When are you ready to start gaming face-to-face, again?

by Bob-TheGuyUKnow. Posted on Jun 30, 2020    19    91

Thought I might take a very unscientific poll of when everyone feels they might be ready to start:

Gaming with Friends

Gaming at your FLGS

Attending Small Gaming Conventions (i.e. a local "Gamefest")

Attending Large Gaming Conventions (i.e. Gencon)

Going on a Gaming Cruise

Also, in which part of the world - and in larger countries, what region/province/state/city, your choice - are you?



Now for all of them. I'm in Green Bay, WI.

CustomerSentarai 1

WI looking really bad currently

SnackeyG1 3

Yeah I'm fully expecting lockdown two. I haven't done much of anything except play with my coworkers. We are around each other anyway so we figure what's the difference.

uhhhclem 1

When we have a treatment or a vaccine.

CaptainMilly 1

Until there's a vaccine

Dinosaurs_dont_real 1

I'm keeping it limited to close family that I know are taking things seriously. I don't plan on attending any of the public meetups or anything until a vaccine, herd immunity or I get it and recover (assuming you have some immunity). So basically 2021 for anything public or expanding my group.

ShelfClutter 1

Yes.. With people who actually quarantined 🙂

0ddAutist 1

Gaming with Friends? Never stopped. I gamed with friends through the entire quarantine.

Gaming at your FLGS ? When they allow it I will go back the first day.


Attending Small Gaming Conventions (i.e. a local "Gamefest") ? As soon as they have one.


Attending Large Gaming Conventions (i.e. Gencon) ? Never been to a national con, hope to attend one soon!


Going on a Gaming Cruise ? Not my thing, I'll have to skip this one


I'm in Southern Colorado, my county has had one case. We've been business as usual for a few weeks now

rogaldorn 1

Whenever the local daily new cases is in the single digits, that's when I'll start to think about going to meetups again. Until then, I'll be making inserts to pass the time.

hinghenry 1

Life in almost normal in Hong Kong. I am planning to resume playing when my young daughter grow older/more independent, like in 3 years time.

TonerLowDown 1

I was ready, maybe, but now that we’re spiking again it’s gonna be a whole longer.

MuckBubbler 1

Sticking with gaming over Zoom for the near future.

RealKorkin 1

With friends is somewhat feasible, as long as we can all basically have an arrangement to have no in-person interaction with anyone outside the group.

However, I know that one of my friends it's impossible to do anything with in-person, since he and his family are all essential workers.

For literally every other category the answer is "not for a loooooong time". Before I'm willing to interact with strangers in close quarters, we need to have the virus completely under control, and with how it is here in the US, that's not happening any time soon.

SiriusMusta 1

Gaming with friends
Already started it, it has been fun.

Just yesterday the playarea of my FLGS opened and i had some time to play some games.

Small conventions
I'm open for small conventions, but there isn't any soon.

Big conventions
Open for them too, i hope some could still get relaunched this year.

Going on a gaming cruise
Never been on one, and not interested.

I live in Finland, we're pretty much back to normal.

ratguy 1

Gaming is pretty much back to normal here in New Zealand as well. I'd have been playing with friends last night if I weren't out of town. So instead I was playing Maracaibo solo.

Gergi_247 1

I have a small private group of 4-5 people who I game with. Our group started meeting every other Friday about a month ago. I don’t think I’ll go to any other game nights for awhile, but I’m okay with the risk level for my small group.

barf_the_mog 1

No gaming group and no plans. Considering what we now know about transmission and the kinds of spaces that promote it, it would seem kind of careless to purposely spend a bunch of time breathing in the same room with others.

cthonctic 1

Already started doing Gloomhaven sessions in person again with my steady group two weekends ago. But then again, Germany barely has been hit by COVID at all.

Plus, I have no intention of doing any of the other options on OP's list any time soon, pandemic or no.

MrGurbic 1

After this this current surge, probably gonna be a significant delay before we play again.

classy-boner 1

For reference, I live in Kentucky. I've already started gaming with friends again (group size is 4-5 people). I never played games at a FLGS beforehand, so I'm definitely not starting now, which is also the case for cruises. Fall 2021 sounds about right for conventions, but we'll have to wait and see.

AYCB-Carlo 1

I'm in Manitoba (Canada) and the infection rates have been super low. The number of active cases has steadily been around only 2 or 3 for weeks now, so I consider myself fortunate enough to get back to gaming a bit with family and one or two close friends who are still taking social distancing seriously.

