Board games: activities for self-isolation

23 Apr 2020

I was going to write this post about something serious, or at least more relevant to microbiology, however given the current climate I felt that we are all in need of a distraction.

Outside of the lab I have a range of hobbies which currently have had to be put on hold, however one is thriving; board games. When someone suggests playing a board game, most people are taken back to rainy weekends playing a dusty copy of Monopoly, with the inevitable fight over who owes what to who. However, during my PhD I found that board games were a great way to spend time with friends, distract you from the stresses of lab work, and not to mention it’s a cheap night in as a student.

I find that playing a game with friends or family is often a great way to take yourself away from your current situation, as well as acting as a work out for your brain in a different way.

I often get asked what my favourite game is, and actually my response is always ‘who am I playing with?’ there’s nothing worse than trying to force people to play a game they have no investment in. My first piece of advice is to choose the game based on the group you’re playing with. I’ve split games up into 4 categories based on the level of enthusiasm or commitment to playing a game that’s required from players (very low, low, medium and high).


Very low

Also recommended: Tsuro, Hanabi, Coup, love letter.



Also recommended: Survive: escape Atlantis, Codenames, Sheriff of Nottingham, Forbidden desert



Also recommended: Settlers of Catan





James Williamson

ECS Secretary