How Board Games Conquered Cafes

Picture from www.theatlantic.com

Picture from www.theatlantic.com

In a recent article by The Atlantic, there is a growing desire for people to fill the need for good ol’ face-to-face socialization that has developed over time as digitalized social media and networking have become the norm.  Quick, shallow electronic blurbs thrown out to the world don’t really feed the need for meaningful human interaction.  The article states that “we are tempted to think that our little ‘sips’ of online connection add up to a big gulp of real conversation. But they don’t.”  Board gaming seems to be creating a shared experience that is becoming the centerpiece around which others can experience such interaction.

This recent increase in the popularity of board gaming has given rise to a growing need for public places where those seeking such social activity can congregate.  Building on age-old social environments where people could gather to enjoy a beverage, a cozy corner and the company of a friend, a growing number of cafes and pubs are opening around the world where a healthy dose of tabletop gaming is added to that classic mix.

The article discusses the change in board gaming as a hobby from what it was decades ago, where classic games such as The Game of Life, Risk and Monopoly were great ways to pass the time.  With the advent of the European-style game, the ways games work and the way players approach them are completely different:

Today’s games typically have fewer rules and more variability. As opposed to a single winning strategy, many games have multiple ways to approach them, or strategies that evolve depending on who the players are or how the game board comes together…Today’s game players do not want to do mundane things like purchase real estate, collect an allowance, or even take over Europe. They’re looking for bigger challenges. Today, when someone opens up a board game, it’s so they can travel to mythical islands, build cities with roads and infrastructure, and save the world.

The entire article can be read by following this link to The Atlantic web site.