Even with the really low numbers, I'm not fully comfortable going back to "normal" yet.

Zmirzlina 1

Friends - now, we have tenants/friends in our guest apartment above our garage that have been home for three months like us.

Our son’s best friend lives across the street and they’ve been isolated as well.

My parents have been socially isolated with only me running errands for them and only rarely.

So we have a small group we game with, but only outside in our back yard.

Everything else will be when we have a vaccine or herd immunity.

gperson2 1

Well I was going to have friends from college over in about two months. So far that’s still the plan. Apart from the grocery store, where I wear a mask, and walking the dog, haven’t left the house since March. Going pretty nuts here.

lancebanson 1

It's gonna be a hot minute, unfortunately. Even just having friends or family over (or vice versa) is kind of a no-go right now, especially for something like a board game that will need everyone in close contact around the same table for an extended period.

I'm really hoping shit will be back to some semblance of normalcy sometime next year, but the way things are going here, I'm honestly beginning to wonder if that's too optimistic.

PixelartMeeple 1

Last night was my first small game night with friends. The county and state I live in just started slightly relaxing restrictions, allowing people to have small in-home gatherings with no more than 5 people from outside your household per week.

So we took the opportunity to gather a 5p game night with people I trust, and it was awesome. I will not attend any public events for quite a long time.

I will likely not be re-instituting my open game nights - which typically drew between 8 and 16 players, until a vaccine is developed. And, as someone with chronic respiratory issues, I will be very clear that un-vaccinated players will not be allowed to attend.


I am comfortable to gather with my select gaming friends pretty much now. But my gaming friends are my regular friends that I have had for 20 years. So I know them well and what kind of things they do.

I have only ever played at the FLGS a couple times and have never attended a convention, so those aren't a concern for me.

GremioIsDead 1

Isn’t it rather pointless to ask before this even starts to wind down in the US (if it ever does)? Nobody knows how long it will last, so how can we plan around it?

dswartze 8

You could interpret the question not as asking what the timeframe is but instead what set of conditions need to be met.

DelayedChoice 31

> Isn’t it rather pointless to ask before this even starts to wind down in the US (if it ever does)?

America isn't the only country in the world.

MalReynolds 3

Gaming with friends - now but only a couple people who can tell me if they've been sick/exposed or not.

Gaming at FLGS - couple months from now if people actually listen and follow safety precautions.

Small con - only one I go to that is small is cancelled this year so next year

Large con - same as small con

Gaming Cruise - I'm scheduled to go on the Dice Tower Cruise in February. If there is a vaccine then I'll go there after getting it otherwise I'll see if I can cancel.

Edit: I live in WV and in an area where my closest neighbor is about 200 ft away or 61 meters.

mrasmith00 4

I'm lucky being in Sydney, Australia, we have been able to game face to face for a while now as we have close to zero known community transmission. Unfortunately community transmission is picking up in the neighbouring state so we might be going back to solo gaming and toilet paper hoarding.

Locclo 2

I’m pretty much at the state of waiting for a vaccine, so hopefully sometime in 2021. I’m at risk, my dad is at risk, and one of the people in my gaming group works in retail. I’ve got zero plans to start gaming with other people IRL for a good long while.

FatPhil 2

Me and some friends started playing again a few weeks ago. backyards only. no other protections. we dont live with our parents and are all youngish so we arent exposing the vulnerable population. we all stay home for 99.9% of our lives, except for the occasional grocery trip so its not like we have much potential to bring in an outside contamination.

if you cant game now then you cant game until theres a vaccine. and who knows when that will be. there has never been a vaccinne successfully made for this type of virus so it may never come.

WoodForDays 2

I'm in NZ. Life is pretty much back to normal here, I've had 6 game nights in the last month and there's a board gaming convention happening in a couple weeks. Everyone here is careful; frequent hand-washing, don't come if you have the sniffles, etc. I feel extremely lucky to be in this situation and I need to remember not to take it for granted.

Dice_and_Dragons 2

It depends there are some people that i would game with face to face because they are in control of their social circle but others I wouldn’t just because of the risk associated with gaming in person. Just so you know the amount of people is like 3 lol

LordJunon 2

I live north of allegheny county in PA. My county has been alright in fighting this..I go to a FLGS on tuesday nights, with about 4-7 people there.
I go to my friends place on friday nights and there is usually 2-5 people there.

