In recent years, board games have experienced a resurgence of interest and popularity.
Sales figures continue to increase, events around the board game multiply, and new publishers and creators emerge regularly.
This phenomenon is not limited to one country or region, but seems to concern the entire Western world.
How to explain this boom in board games? What are the factors that have contributed to restoring their image and bringing them up to date?
To answer these questions, it is necessary to analyze the current trends, the new practices and the socio-cultural reasons which favor the development of board games.
Innovative and attractive board games
The first element to take into account to understand the growing popularity of board games is the evolution of the offer.
Far from traditional games such as Monopoly or Scrabble, modern board games are characterized by a wide variety of mechanics, themes and graphics. Authors and publishers compete in inventiveness to offer original and captivating playful experiences. Outstanding examples of this diversity include:
- Strategy games, which require players to plan their actions and manage their resources to achieve a specific goal. Examples: Agricola, Puerto Rico, 7 Wonders.
- Cooperative games, where participants must collaborate to solve a common problem, often in a limited time. Examples: Pandemic, Robinson Crusoe, Zombicide.
- Ambient games, which emphasize communication, social interaction and the pleasure of sharing a convivial moment. Examples: Time’s Up!, Dixit, Codenames.
- Narrative games, which offer a story to be followed and influenced by player choices. Examples: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, Gloomhaven, Time Stories.
In addition to the diversity of game types, the creators have been able to innovate by using modern technologies to enrich the gaming experience. For example, some games incorporate mobile apps or augmented reality elements, while others use eco-friendly or recycled materials. In addition, the quality of the illustrations and the material contribute to making board games more attractive and immersive.
The role of player communities and specialist media
Another major explanation for the current success of board games lies in the dynamics of gaming communities and specialized media.
- Clubs, associations and fun events promote encounters between enthusiasts and allow people to discover new games. Board game conventions, such as the Cannes International Games Festival or the Spiel fair in Essen, attract thousands of visitors from all over the world every year.
- Social networks and forums provide spaces for exchanging and sharing information on board games. Facebook groups, YouTube channels or dedicated podcasts facilitate communication between players, authors, publishers and distributors.
- Review and recommendation sites help guide consumer choices and promote quality games. Among the essential references are the American site BoardGameGeek, the French platform Tric Trac or the German Spiel des Jahres prize.
- <!– Crowdfunding campaigns support the creation and dissemination of board games. Thanks to platforms like Kickstarter or Ulule, many independent projects have been able to see the light of day and benefit from increased visibility.
These various communication and promotion channels have largely contributed to uniting board game enthusiasts and strengthening their presence in the public space.
The benefits of board games on an individual and collective level
The reasons for the success of board games are not limited to playful and aesthetic aspects.
Indeed, more and more studies and testimonials highlight the virtues of these activities on well-being, personal development and social relations.
On a cognitive level, board games can stimulate intelligence, creativity, memory, concentration and decision-making. They help develop essential skills, such as logic, planning, problem solving, adaptability and critical thinking. In addition, some games are specially designed to promote learning and discovery of various fields: history, geography, science, languages, arts, etc.
On an emotional level, board games provide a space for relaxation, fun and escape, helping to combat the stress and anxiety associated with the hectic pace of modern life. They encourage the expression of emotions, self-confidence and self-esteem, particularly through success, peer recognition and the management of failure.
On the social level, board games promote the bond between individuals and the establishment of a warm and friendly atmosphere. They reinforce the values of solidarity, mutual aid, respect and tolerance, while helping to better understand others and develop empathy. Plus, they’re a great way to break the ice, create shared memories, and share quality time with family, friends, or strangers.
Nostalgia and the quest for authenticity in the face of dematerialization
Finally, it seems that the boom in board games is linked to an aspiration to rediscover authentic values and experiences, in a context of increasing digitization and dematerialization of leisure and human relations.
Faced with the omnipresence of screens and digital technologies, many people feel the need to disconnect and refocus on tangible activities, which appeal to the senses and the imagination. Board games perfectly meet this expectation, by offering concrete and aesthetic objects, direct interactions between players and immersion in varied and captivating universes.
In addition, board games often evoke childhood memories and emotions linked to moments shared with family or friends. This nostalgic dimension contributes to making them all the more attractive and comforting, in a world where landmarks and traditions are sometimes upset.
In short, the boom in board games can be interpreted as both a positive and critical reaction to the changes in our society. It testifies to a search for meaning, quality and humanity, which transcends generations, cultures and personal tastes.
The rise of board games can be explained by a combination of factors, which affect both the gaming world itself, the gaming community, the individual and collective benefits of these activities, as well as cultural and emotional aspirations. From our era.
Board games are now much more than a simple pastime: they represent a real social phenomenon, which reflects and influences our lifestyles, our expectations and our values.
Faced with this trend, it is essential to continue to support the creation, diversity and accessibility of board games, so that they continue to enrich and bring people together around quality playful and educational experiences.
I am a student and I am part of the editorial staff of joehovasmf.com. I have the chance to enjoy writing, however, I also like to discuss all subjects and especially anything related to Science.