Whether counting cards, solving a riddle, or killing the dragon, sometimes the simplest way to find a little bit of solace is to play a game.

A firm believer in the ability of game playing to provide both comfort and companionship, Fargo artist and instructor Chelsea Steffes is welcoming everyone to join her in a community game night.

When Chelsea Steffes was given the opportunity to create a community project as a member of the 2021 Fargo cohort of the Creative Community Leadership Institute (CCLI), she immediately thought of game playing to build connections.

“I’ve always liked video games and I got more into board games in college, even joining the Gaming Club at Concordia. It was my first time getting into plain board games. I met a lot of people, and just enjoyed it!” Chelsea said. “I’ve missed having that community. I want to find it again.”

The art of gaming

Chelsea’s Games at the Plains evening is inspired on two fronts. Her own desire to have a community of people to play games with, and a dear friend’s use of games as a coping mechanism.

“My friend is going through a lot of difficult things right now, the pandemic being part of it. For him, games have been a good escape from reality. When things are stressing him out, they let him be a different person, give him a different experience. They are a good mental escape,” says Chelsea.

“This is a really casual night, open for everyone. If people are having a stressful time, and want a community to hang out with, or want to do an activity, or bring a friend, that’s what this is about,” Chelsea said.

For Games at the Plains Chelsea is teaming up with the locally owned game store, Game Giant, which has generously agreed to provide demonstration games for the event at no charge. As the event is hosted in the café space of the Plains Art Museum, attendees will also receive free admission to the museum for the evening.

Chelsea will also be providing decks of cards along with packets that outline how to play basic card games, so that those who wish to can bring gaming home with them. The goal is a cozy game night with no stress, no cost, and hopefully some new connections.



“We’re keeping it simple,” says Chelsea. “Just a fun and chill little evening. I hope people will have a good time, relax a little bit, and go home with a smile on their face.”

The first Games at the Plains will be hosted on Thursday, September 9, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the café space of the Plains Art Museum (704 First Ave N Fargo). All are welcome to attend, free of charge. Masks are required.

Photo of author Brandi Malarkey

About the Author

TAP partner and community content contributor Brandi Malarkey is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, administrator, and occasional hot mess. She is a collector of dead bugs and good books, and a believer that ordinary miracles and small kindnesses have the power to change the world. Learn more about Brandi on her website: www.itsallmalarkey.com.

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