- by Bryan Lawver
Board game publisher GMT Games is offering free copies of some of its games to anyone who’s lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has previously held similar giveaways, including when it offered free games after the 2008 financial crisis.
Despite cities across the United States attempting to open businesses back up, the novel coronavirus is still endangering and disrupting lives around the world. The video game industry reacted quickly to the outbreak, with developers like Bungie moving to a remote work model to keep updates coming without risking the health of employees. At the same time, some developers began seeing more interest from players who are now stuck inside. In the tabletop space, Wizards of the Coast gave away materials for Dungeons and Dragons, which is easily adapted to playing remotely.
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Board games are facing unique challenges that video games and tabletop RPGs don’t have to deal with. Although some board games have video game adaptations, playing physical board games while practicing social distancing can be difficult. For people who are isolating with families or roommates in their home, though, board games can serve as a welcome distraction and a relatively safe way to interact with other people, assuming they’re all taking precautions outside of home. To help people who are facing the added difficulty of losing their jobs during the quarantine, GMT Games is offering free board games to anyone who sends the company “proof or explanation” of losing their job after March 15, according to Polygon. Players in the U.S. can select up to two of GMT’s in-stock games, and players outside of the U.S. can select one.
People who aren’t familiar with board games may not be familiar with GMT Games, but the company is well known among enthusiasts for its strategy games. The games it creates may not be the easiest to grasp for people who are new to the board game scene, but they can be among the most engaging games out there for anyone who’s willing to put in the time to learn them.
Not everyone is in a situation where they can have face-to-face contact and play board games safely right now, but for those who are, GMT Games’ offer is hard to pass up. As many people find themselves with more time than usual on their hands, anyone sharing a house with others who they can safely spend time with has a great opportunity to give a new game a try and maybe pick up a new hobby.
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