Life During Quarantine 24: Fun and Games during the Pandemic

Hobbies look like we will be needing them more than ever.  Crafts, cooking, and reading have entertained many, we just talked about music. Getting up to date on one’s favorite television series has made the time pass for many.

One area I wanted to talk about is puzzles and games! My own family every year at holiday time gathers for a few days and one of the group activities is making a jigsaw puzzle. New York! Favorite Candies! Coastal scenes and Tudor castles so much to choose from. Growing up, my mother at the holidays would set up the “bridge” table to first grade the school papers, then go into greeting cards then puzzles. A few years back in Coronado My neighbor who created the helicopter simulator program and his spouse always had a puzzle going and often other neighbors would join as well!  When I think of games as an adult, its often those team-building exercises I remember best! I have with a group of friends done the scavenger hunt and it was epic! I bet running around in business professional makes it interesting.

This article I found about popular games for business environments. Team building activities and games are supposed to be not only educational but also enjoyable. They help the team learn about each other — how each person thinks, works, solves problems and has fun. Whether you want to do some new hire orientation ice breakers or just bond your team closer together, there are inventive ways to do this Some of these will need to adapt to AC, after COVID-19.

  1. Game of Possibilities
  2. Winner/Loser
  3. Purpose Mingle
  4. Scavenger Hunt
  5. Human Knot
  6. The Perfect Square
  7. The Mine Field
  8. The Egg Drop
  9. The Barter Puzzle
  10. Truth and Lies

The rise of jigsaw puzzle sales during the COVID-19 pandemic is, well, puzzling. Social media is filled with images of completed, half-completed, or sometimes abandoned puzzles.

Leading jigsaw puzzle manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the demand, with some even selling out completely. What’s behind this surge?

Marcel Danesi is a professor of semiotics—the study of signs and symbols—in the University of Toronto’s department of anthropology in the Faculty of Arts & Science. He is also the author of several books on puzzles including The Puzzle Instinct: The Meaning of Puzzles in Human Life. Danesi recently chatted with Arts & Science writer Sean McNeely about what may be driving the pandemic puzzle trend. Why have jigsaw puzzles become so popular during this pandemic, especially when we have so much technology at our fingertips? Jigsaw puzzles involve tactility. Touching the pieces, moving them around with the hands, etc., allows the brain and body to interact, leading to a successful and satisfying solution—usually. In an age of disembodiment, this re-integration of body and mind is becoming very common. Jigsaws are an example of this trend. I know this sounds far-fetched, but I have found that young people today have become so accustomed to doing everything on the screen that when they discover the “pleasure” of the body in something as seemingly trivial as jigsaws, they plunge into it.

The people that love puzzles seem to have similar characteristics.  They are largely solitary – unless they are turned into games, such as crossword puzzles becoming the game Scrabble. In my high school years I used to play in Scrabble tournaments, quite fun and develops the vocabulary as well. However, puzzle lovers when they discover each other, do share experiences concretely. So, crossword clubs, etc., bring people together with a common pursuit and this is a good thing, especially nowadays.

With Americans across the country stuck at home, demand for jigsaw puzzles is surging. Puzzle makers can’t keep up. “Around the second week of March, we notice sales at one of our largest retail customers … were up 300% over the same week the previous year,” says Carol Glazer, president of Ceaco. The Massachusetts company is one of the largest producers of jigsaw puzzles and family games in the U.S.A.  “And we said, ‘Oh my God. How can you prepare for something like this?’ “Ceaco and others couldn’t. Glazer recalls that on one day last month, Ceaco sold more puzzles than in the entire month of December. Sales by game maker Ravensburger reportedly are up 370% year over year in the U.S. in recent weeks. “It didn’t take long for the shelves to bare, the e-commerce dried up, nobody had puzzles,” Glazer tells All Things Considered. Compounding the puzzle shortage is that some manufacturers are not considered essential businesses. Employees at Ceaco are at home, and manufacturing is shut down. Other puzzle makers are dealing with social distancing and safety measures in their warehouses. The appeal of jigsaw puzzles in a pandemic isn’t hard to put together.

“It really takes your focus off of whatever’s going on, because you’re trying to find that peak of the barn or that piece of sky or this element of cloud,” says Chris Byrne, a toy industry expert known as “The Toy Guy.”

