I get my love for solo games from my mom. She loves playing solitaire (almost exclusively Klondike) and doing jigsaw puzzles. As far as I can tell, she was never into the competitive aspect of card or game playing (unlike my dad, whose love of cards and poker was passed down to me and my brothers).
Within my circle of gaming buddies, I’m one of the few that enjoys playing board games by myself. Whenever I mention my love of solo gaming, I usually get one of two responses:
- “Oh, I prefer interacting with others during a game.”
- “If I’m going to play a game by myself, then it’ll be a video game.”
Sometimes I want to be snarky in my reply: “Well, I like playing games with others, too. It’s why I’m at game night. Duh.”
As for opting to play a video game: yes, it’s easier and faster to play games on my smartphone or laptop, but I find it more enjoyable to be at the tabletop with an actual board with real physical bits and pieces.
Much like doing a jigsaw puzzle, playing a board game by myself is a form of meditation and relaxation. I like quietly taking turns and trying to find a way to win or post the highest score possible. I like being away from my phone and computer while I’m at the tabletop. I like the feel of those dice, cards, and tokens as I pass the time before my next “real” game with others. And I like not feeling rushed to do anything during a solo game. Everything is done at my pace: win, lose, or draw.