Apparently there is a whole genre of board and video games known as “co-op games.” This is pretty much what it sounds like: games where you play as a team and the outcome is good or bad for everyone. Andy has always been more into games than I have, though I have a few I like. But recently he ordered two new games from Amazon, and I offered over the long weekend to learn one with him, because I thought it would be a good way to spend time together. He told me to look at the two and pick one. I read the back of this one called Pandemic and selected it. To my surprise, it was a co-op game! His response? “That’s why you picked it, isn’t it?” Yes, I’ll be honest: I’m not always the best sport when it comes to games. I get frustrated when I don’t understand the rules, and I don’t like losing simply because I haven’t grasped the strategy yet. So especially for playing with only the two of us, a game where it was us against the board seemed like a good option!
We ended up playing about 4 rounds over the course of a lazy Sunday at home, and it was a lot of fun. There’s no secrecy; you all look at each other’s cards, know each other’s roles, and help each other plan out your actions. I tend to fall short on the long-term planning aspect of strategy games, so being able to pick Andy’s brain about my moves was useful. But then sometimes I had good suggestions, too. It was collaborative and enjoyable, and it felt more fun to win together than for one of us to beat the other. (Yeah, okay, maybe I’m a pacifist. I know plenty of people enjoy healthy competition with their spouse. There’s nothing wrong with that, but for me playing together was more fun!)