My attention was drawn this evening to an article over at The Grauniad (The Guardian for those who do not read the Eye) discussing your favourite topic and mine. It is entitled “Board games’ golden age: sociable, brilliant and driven by the internet” and discusses the current state of the tabletop hobby.
It does start off a little weaksauce, with the usual attitude of “hey, in the time of video games, it turns out that board games are still a thing! Remember those? Who’d have thunk it?”, but this is quickly replaced by a tour of some key hobby titles, a few comments on design, some assorted quotes from industry insiders and a slightly long segment on Qwirkle. Don’t get me wrong, I love Qwirkle. I especially enjoy playing Qwirkle with children, but I also think it is a tad overrated and not really deserving of the Spiel Des Jahres award it received. That said, it’s good to see it, and others such as Pandemic, Ugg-Tect, Dead of Winter and Freedom: The Underground Railroad get a bit of mainstream recognition for a change.
One paragraph I particularly liked reads:
But players and designers are keen to suggest another reason for the hobby’s resurgence. Games are simply getting better. Publishers are turning out products with elegant mechanics and impressive artwork as fast as their customers can snap them up. Board games are going through a golden age.
The related articles section at the bottom of the page also provided interesting and reassuring reading, showing that The Guardian (it has earned the correct spelling today) has actually given a fair bit of coverage to the tabletop hobby in recent months and years with articles such as:
- Why board games are making a comeback
- All aboard – how Ticket To Ride helped save table-top gaming
- Board games don’t just bring us together – they remind us how to play
It’s nice to see some mainstream coverage of what is, despite a tremendous amount of growth over the past few years, still a very niche hobby.