The Timeless Pleasure of Playing Games


Welcome. One of the conversations I find myself having frequently with loved ones in recent months is about how we experience time passing. Is it plodding, each month seeming, since March, to contain twice as many days? Or is it careening by, a windblown mess of calendar pages left in its dust?

It’s a luxury, to be sure, to have the bandwidth to consider such questions, to think about how we’re managing and making sense of time. Last week, I asked you about the tiny things you do each day that constitute a routine, how you wrangle whatever hours you have at your disposal and try to give them meaning.

Albert in California is baking muffins each morning. Lou in New Jersey does daily drawings. Jean-François, Quebec, kisses his wife first thing. Many are finding routine in yoga, meditation, prayer, walks, caring for plants and pets, drinking coffee outside. Julia, who’s been working to increase production of her own food, spends quality time each day with her chickens. Barbara is trying to “do the next right thing.”

My At Home colleagues are playing games. Ted is losing himself in city simulation video games, where he can control the creation of neighborhoods, transit systems, bus routes, the weather. Frannie plays Trivial Pursuit with her husband, Fishbowl and Codenames online with friends, and the card game Exploding Kittens with her larger family. Jaspal and her husband are building their way through their Lego Architecture sets. “We spend quality time together, working as a team, helping one another complete each step,” she says. “ The end product makes its way onto a bookshelf for us to admire and mark the passage of time.”


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