Old memories of playing board games fill me with both wonderful nostalgia and awful awkwardness. Traditional (and extremely popular) games such as Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit promised to be amazing but often turned out to be quite disappointing. Who might have had an experience (maybe at Christmas) where someone has suggested ‘who wants to play a game?’, ‘it’ll be fun!’, followed by cries of ‘oh no, they are really boring’.
Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit are objectively bad games. There I said it. They take too long, rely too much on luck and rarely end in a close finish. You will often have a clear winner about half way through and have to watch them coast home for another hour. Despite this, I always loved the idea of boardgames. Doing a social thing with people I like, using my brain and with the promise of drama. I like that there is a focus to meeting up rather than just random chat (although I like that too).
After something like a 25 year interlude between playing boardgames as a teenager I was introduced to the hobby again in 2017 by a work colleague. Boy, things have changed! When I was young there was perhaps ten boardgames (20 tops) to choose from, now there are literally hundreds of (really good) boardgames that come out every year. Even people whose job it is to review games could never hope to play them all.
From this introduction into the new world of ‘modern’ boardgames I now find it being one of my main sedentary hobbies. I run a lunchtime boardgame club at work, I organise a regular meet-up for friends and I go to a friendly members only group through ‘Meetup’. I’m hooked.
Modern boardgames seem to be a rapidly growing hobby just bursting with innovation and enthusiasm. I hazard a guess that there is now a game out there for everyone, even ones that say that this is not their bag.
Next time, i’ll talk about my favourite games and how i plan my own small but growing collection.