Like Board Games? Here’s How to Get Involved in Salt Lake


(Courtesy of Game Night Games)

By Ethan Blume, Arts Writer


My sophomore year in high school was the first time I had ever been invited to a game night. My buddy, who I still regularly play board games with, invited me to his house on a Wednesday to play some games. I knew nothing about modern board games at this point, but I wanted to hang out so I went. This was my introduction to the board game hobby. We probably played “Splendor,” maybe a round of “Sushi Go” or two, and it was amazing. Fast forward to the present, and I am fully invested in the board game hobby, with a decent collection and regular game nights every week. A store right here in Salt Lake City, on 21 South and Ninth East, was instrumental in getting me into the hobby. That store is, of course, Game Night Games.

Friendly Local Gaming Store

If you are at all interested in modern board games or interested in learning about some new releases, there is no better place to go than to your friendly local gaming store, Game Night Games. The staff are always incredibly friendly and are more than willing to answer any questions you have.

When I asked Derrek McNab, an employee of Game Night, about any tips he might have for newcomers to the hobby, he offered some sound advice.

“Much like any hobby or interest, take it slow,” McNab said. “[The more] educated you can be, the better, much like anything in life.”

Walking into any game store for the first time can be incredibly overwhelming. There were over 4500 new board games published in 2019, a number that is sure to keep rising as board gaming becomes more and more of a mainstream hobby. But, the staff at any game store, especially Game Night, are super well-educated in what qualifies as a good gateway game. Also, it is incredibly important to ask questions if you are feeling unsure if a game is for you. The staff are there to help, and no question is a dumb question. If you don’t know what “engine building” or “worker placement” is, you don’t need to feel like you don’t belong. Board gamers come up with super silly ways to describe games that only make sense if you have played hundreds of others.


If you ever have any doubts that you can’t handle something they recommend, then you can always use BoardGameGeek. It’s a rather archaic website, but it’s one that has the answer to every board game-related question you could ever have. If you are not the type who can learn a game by reading a rulebook or being sat down at a table while someone drones on about the differences between each of the eight rounds, each of which is broken up into six different phases, then there are many YouTube channels that do a much better job of teaching games than most. Watching Watch It Played videos gave me the confidence to delve into games that seemed much too daunting.

How To Find Game Groups

If you are interested in trying out board games but don’t have any friends that are interested, there are so many ways to find game groups. Facebook is a great way, because of its group feature. Most game stores, including Game Night, have open gaming nights throughout the week. You can always check on their website and look at their calendar of upcoming events. Derrek mentioned that he helps out at the Holladay Library on the second Monday of every month to help teach games. There are always people willing to help someone find their way in this hobby, including me. It is so much fun, and I highly recommend popping into Game Night and grabbing some things from time to time.


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