What's Old is New: Board Games are Back!
Having just come back from a holiday get-together with family, I reflected upon the fun we had playing Scrabble, Rummikub, and The Settlers of Catan. It was friendly competition around the table that included all ages. For the less competitively inclined, a puzzle was in progress on the table in the family room.
The digital age has spawned a plethora of video games with players singularly glued to their computers or phones often not competing with friends, but against virtual strangers. Worried about this isolation and lack of social interaction, I have been heartened to learn that digital game players have started to miss the camaraderie of real people and hanging out with friends – and that there has been a resurgence in the popularity of table-top board games.
Continuing to rank high in popularity are the classic board games many of us have grown up with such as Monopoly, Clue, Balderdash, Scrabble, Risk, Trivial Pursuit, and Taboo. Newer games such as Pandemic, Ticket to Ride, Carcassone, and The Settlers of Catan moved from cult status in recent years to mainstream popularity and helped fuel the board game renaissance. Word of mouth primarily seems to be the way that board games grow in popularity. It’s difficult to keep up with all the newness and niches, but you might check out the website BoardGameGeek.com for up-to-date information. They have all kinds of rankings and statistics and you can view games by categories such as children,family, party, strategy, themes, war, and more.
I, for one, am happy that designers and publishers agree the board game business is on a growth path. It’s probably not huge, but it is taking us in a direction of more satisfying social and personal interactions. So don’t wait for the holidays to break out a board game. A friends or family game night is loads of fun, lots of laughs, and everyone walks away feeling like a winner.