If your family is like my family, you have a house full of games and not enough time to enjoy them. In La Casa Bryant, we solve this by having Gaming Parties. It’s always great fun and doesn’t have to drive you crazy (even if you’re an introvert like me).
Some tips we’ve picked up from trial and error:
1. Decide first what you want to play and invite people who would like to play that. For example, at our last party, we wanted to play Gloom, Tim Fowers’s Paperback, and Dixit so we invited some of our more “wordy” friends. This can work better than inviting a too-diverse group of friends and struggling to find something that pleases everyone.
2. Be prepared to split into smaller groups. Set up multiple gaming spaces in your home. Not all games play as many people as you might have at your party, so have space set up so that people can break off into splinter groups: two-player games, or small groups. Make sure that no one is left just watching other people play and waiting for a turn.
3. Have something going on that people can jump in and out of. For us, that’s been group video/media games like the Just Dance series, Kinect Party, and JS Joust. You can change players in mid-stream without difficulty, and these games have the advantage of being kid-friendly and active.
4. Have no-fuss food that people can eat whenever they get hungry rather than food that requires a particular serving time. We often make a pot of chili, which we keep warm in a crockpot (you can change the content of that chili based on the food restrictions of your group) and order pizza. Include some fruits and veggies as well as traditional crunchy junk food, and have a lot of different drink options. (People are generally happy to bring something if you ask them, too).
5. Set an end time when you invite people. Gaming is highly social and having company is exhausting. Stop while it’s still fun!