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Everybody Wins – A Message From James Wallis

Everybody Wins - A Message From James Wallis (1)

So you like games, perhaps a bit too much, but have you ever wondered how games got so good? How did modern board games evolve so quickly from the pretty-but-shallow semi-abstracts of the last century to today’s amazing range of literally thousands of different styles, genres, mechanics and complexities?

Games have been around for about eight thousand years, but for most of their existence, they’ve moved slowly from roll-and-move titles using pebbles and patterns scratched on stones, to roll-and-move titles using cheaply moulded plastic bits. Then we hit the mid-1970s, things start accelerating in a different direction, and within a decade board games are on a path that will change them forever.

It’s a fascinating story, and like many good stories, it starts in Germany with the rise of Eurogames and the new school of game design. And at its centre, catalysing the whole process, is an award, the Spiel des Jahres, which has spent forty-four years anointing modern classics, championing up-and-coming designers with fresh ideas and novel approaches… and occasionally getting it very wrong.

It would take too long to tell the whole story here, so it’s a good thing I’ve written a book about it all. It’s called Everybody Wins: Four Decades of the Greatest Board Games Ever Made and it’s a big It started life as a column in Tabletop Gaming magazine a few years ago but we’ve taken all that material, added more research, more history, more pictures and some better jokes, and brought the whole thing up to date to create a really lovely big coffee-table exploration of how the games we love got so good.

It was released last week and most of the online bookshops immediately sold out of copies, so don’t go sneaking off to Amazon to see if it’s cheaper.

Hope you enjoy it.