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Couple exchanges emigration in England for adventure with board games

FBHDTJ Still-life selection of board games (Monopoly, Chess, Cluedo, Scrabble) with playing cards and gambling chips
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A pioneering space dedicated to board games was born in Vila do Conde, in a project of two local youths, who returned to Portugal after eight years emigrating to England.

Manuel and Dina Silva, an amateur couple for this type of games, realized that there was no north of Portugal in a public place where friends and families could gather around this kind of fun, leaving stable careers to dedicate themselves to this passion .

Dubbed ‘To play we understand’, the space aims not only to function with a board game cafe, with more than 800 titles available, but also as a place of culture, with art exhibitions, programs with literature and even gastronomic initiatives.

“The goal is for people to interact and have a good time, so we do not have TV or internet, games and good snacks, and there will be story sessions for children, regular exhibitions and even one day we invite people to cook” , explained to the Lusa Agency, Manuel Silva, 32, one of the owners.

Despite this diversity of activities, board games will be the central factor in attracting people to the venue, having hundreds of options, most of which come from Manuel Silva’s personal collection.

“I have been playing board games for more than ten years, since my child my father started me in chess and checkers, and then with my friends I discovered ‘Monopoly’, ‘Cluedo’ and ‘Risk’. I emigrated to England, I realized that this niche is part of the culture of many countries and people were there to play. I started to participate and join the groups and discovered a lot of other games, “said the young businessman.

The passion for the games was shared by Dina Silva, 34, who in her profession of occupational therapist already used them as a work tool, to develop social and cognitive skills of children.

“This project can also use my professional part because we want to do some social action mornings, inviting local institutions to play sessions that help stimulate various competencies of those who participate,” he explained.

The couple’s return to Portugal, leaving stable professions behind, was motivated mainly by personal and family reasons, but the passion for board games did not slow down.

After organizing some meetings at home, they realized that there were many people interested in this type of playful activity, advanced to “the adventure of having a space dedicated to games”.

“We arrived in March in England, and since then we’ve set up a weekly gathering group, and gradually we start having people of all ages come and play our house. we did not have room to receive so many people, “explained Manuel.

This was one of the ‘clicks’ to launch in this innovative project in the north of the country, taking similar examples in countries with England, France or Germany, where the culture of board games is much more developed.

“There are many more games than traditional ones, which we all know. We thought it was necessary, even to counteract the technological world a bit, to bring families back to the table and prevent some watching TV, others on computer, without talking, “added Manuel.

In the new space, the more 800 games available are cataloged with a color scale, according to the level of complexity and difficulties, always having a advice and explanation of the rules of the same.

The use of the games is subject to a symbolic fee, which will help in the conservation, renewal and acquisition thereof, being strictly forbidden to play for monetary purposes.

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