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Why Board Games? Part Two

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

So, as I mentioned in my last post, the change in my work circumstances had a profound effect on my social life as well. Instead of being around people all day, I found myself spending most of my time in front of a computer screen, alone. Luckily, this happened at the same time as a huge growth in the development of board games.

My memories of board games from my childhood did not inspire much desire to get into the hobby: most of what I remembered were the simplistic, roll and move affairs like Candyland or Monopoly or Life, games that relied more on luck than on meaningful decisions that would affect the outcome of the game. But the games that came out of the board game renaissance of the nineties were much different creatures: games like Catan had kicked off a revolution in board game design, providing much more player choice, and a sense that every decision had an important effect on the outcome of the game.

By the time I got into the hobby, there was already a huge number of games that would become classics in their own right, such as Dominion, Ticket to Ride, Agricola, Race for the Galaxy, and Pandemic. More importantly, there were amazing sources of information on-line, such as Board Game Geek, and board game review channels on YouTube, most importantly The Dice Tower. Once I got a taste of just how great board games could be, I threw myself into the hobby completely, learning as much as I could about the hobby as I went.

More importantly, all of the amazing experiences I was having were taking place in the context of social interaction: I was doing these things with other people. Instead of sitting in front of a computer screen, I was laughing and talking and enjoying a fun activity with friends and family. We often found ourselves talking about our gaming sessions even when we weren’t actively playing: discussing memorable things that happened during the game, speculating on things we could have done differently… gaming had become more than a hobby, it had become a way of bonding with the people close to me.

In the next installment, I will go over some of the games that got me hooked on board gaming!

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