Golden Age of Games

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Since my start in the toy industry was as a board game designer, I'm asked about them and have written about them often. There are many who think board games are disappearing, but as I have been writing in this space for years – they aren’t disappearing. There is resurgence; it is hard to track because they aren’t being sold in the same ways.

More people are playing games – of all types – than ever before in history. A great analogy is food. New culinary sensations have been introduced to our diets, but we still eat many of the basic items we always have, we just have a richer and more varied diet. The varied diet in this analogy includes high tech and low tech games. Sometimes you feel like a snack (app), sometimes party (party game of any kind) and sometimes a sit down dinner with your friends and/or family (a board game). It is all good!

Two articles popped up today in support. Below are interesting outtakes:

From New York Times this morning:

“While the video game business long ago eclipsed its low-tech cousin, sales of tabletop games have continued to grow. Sales at hobby stores in the United States rose 15 to 20 percent in each of the last three years, according to ICv2, a trade publication that tracks the business. Amazon says board game sales increased by a double-digit percentage from 2012 to 2013.”

“Somewhat ironically, perhaps, video game players are often among the biggest devotees of tabletop games. Some in the business believe that is no accident, theorizing that the abundance of opportunities to connect electronically with people through games and social media has also created a hunger — sated by tabletop games — for face-to-face contact.”

From TechCrunch yesterday:

“Last year there was actually more money pledged to board games than video games,” added Strickler (CEO and Co-Founder of Kickstarter). “It’s like $55 million in board games. It’s kind of counterintuitive to the way that we think the world is moving but I think the board game market on Kickstarter is very illustrative of what it is that we actually do.”

“Strickler pointed to board games as one of the community-driven enthusiast areas that the platform has been able to support — noting that as of this week Kickstarter will pass $100 million having been cumulatively pledged to board games.”

This is the Golden Age of Games! 

2 thoughts

  1. Yeah board games! While video games and apps may be the games leaders, there should always be a market for board games, card games, dice games, etc. (tabletop games). We need a mega-hit to drive popularity for board games even further. What Angry Birds did for game apps, someone ingenious enough could do for board games. “Cards Against Humanity” may be in this class. Big hit for a table top game.

  2. Great article and great news, Mary. Let’s encourage play in terms of “and” rather than “or”.

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