“It really takes a lot of attention and focus. And that can be very healthy in terms of, I’ll just say, distraction.” If you got your hands on a puzzle before the sellout — or decided now’s the time to break out that 3,000-piece behemoth that’s been collecting dust in the attic — Byrne says “be prepared to be patient. “Other tips from the Facebook group Jigsaw Puzzlers include: Tackle the edges first; sort out non-edge pieces by shape on separate trays; don’t start with a puzzle that’s too big; and take your time.  One group member, Tammy McLeod of Los Angeles, says she picks a puzzle with a picture that “I don’t mind staring at for a few hours.”

Seeing as I like real-life example, I talked with family about how the Monopoly tournament with rules supplied by my niece’s Sociology class made it longer and interesting but not as much fun when we would play the game, set match in our summer games in our youth.  I reached out to different groups that I know here in San Diego that play games, obviously some were very involved in their games and couldn’t answer!

Last week I had really connected with many local musicians. I realized I forgot to ask a few! I had decided about fun and games and remembered that Armand Frigon, a local musician,( had a very active Facebook group about game playing. So I asked for his input” So… what to do during the Covid lockdown? My girlfriend Yvette and I have been active in the board gaming community for years. Naturally, we turned to playing games for just the two of us. We reignited our Facebook group “Table for 2”. We play and review games, posting them on the site. To date, we have played and posted 243 games. As we have acquired new games, we’ve also posted unboxing videos on YouTube. (Yes, watching other people unboxing new products is a thing.) We still have several games left before exhausting our current collection. After that we will review expansions for the current games and, we are waiting on some unreleased games from Kickstarter. We have about 240 members on the Facebook group and about 300 on Nextdoor. When our pandemic lockdown is over, we’re hoping this translates into a community that gathers to play in person. Anyone can join us on Facebook, Nextdoor, or YouTube. Just search for Table for 2.” About 5 years ago I lived with a computer genius and game player. I must admit I really began to enjoy “Mortal Combat!

Video games are increasingly popular. According to the ESRB, they are played in 67% of U.S. households and keep the average gamer occupied for an estimated eight hours a week. Video games can reportedly make you smarterhelp you land your dream job, and boost your career. With this in mind, it might be tempting to play some Call of Duty and call it professional development. There is also a long list of high-profile gamers, leading us to believe that video games are part of what makes them successful. For instance, Mark Zuckerberg caught the computer programming bug when he built his own video game as a child.

Tabletop games that encourage interpersonal interaction and critical thinking can help develop a valuable set of business skills. Leadership, quick thinking, decision making, and cooperating as a team are all important to successfully completing a game.,to%20successfully%20completing%20a%20game.

There are many board games out there to choose from but our top favorite 5 board games for entrepreneurial leadership are the following:

Monopoly Lesson: Money management, diversify your investment, taking a calculative risk, and the impact of financial and investment choices and situations. SHASN Lesson: Every person picks aside, it’s the situation that decides who he/she will support, and understanding the game of manipulation and diplomacy, a must in business.  Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives Lesson: Working in harmony as an individual and with the team and looking at overall growth.  Cards Against Humanity Lesson:  All work, no play makes Jack a dull boy. GoVenture Entrepreneur Board Game Lesson: Basic learning of economics, marketing, decision making, and critical thinking.

Board games are an essential form of entertainment and bonding. The best of minds in business and entrepreneurs believe in engaging board games to learn all possible versions of strategy, motivation, and innovation.

Years back one dear friend, Ken Litsios, was an exceptional gamesman and shrewd business mind. You name it chess, Bacci, poker, etc. I think learning to anticipate the moves of others and be a few steps ahead is one of the best analogies of games and life. Speaking of games, remember Life? One day someone will make a board game called “Pandemic “until then find fun things to do! You might just improve your business acumen


Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
Cynthia Kosciuczyk, MBA
I took the less-traveled roads which led to many careers. Each of these contributed to my unique mix of expertise: science research, teaching, food, art, and textiles. Owning and operating my own businesses (a bakery, a gallery, and a consulting business) thrust me into the driver seat of learning many diverse roles from customer service to public relations and resulted in my unique management style. Participating in the creation of startups, working in design, and my own businesses and technology endeavors. My quest for knowledge and seeking out the best has turned me into a networking enthusiast. A lifelong passion for textiles and Persian rugs taught me an array of professional skills such as research, writing, and community events. Networking resulted in a multitude of business opportunities. My experiences include Management, Entrepreneurship, Sales, Design, Descriptive Writing, Business Strategy, Color, and Textiles. Every facet of my work and life comes together like pieces of a puzzle. I strive to be a phenomenal networker and problem solver who continues to learn and grow.

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