American Mensa Mind Games sees high IQ-types look for the next Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit or Taboo among new board games

Game makers are seeking the brainiac seal of approval this weekend, as members of the high IQ group from around the country gather in Maine to engage to play all day.

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A group of Mensa members gather around a table during the American Mensa Mind Games in South Portland, Maine.

A group of Mensa members gather around a table during the American Mensa Mind Games in South Portland, Maine.

Troy R. Bennett / The Bangor Daily News via AP

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Makers of board games are seeking the smarty seal of approval at a round-the-clock event this weekend.

The 2022 American Mensa Mind Games are underway at hotel in South Portland, Maine, where hundreds of intellectually gifted individuals are getting a crack at new board games during the three-day event.

Of 65 games submitted for evaluation, five are to be chosen for the “Mensa Select” seal of approval. Past winners include Scattergories, Trivial Pursuit and Taboo.

“I’ve been looking forward to this for three years,” said Kimberly Kohler, who came from Illinois “to absolutely forget about the rest of the world for a few days and just play board games.”

Mark Grand, who came from Georgia, called the event the “perfect vacation” even though he doesn’t plan to leave the hotel.

“I’m here for the games,” he said. “I’ll eat lobster and see the sights some other time.”

Mensa is a social club with members who have IQs in the top 2% of the public, as judged by accepted tests. The group has more than 50,000 members in the United States.

And you don’t have to be a nerd who geeks out on quantum physics. Nicole Bissonnette, head of Mensa’s Maine chapter, said her first Mensa event was a dinner that brought together an accountant, librarian, copywriter, merchant mariner, professional poker player and a store clerk.

That sort of diverse mix makes Mind Games so much fun, Bissonnette said.

“Even for those of us who do not play games at this level,” she said, “it is a wonderful opportunity to see friends.”

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