away from friends and family due to social distancing, but today’s technology allows us to still play games together while away from each other.Tabletop Simulator is a great resource for playing board games digitally with people across the world. Traditional board games and even new wonders from what is currently “the golden age of board games” are ready to go.Roll20 is an opportunity to play more complex role-playing games with full groups. It’s phenomenal for Dungeons & Dragons and a giant community of gamers have built modules and adventures for numerous other games.Discord is a major element in keeping a significant number of friends and gaming groups together. The app can be used to make a custom chat server to play games and operates on every device imaginable.Games to Teach Important SkillsMany families can look to games to help teach their kids important skills, especially with students out of school this spring. A few examples include:Scrabble – helps with vocabulary and spellingUNO – works with matching colors, changing rules and working on strategy.Guess Who – creates curiosityYahtzee – assists with quick math and random distribution learningChess and Checkers – develops strategic thinkingBut more than anything, gaming helps us all come together. No matter what you play or how you play it, games are more than just a fun escape, they are a tool to help us bond.
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Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.