While our group definitely gets together to game once a week, for most — if not all — of us, it’s a reason to get together with friends. Sometimes, we just simply do a board game, or watch movies, or still and chat. But mostly, we game.

A good session is aided, for me, by the side banter. i know there are a lot of gamers and groups where out-of-character talking is discouraged, or you have to throw up your little handsign to show you’re not in character, but most folks with a modicum of social skill can normally figure that out. It’s the fun — the laughing at a good joke, or a humorous moment int he game, or an exciting or embarrassing moment for the characters that we can all enjoy. It’s being together with friends in a comfortable environment (I’m talking a home or a good play space…but a game session relaxing in a seaside bungalow in the Maldives probably counts, too…) and enjoying each other’s company.

Add in some decent food — I and another gamer tend to do most of the hosting, and we both like to cook and entertain, so if we’re at his house, it’s several course meals; at my place I tend to focus on a bit pot of something tasty. Booze is a nice addition — I’m a sucker for mojitos and ginger martinis, but a good cider or beer will do, as well.

The game’s only as good as the people you game with.