There is no forking way i'm going to a big game group meetup, especially since Allegeheny county just hit 90 freaking cases today (27 June)

Ill probably go to my friends and the FLGS for a bit longer but i'm probably gonna have to hole up because my mom has COPD, and I help take care of her. when i come home before anything I sanitize my hands and scrub the door for the basement.

I dunno when ill do anything above this.

Fortunately I got a few good solo games (Hooray Gloomhaven JOTL)

mdillenbeck 2

With my county looking like this (under the data window there are tabs - look through the various bits of data and see how this is all FUBAR again) and going to a partial phase 2 rollback (no standing service in bars and restaurants, sit down visits required), I'd say I won't be doing any outside gaming until we see anti-virals or a vaccine.

Of course, using Sweden as a case study of trusting to see if people will do the right thing if given the choice we can see people will not - and now my state has patchwork policies at the county level which mirrors the states at a federal level. It is going to be really bad in the US this summer, and then when the cold weather drives everyone inside again it is going to get really bad. I have to many low to mid to high level at risk people in my family to see them - and my wife has some extra risk factors so we stay in as much as possible.

In the end, I'm lucky - my wife is my main gaming partner and we on our anniversary about 2 months back we started Gloomhaven, so with our collection we have plenty of games to keep us occupied for a decade or two at least.

Bruhahah 2

I'd be comfortable in doing my due diligence to game with masks on for friends, but sitting down to game with strangers is off the table until a vaccine.

Vagueperson1 2

I just built a gaming room in my basement, and I'm very eager to put a gaming group together (this has been my quarantine project). However, my wife is about to have twins, so we're in a vulnerable position, and I'm not going to start inviting people until we have a high degree of confidence in our safety. With current news of the first wave not abating yet I think it's impossible to say when this will be over. Who can say "1 month, 2 months" when we don't know if it's going to start decreasing more or hit a second wave? It's hard to wait and difficult to make these determinations about our own safety without good information. But that's just it - not enough positive confirming data yet.

ChimpdenEarwicker 2

In the US we have done such a horrendous job that things are getting worse again and its terrifying.

Thankfully my state has had a science based response and we are doing ok but it is very confusing and scary to be in the US right now.

I guess I am going to start playing board games with a limited pool of people just because I can't stay isolated forever but my feelings change day to day.

tothecore17 2

I agree with your last point but it's also why things are spiking up a bit. it's tough to think of wasting a whole year of literally doing nothing and people are at that point now. it really sucks.

dodecapode 2

Gaming with friends: once the transmission of the disease is under better control here, especially as I'm reliant on public transport to get around (which isn't usually an issue in a city with great transport). I don't have a specific metric or anything, it's going to depend greatly on how I and the people I live with feel about risk levels. I don't usually game with more than 4-5 people at once so we are at least talking small groups here.

Gaming at FLGS and cons: Same answer for all of these - either there needs to be an effective vaccine/treatment, or the disease needs to be all but wiped out in my country (this is not likely to happen based on testing/tracing alone given our shambles of a government).

Gaming on a cruise: This was never a concern for me to start with :) Cruise ships have always struck me as a cross between a floating prison, a tacky hotel, and a disease incubator... I know enough people who've had fun with norovirus at sea to not want to touch this with a ten foot pole.

I'm in London (the original one, not any of the sequels).

DarQraven 2

Where I live, the confirmed infected population (with testing) is around 0.008% (or 1 in 12000), most of which is 3 provinces over. Different countries (or even areas) have very different figures and phases, which will affect the responses to a large degree I'd say.

As is, I feel comfortable meeting some people I know are careful and sensible about things, but definitely not planning any meetups larger than, say, 4 people due to space constraints.

I don't generally go to conventions so that makes my answer rather simple :)

editrelyt 2

I'd consider gaming with friends again in January (my job is probably too busy to start up before that).

If my job wasn't busy I'd probably break around September unless things continue to trend so poorly.

I'd consider gaming at a FLGS maybe around January. Although things would have to look significantly better than now.

voneuler 3

I'm already meeting friends.

I won't be gaming at my FLGS for a good while longer, maybe ill reevaulate after the summer, but as is, I'm staying home.

