If you’ve been a board gamer for a while, you’re probably wondering where all these neophytes came from and why your favourite pastime is suddenly so popular. Maybe you’ve been playing nothing but video games your entire life (with the occasional exception of a game of Monopoly, of course) and you’re now looking to get into the labyrinthine hobby that is board gaming. Whatever the case may be, the fact is that board gaming is enjoying a surge in popularity right now.
Why should that be the case, though? Why is board gaming suddenly so popular? There are a number of answers to that question, and they’re all interconnected. Of course, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has something to do with it; board gaming is the perfect hobby for those who find themselves with extended periods of nothing to do in the house. There are plenty of other reasons, though, so let’s go through some of them. Here’s why board games are enjoying a surge in popularity.
They offer a respite from screens
While it’s fun to browse you might find this infographic from Betway interesting. Board games offer the perfect respite from staring at blue light-emitting displays all day, especially if you’re working from home and can’t avoid looking at computer screens for extensive periods. Many board games do require a lot of reading, but this isn’t as damaging for your eyesight as screen-watching can be.
The whole family can get involved
Many people still consider video games to be a solitary activity. While that isn’t necessarily the case any more thanks to a surge in couch multiplayer gaming, there’s no doubt that board games are more inclusive and allow you to get the whole family involved. You don’t need to worry about twitch reflexes or hand-eye coordination if you’re playing a board game. All you need is a decent mind for strategy, a reasonable attention span, and an understanding of the rules of each game.
Board games with the biggest increase in searches on Google – by Betway.
Board games are cheaper than video games
We know what you’re thinking: the price of some board games will make your eyes water. However, consider the following: you’ll be playing board games over and over again as most of them are endlessly replayable. Compare and contrast with video games, which, despite a push to make live-service gaming more popular, often still don’t occupy more than tens of hours of your time. In the long run, then, board gaming is a cheaper hobby.
Board games are more accessible than other hobbies
All you need if you want to play a board game is a table and some chairs. Beyond that, you’ll need to amass the requisite number of players, of course, but if you live in a household with a family, that shouldn’t be a problem. Video gaming can often require lots of specialist equipment, especially if you do the majority of your gaming on PC. In contrast, board gaming only requires things you probably already have in your home and is as such more accessible.
Everyone’s looking for something to do
While many board games are demanding and require a fairly large investment of both time and attention on behalf of their players, the current coronavirus lockdown is forcing us all to find alternative ways to spend our off hours. We’re all suddenly desperate for ways to occupy those lonely hours between finishing work and going to sleep (or long stretches of the day if you’ve been furloughed). Board games are the perfect way to fill that rift.
There are many health benefits to board games
You might not think that there are health benefits to gaming – either video gaming or board gaming – but you’d be wrong. Board gaming can help you to form key skills like memory formation and can significantly improve your mental health, especially if you’re doing it in a social setting. You can also lower stress, improve your response time, and even help your children to develop faster and more effectively if you play board games with them. It’s a win-win situation since you’re having fun while all this is happening.
We’re in a golden age of board games
Lest you think board gaming is simply Monopoly or Scrabble, think again. There are a host of incredible board games available right now, and thanks to platforms like Kickstarter, the list is only getting longer. Old favourite gateway drugs like Pandemic, Catan, and Ticket to Ride now sit alongside alternative experiences like Fog of Love and The War of Whispers. Some board games, like Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective, are even appropriate for a single player.
Tabletop gaming is more than just board games
Even if you’re not interested in boards, miniatures, and rigid rules, you can experience the joys of tabletop gaming, which has also moved beyond the limited perception we used to have of it. Remember when everyone thought tabletop gamers were social outcasts? The tables have turned now thanks to an increasing presence in mainstream media, so games like Call of Cthulhu, Vampire: The Requiem, and Blades in the Dark are gaining mainstream traction and will likely advance more with the upcoming gen consoles; PS5 and Xbox One. There’s never been a better time to become a tabletop roleplayer!