There’s this new recreational pastime out there, one that’s riding a wave of youthful enthusiasm. Instead of wandering solo through parks and fields and parking lots, staring down at their cellphone to add new calcium layers to the horn at the base of their skulls — read on; this will make sense later — players interface face-to-face. They shuffle and pass cards, and use tiny statues and charms to claim their spaces on decorative two-foot-by-two-foot playing fields. Yep, board games are making a come-back.

My child’s significant other is a board game aficionado. He teaches people how to play games at a community center on his day off. The board and card games he collects and shares go far beyond Scrabble and Euchre. They are beautifully illustrated adventures that require players to read directions and strategize; to recall lessons learned in history and science. He visited this week and brought along a card game. When I was asked if I wanted to play, I said “yes” as long as I didn’t have to think too hard. What I got was a game wherein the object is to create a Chinese lantern garden and gain points for your efforts. The game pieces were so pretty that my brain cells rose to the challenge.

Once upon a time, my gran’s home was a house of tournaments. By day, there were strident games of football, softball and dodgeball in the front yard. On rainy days, we played cards, dominos and primal-screaming rounds of Pit, the card game that turns any living room into a trading floor. The gloves came out after sunset for all-nighter matches of Monopoly and Risk. Gran actually banned Risk from family gatherings, fearing irreparable family feuds and broken furniture. Every now and then someone threatens to unearth that tense game of conflict and conquest. The subject eventually drops in her memory.

The Buggles launched MTV 40 years ago with their song about the demise of radio. Video didn’t just kill the radio star. Video walloped face-to-face games played across card tables and carpets. Now we have personal consoles that also double as communication devices.

That horn thing I mentioned? Researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia published findings in 2016 that says humans may be developing tiny hornlike spikes (bone spurs) at the back of their skulls, possibly due to poor posture from craning our heads forward more because of phone and mobile device usage.

Luckily, everything old is new again. Old-fashioned boxed games may keep us from becoming the stuff of lost dreams.