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What is so cool about board games? Well, lots actually. I have always liked to play games all my life but I fell in love with board gaming in the late 1990’s after a friend introduce me to Settlers of Catan. It was the first time I played a game where you had multiple strategies and could come back from behind and win even when their looked like a clear cut winner.
As the years have gone by, the board game landscape has grown immensely and games are coming out at a clip that it is very hard to keep up even with talking about them let alone playing them. Today’s board games are more thematic in many cases. The themes can encompass anything you can imagine and come in all types of styles. Thematic, War, Strategy, Deck-building, Micro, Family, Children’s, Fantasy, Party games and the list keeps going. This really allows the industry to make sure that there are plenty of games for every type of person and situation. Some games are fast, fun and very social, others are deep, intense, very strategic and can last for many hours or days (I love these.) There is a whole world to discover about boardgames so let’s look at why they are having a major resurgence and a few examples for you to try out.
1. Re-playability – Many of todays board games are designed to be able to play hundreds of times if not more and you never play the same game twice. That means your game never gets old and you can have a few games on your shelf to play anytime, anywhere and not spend any more money for good quality family, social or fun time. True many games can range upwards of $40 and up to $100 even but think about it. A night at the movies for a couple anymore is $50 easy. A board game on average lasts about 90 minutes and can be replayed many times. This is a great date idea, it’s great for family times, great for socializing with friends and makes it very easy to schedule time to do things with others in the space of 3 hours. Add to the fact that many games also put out expansions which then increase re-playability even more and this simply makes economic sense as your value for dollar is great increased with board gaming.
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2. Socializing – Many games such as party games are great for get togethers with friends or family and people are who are not into deep strategy gaming. People can play, have fun, laugh and converse all at the same time. Many games provide plenty of humor and makes sure your gaming time is a blast! There are also light and medium games of all kinds that allow for socializing while still scratching the itch of a more serious or competitive person. This ensures that everyone is happy and having a great time!
3. Time with family – We all know how kids love video games, computers, iPods and technology. Sometimes is really good for them to unplug, use their brain and actually spend time with other people in the house. You’d be hard pressed to find a person that would like some kind of board game. It may takes a few tries to find one everyone can enjoy, but it is well worth the effort and who knows, you may have started a family tradition that one day the kids all though begrudgingly know will come to realize how much they like and appreciated the time together and implement in their own family.
4. Escapism – What do I mean? I mean forgetting about life for awhile. All the problems, bills, personal issues etc. Just like reading a good book, some board games can actually provide a nice break from reality and take you to a place that you love. Some games are modeled after your favorite TV show or video game and do an admirable job of recreating the theme and providing an excellent experience in making you feel like you are actually there.
5. Stimulating Storytelling – Do you remember the time when you would sit around the fire and your grandpa would tell stories? Or you parents would read to you as kids? Well some of todays game help you do the same thing will providing a raucously good time! We all know how texting has taken over the world. How people only communicate through devices and have lost the art of communication. This is a great way to bring it back. If you love to make things up as you go than this is for you!
6. Competition – There are certain personality types like mine that love competition. Friendly, healthy competition. I love the tension a good board game provides and trying to strategize a way to win especially when getting my but kicked or even how to hold on to the lead while everyone is gunning for you. There are so many great strategy games, even light ones that provide this experience for serious board gamers or people who love competition. No one gets hurt (hopefully) and if you lose, you just set up and try again.
7. Exercising your brain – I am sure you have read how using your brain through critical thinking allows for increased memory, better strategizing for daily issues and so forth. Well if you do Sudoku or crosswords because you love this type of thing, try a board game and see all the wonderful possibilities that have arrived and been brought to the forefront by forward thinking game designers. Today’s board games are loading with different strategies to reach the same goal. No longer is their one path to winning and the first one there is king. Critical thinking is a huge part of board gaming today.
6. Local gaming communities – Trust me they are out there you just may not have heard about them. There are several in Nashville where I live alone. Check with your local game shops or google local board game groups or something like meetup.com. It’s a great way to check out new games, meet new people and try board gaming out with out spending any money. We are always excited to meet new people and show them our games. You will be more than welcome anywhere I am sure.
If you are looking for a new hobby, way to save money but still do something fun and entertaining, then check out board gaming again. I know many of you grew up loving Monopoly, Pictionary or Scattergories but there is SO MUCH MORE! If you need any help just let me know and I will point you in the right direction!
For you gamers reading the article add your thoughts and reasons you love board gaming in the comments section!