The Golden Age of Tabletop Games

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By: J.P. Perumba de Puthenveetil

When you think of board games, you might think of a small phase of your childhood where you played things like Snakes and Ladders and Mouse Trap, then later, games like Monopoly and Risk. Then you probably remember finding video games and pushing aside everything you knew about board games. Well the fact is, you probably were not playing the best games as a kid, and the moment video games came into view, there was no question as to which one was better. But I want to tell you that if there was ever a time to get back into tabletop gaming, it is now!

In the past 15 years, tabletop gaming has had an incredible rise in popularity and that upward trend is still continuing. Board game shops and board game cafes continue to open up wherever you go. What a lot of people don’t know is that right now, tabletop games are doing the same things as most every other medium of entertainment. There is new stuff coming out every week – some good, some bad, and some incredible. Reviewers all over the Internet work to sort out which ones consumers should invest in. A bunch of different conventions are put on every year just centered on games. Board gaming has established itself as a large profitable industry.

Now, with video games in the mix, it’s easy to think that they are the current technological peaks of gaming. Why would you play anything else when you can explore vast worlds and look at stellar graphics on a screen? Well tabletop games can do that stuff, too; maybe not in the same sense, but in other senses, they do it even better! Now I’m not trying to tell you that board games are better than video games and everyone should completely change their interests right now. I just want to tell you how today’s tabletop gaming offers things that are completely different than video games and one does not necessarily make the other obsolete.

One thing that lots of tabletop games do well is that they really involve you in different stories. They make you feel like you are right there experiencing fear, excitement, and all kinds of emotions. For example, there are games like Dead of Winter, in which you and a few of your friends are held up in a small town during the zombie apocalypse in the middle of winter. This is a zombie game about the stories that occur between the people and the crazy events that happen at completely unexpected moments. Every player has there own secret goals. One of your friends may even be a traitor.

There are also some incredibly intense and stressful games out there. Captain Sonar, for instance. This is an incredibly innovative game where two teams of four (or less) sit across from each other with a blind separating them. Everyone takes the role of a different crew member on a submarine vessel as the two teams try to outsmart each other and destroy the opposing submarine in real time! The memories I have from playing this game make me smile every time I think about them.

That’s what really makes board games special: they create experiences, stories, and adventures that you and your friends get to go on while sitting right next to each other. They create memories of defeating dragons and saving the world. Life is made up of moments and when you spend time with your friends engulfed in a great game, you create a moment that you will never forget. You create a bond with your friends and a new story to tell, and you leave excited about everything that just happened and even more excited for what’s to come! Board games are more than a challenge you take on with your friends or a competition against them; they are whatever you want them to be! They are an opportunity too great to pass up.

With the inclusion of RPGs and Wargaming, the world of tabletop is very diverse and frankly quite amazing. It is a wonderful world that is very accessible and will give you new fantastic memories and stories to tell. And it’s just getting bigger.


    One Comment

  1. SharlzGMay 13th, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    I love the socialising aspect of boardgames & I love building memories with others so that months later you are still laughing about things that happened – something the someone did or said, or something the game did to mess with you.

    I’ve made many friends from going to local game stores and saying I want to play a game to decide whether I like it enough to buy, or just going in on one of the stores open gaming days/nights and playing whatever someone puts on the table. That’s how I met a family who are now great friends, who feel like I’ve known them forever though it’s only been 4 years.

    I also love that the entertainment extends beyond the game, beyond the table, and even beyond the day you played the game. I have ongoing jokes with friends that began in game months and years ago. Yesterday I was playing one of the escape room boardgames with friends and we were still messaging each other last night joking about it.

    Yes, there are absolutely good games, bad games, and great games, and sometimes it’s hard to know which is which, but even bad games can entertaining in the right company. There are also some great solitaire games out there – I own a few of them – but it is the community and shared memories that I love most (and being able to teach games to my 7yo niece and have her ask to play something everytime she visits is an added bonus. Play games with your kids folks. You won’t regret it).

    In the words of Wil Wheaton: play more games 😊

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