If you've chanced upon a bar with board games, you'll know they can turn an otherwise mediocre night into a fun one. PlayDates, which at first sounds cringey, knows this: it allows singles to gather and play old-school games like Scrabble, checkers, and chess.
Events are held once a month (to keep it novel) and, at $10 per event, PlayDates is affordable. If I see any drawback (OK, I see a few) it's that it aims to please everyone: singles ages 25-55 are targeted, and it offends no one by ensuring the music is not too loud or trendy and the lights aren't too dim. When I read that staff members wear shirts that read "Wanna Play?" to "nudge onlookers into the fray," I thought, this is verging into traumatic-high-school-dance territory. Oy.
But who am I to judge? People love it! It's grown from small gatherings in Atlanta to a national organization that holds events in nearly 30 US cities. The biggest one yet topped out at 750 people this February in Nashville, TN.
Would you make a PlayDate, or would you rather meet people the old-fashioned way — on the Internet?