For the rest I have no idea, probably next year at the earliest, not that I ever go on Gaming Cruises.

Hemisemidemiurge 3

About eight weeks after the vaccine becomes available or two weeks after I and everyone coming to game night have gotten theirs.

This is a holding pattern until the vaccine comes. Otherwise, hard no.

flyliceplick 3
Asbestos101 2

I had a good chuckle at this, thank you.

TheDoctor_13 6

I mean I'm personally ready now for Friends and FLGS, I don't have gaming friends outside of the FLGS group, and the FLGS is still closed for gaming and only open for limited shopping. I'll settle for gaming with my brother and cousins when they come over for now. But I hope some groups open up before the end of the year. Washington US

DelayedChoice 3

(NSW, Australia)

  • First two I expect to do some time in July.
  • I'm planning to go to a small con in September but if that gets cancelled because of a new outbreak it wouldn't be the most surprising thing in the world.
  • Not really keen on large cons, and I wouldn't have gone on a cruise to begin with.
4274227847432642 8

Germany. I'm not meeting anyone before there's a vaccine or just outside,.1:1 in a nearby park. My sibling + family got infected, there are still health issues after two months. The risk is not worth it.

MBrick 15

Gaming with friends again now. Nothing larger though

cicerunner 27

How big are your friends? Have any of them put on significant weight during lockdown?

CurriestGeorge 11

Vaccine or bust is my attitude. NYC suburbs.

I'm old with health conditions, it would be a rough go if I survived. So... I'm content to play with my wife. That was 2/3 of our gaming anyway. I do miss 4p games but oh well! It's making for a mellow year in a lot of ways but I'm cool with that.

Insequent 6

We started up again a month ago.

I live in New Zealand, where our only known cases are new arrivals in quarantine, so life is pretty normal for the rest of us once again.

aznsk8s87 6

I just did last night but it was with coworkers who work at the same hospital as me and we're all seeing the same COVID patients.

limeybastard 7

I live in Arizona, so uh, 2022. For any of it. Maybe.

enleft 7

I live in a city that still has rising cases, but many of my friends havent been being terribly careful.

So Jackbox over video chat it is!

mbrochh 10

Tomorrow. But in Singapore, the pandemic is currently under control, only one person in ICU and between 1-5 new cases per day, so nobody is worried. Also, all my friends have cosy WFH jobs, so they have been self-isolating for three months now, we all couldn't be healthier.

Siliceously_Sintery 3

Same here in BC, Canada. We’ve been doing small game nights for a while.

People over tomorrow.

Cowtippa1 33

When there's a vaccine. Or the crazies start wearing masks.

Mattdehaven 11

Unfortunately I probably won't game in person with anyone I don't live with for quite some time, possibly til the end of the year. I just have very little faith in the US (I live in the SF Bay Area) getting any sort of control over this virus until either a vaccine is available or a highly effective, widely available drug mitigates the concern.

People are really starting to loosen up only because they're tired of isolating but the virus is still very real and spreading.

wpflug13 20

I had my first game night gaming with friends tonight (4 person Gloomhaven). None of the others will be happening until things are way more under control and/or we have a vaccine. Gaming with friends will only happen while our local guidance allows small gatherings indoors. I don't expect to have any gaming groups larger than 4 for quite a while.

milkyjoe241 29

Everything is cancelled until 2021

Janube 10

This is about how I feel.

I'm willing to have 6-foot distancing meetups with, like, my mother who's diligent about avoiding people, and this one set of three friends who are also diligently isolating.

Outside of that? I'm doing all my socializing online until September at the absolute earliest if we start really getting a handle on things quickly. If not, more likely 2021.

tothecore17 2

it's depressing AF to think of a whole year being completely wasted.

flyliceplick 139

Judging by the absolute state of the US right now, and the sheer amount of the population here in the UK who genuinely seem to have a severe cognitive deficit, not any time soon. It's not about trusting any person or group personally known to me, the risk is: do you trust everyone they have come into contact with not to be a complete moron and go around declaring they're entitled to lick handrails.

limeybastard 1

What's bad is I'm looking at the state of the UK, and the state of things where I am, and strongly considering moving back to the UK for a couple of years.

raged_norm 1


flyliceplick 1

Fucking Hell. Really?

DragonBard_Z 2

Sorry to stalk you... was looking through your profile for the data posts of what I assume is our mutual current city and saw this.

