The Friday 5: Five Tips for a Jiggy Game Night Situation


As Summer fun and Nivea's moment in the sun become a distant memory, it's high time to come up with more ways to entertain oneself and avoid winter's impending horror inside. One budget-friendly idea is getting the squad together in the name of friendly competition and merriment at a Game Night situation. No need to spend your hard-earned luchini in a silly club with ashy randos and a bunch of folks who've also paid to stand around, sip stingy servings of overpriced liquor, and scroll on their phones. Taboo to the motherfucking rescue. Here's how to steer clear of wackness and boredom.

Get your rules together ahead of time. Can you put a Draw Four on a Draw Two or drop multiple cards of the same number at once in UNO?  Does the first person who loses in Twister have to wash dishes? What happens if you don't complete the "Dare"? How many times do you get punched in the face for losing the "I Declare War" tournament? And so forth. With a bit of forethought, you can prevent fallouts and fisticuffs.

Choose your guests wisely. The goal is to provide an opportunity for fellowship, joy, and friendly competition. Maybe your homie who fights if you sneeze in their direction or cries over Tic-Tac-Toe matches can sit this one out. That associate who is the Beyoncé of Bad Losers and feels slighted on a spiritual level when they don't come in first or collect the most Sonic rings? They can play with themselves at home, for the greater good. 

Food and wine are might fine. Wine isn't mandatory, but nobody's fun and pleasant on an empty stomach.  

Play Spades at your own risk. Marriages, singing groups, and truces between feuding political factions have ended over Spades games gone awry. Know that when people ask, "Yeah, but can you really play Spades?" there may be an implied threat upon your wellbeing embedded in the question. Know your environment. It may be okay in certain settings to jokingly step into the ring for a fun learn-as-you-go experience. But in other spaces, reneging or excessive underbidding could result in a swift and unforgiving sternum kick and nobody wants that. Practice in the safety of your own home during the daytime. Download an app and practice with strangers who can't leap across the table and hit you with that Stone Cold Stunner for losing a hand. Protect yourself and your furniture.


Choose the right games. Unless you plan to have overnight guests, Monopoly might not be the best move. Connect Four? Jenga? Oregon Trail? Consider your crowd because you don't want to be the one who hosts the corny Game Night. A while back on an episode of The Extraordinary Negroes, we played a round of University of Dope with our cousin Evelyn From the Internets and DIY Don Diva and Craftswoman Extraordinaire A.V. Perkins of AV Does What. Evelyn even attempted a DJ Khaled-inspired freestyle. University of Dope is the first card game dedicated to hip-hop culture, and like the answer to the question, "Which Iggy Azalea song should have stayed in the shitter?," there are no wrong answers. Fun for everyone.

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Get your own copy of University of Dope right here. What are your rules for a dope, drama-free Game Night?

Alexander Hardy

New York City-based food-lover Alexander Hardy is the dance captain for Saint Damita Jo Jackson’s royal army and co-host of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. He is an essayist, freelance copywriter, cultural critic, chicken enthusiast, lupus survivor, mental health advocate and educator who has written for, Eater, Courvoisier, Esquire, The Root, CNN, Gawker, The Huffington Post, Saint Heron, and Very Smart Brothas, among other wonderful outlets. When not writing on, he enjoys cheese grits, power naps, sweet tea, and all things chicken-related. Alexander does not believe in snow or Delaware.