Could Board Games Be Due A Revival?


Let’s say that you’re in a bar and you get talking to someone. You bond over shared amusements, talk a little about your partners, and it’s clear you’re on your way to making a new friend. You ask her what she likes to do for fun: “Oh, I like gaming…”

Where does your mind go? Chances are, it goes pretty much anywhere but to the games that once made childhood what it was: board games. Now, if someone tells you they enjoy a game every once in awhile, you’ll think of mobile apps, console games, even those games you can play in your browser at work when you’re bored.

So while there’s no doubt that we’ve not lost our desire to game, it seems we prefer to do it in a digital space. There’s been plenty of articles and opinion pieces that suggest board game usage is well and truly dying out. However, on the flip side, there are also signs that board games are at the beginning of their journey rather than the end.

It’s not hard to see why, when you think about it. The major attraction of digital games is how immediate they are. You can be having a chat with your new friend about her online casino experiences and within five minutes, you can be having a go yourself. Or she could share the latest must-have app that seems to pass you by; 30 seconds and you’ve downloaded it.

Take away the convenience and the take-anywhere aspect, it’s worth considering if maybe board games do have a place in our oh-so-modern lives after all.

1) They’re Easier To Do As A Group

Gaming with a group of people can be one of two things. It can be a lot of fun, as everyone involved already knows the game and enjoys it. Or it can be a nightmare. You spend half the time explaining the rules or how the controls work to one set of people, while the others sit idly by waiting for everyone else to catch up.

Board games, however, don’t have that drawback. They’re always relatively simple; a quick five-minute conversation and a pass around of the rule book should be enough to suffice. There’s no need to ensure everyone has a console or is synced correctly; just a space at the table and someone is involved.

2) They’re Easier To Play As A Group

So let’s say you get through the problems noted above and actually get to playing your digital game as part of a group. It’s chaos in a very short time. Following the progress with so much going on on the screen can be tough, and then you have the inevitable failures in how the console and controllers (for example) sync with one another. It’s not pretty.

With board games, it’s simple: you have your turn and then you wait while everyone else does. It’s easy to track progress, and everyone knows where they are.

So while digital games have their place in the world, it’s perhaps time to consider there’s a second place - for group entertainment - that board games are just waiting to slot into.

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