This article is written by Zatu Games Guest Blogger, and customer, Martyn! Today he takes a look at the current stigma of board games and those who play them.
Board gaming is currently going through a time where the popularity is growing at an unexpected rate. I for one have been surprised at how popular board games have become. I have only been gaming for a little over a year now, although I did dabble a little bit when I was young.
Many non-gamers believe that board games consist of Monopoly, Cluedo, whilst maybe the geekiest will play Risk or even further down the geek train is Warhammer and other miniature games. I myself even laughed when someone suggested I go to a board game 'group'.
Why would I want to attend a group full of sweaty teens pretending to be orcs or space marines? Well after playing Pandemic and really enjoying it I had an itch that needed scratching. My thoughts were if so much fun could be had at home with non-gamers (brother in law), then what other games would be out there for me to enjoy.
Facebook Groups & my first game
I did some research, joined a few Facebook groups and got speaking to people from all walks of life. The groups included the fans of the above mentioned games but there were board games that were totally different to anything I had ever imagined.
I came into this hobby thinking every game needed to have a board and tokens to be used as player pieces.... How wrong was I? There were games with no boards at all and just pieces or cards, games that could be played multiple times and had a campaign (like a computer game, my favourite hobby since I was five) and there were even games where one person was playing against others.
The amount of different board games was astonishing, if not a little bit overwhelming, but I was not put off and carried on asking questions and lurking in the background of these groups online before diving in and buying my first niche game.
After several days I decided to buy Heroes of Normandie, a war game by a french company called Devil Pig Games. The production quality of this game was fantastic but the rules were very, very confusing- an issue many games suffer from and I will cover this in another guest blog. This prompted me to ask a question about said game and my first post on a Facebook group was met with great success. One person that helped was local and asked me to join him to a local group the following week, I obliged.
Board Game Group Experience
I entered the group and could see that all my thoughts about who frequently visited these venues was totally wrong. All ages from both genders and all walks of life were there. This is when I knew that board gaming was a lot different than I had ever imagined. In the following weeks I spoke to more and more people at this group and forged some great friendships. We have more in common than some of my actual friends and conversations range from hobbys, family and work.
The stigma of board gamers being geeks and what games I thought would be played nearly put me off joining this group but I am so glad it didn't. I have now played games where you have to score points by achieving goals, race to finish in first place and where one person is secretly the bad guy or monster and you have to work together to win.
Computer games and consoles are accepted in life as being what the cool kids do and this is one of my favourite hobbys but lets be honest our kids could do with going out of their room and meeting like-minded people in a social area that;s safe and enjoyable.
I wouldn't say board gaming will become as big as computer games but it definitely has the potential to. Some games get funded on kickstarter in the hundreds of thousands so its definitely not seen as a geeky hobby as it once was.
Join me Next Time
Kickstarter has played a big part in the success of board games. Join me next time to discuss the above mentioned points along with the positive and negative impact Kickstarter has.
Thanks for reading and happy gaming.