My husband is from the UK as well. We're also thinking of moving depending on what happens this November...

limeybastard 1

Hah, I run into all kinds of people from local subs on /r/boardgames.

If November goes OK, and all this @#$% settles down, we should get together for a game!

If it doesn't, well, we can get together for a game back in Blighty I suppose...

DragonBard_Z 1

Im down :)

But yeah... need to wait until interacting with other humans irl seems like a good idea. Rn it most certainly does not!

raged_norm 23

Have an upvote.

Stay 2 m apart (soon to be "1 m plus") unless

  • You are on a protest march

  • You are 'guarding' a statue

  • You fancy going to an illegal rave/street party

  • Your football team wins the league

  • You fancy driving 2-4 hours to a beach to complain the beach is "busier than Tesco's" whilst also continuing to sit on said beach

  • You need to test your eyesight by driving 17 miles with someone else's glasses on.
yupReading 14

At least in the States, BLM protest marches have not caused any spike in cases. Maybe because they're held outside, enough people stay socially distant, enough people wear masks.


The fact that sun light kills the virus very quickly, helps.

Janube 39

Not for nothin' but at least most of the protesters have a good reason to be doing what they're doing.

raged_norm 6

Yeah but it's still fundamentally not a good idea to gather together for significant amounts of time.

Janube 4


It's so far simply not comparable to the other acts that OP compared it to. The protesters haven't managed to spike COVID cases and the thing that they're protesting is, to them, an issue of equal magnitude. It's not hard to see why either.

For my part, I'll reserve my judgment for the selfish idiots who go hang out indoors at crowded venues and insist on not wearing a mask. Seems like that's been the larger catalyst for the spread of the virus.

Don't get me wrong, I acknowledge that this isn't the ideal time for protests; but I ain't about to stand in the way of the biggest civil rights demonstration ever just because it's not an ideal time. Black people have waited long enough for justice. White people can stand to wait another few months before getting drunk on mimosas with their friends.

raged_norm 5

You've clearly not seen the British protests then.

This is fine because, by and large, the protesters here are taking all the correct precautions.

Here in the UK they're jostling down narrow streets without masks, crowding together in parks right next to each other.

I'll maintain it is fundamentally not a good idea to go cheek by jowl on a protest right now. Unpopular maybe, but that is my position.

qret 11

Sure, but a virus does not care whether you have good reasons...


Have an upvote as we’re both getting downvoted for saying the correct thing


Tribalism is a hell of a drug

Janube 15

I'm not suggesting it does; I'm suggesting you're creating a false equivalence between irresponsible and selfish people vs. responsible activists. And the virus does care if you're wearing a mask and are outside.


The people with good reasons are wearing masks and are protesting outdoors where the virus is spreading much less quickly. Meanwhile, the thing they're protesting is a pandemic in its own right. They're not treating COVID-19 glibly; they're just not treating it as their only problem in a world where they might get murdered for the crime of being Black.

wpflug13 1

Now that the protests have happened and we haven't seen a large wave of cases attributable to them, we have good evidence that COVID doesn't spread easily outdoors. That was not remotely a given when the protests started (remember all the closed parks and beaches, the widely condemned Memorial Day gatherings), and claiming that protesters were being responsible by gathering in large groups is ridiculous.

Janube 2

I'm drawing a comparison between mask/non-mask more than anything, but it was always going to be the case that the virus wouldn't spread as easily outdoors. The extent to which that was true was unknown, but no one thought it would spread as much between both states.


There is a significant difference between "we expect less spread outdoors than indoors" (a reasonable statement of what we knew a few weeks ago) and "we can responsibly gather in large groups outdoors without risking super-spreader events" (what happened, but what can not reasonably be claimed to have been known before the protests).

Janube 1

There's also a significant difference between wearing a mask and not wearing one, but OP ignored that so he could make his anti-protester remark.

I'm not suggesting that it's more responsible to be in large, masked, outdoor groups than it is to be isolating indoors; I'm suggesting that it's more responsible to be in large, masked, outdoor groups than it is to be in large, unmasked, indoor groups.

And again, the focus is mainly on the masked vs. unmasked part of that that you keep ignoring.

Blaky039 4

Besides, whenever I see protesters, a good chunk of them wear masks. Until the cops come and forcibly remove their masks in order to pepper spray them.

sherlock_strikes 12

I want to upvote this 100 times