An interesting article came out in December 2016 from CNBC reporting that the interest in board games among millennials has grown over the last 5 years. Based on my recent experience, this makes a lot of sense.
For people like me that have essentially grown up with both traditional and modern forms of entertainment, I believe a board game revival was inevitable. Many times I find myself uncomfortable with the amount of time spent in front of screens. It screams unnatural, and nobody really knows what the long terms effects will be as a result.
Playing board games not only gives you the opportunity to be social but it keeps your brain working in ways it no longer needs to. Technology has made our brains very tired and lazy. We don’t need to know how to add, subtract or multiply- we don’t need to remember extensive vocabulary and spelling. Many times, the internet solves problems you used to need an active brain for. Board games serve as a healthy workout for your mind and soul.
According to Euromonitor International, board game sales worldwide went from $9.3 billion in 2013 to $9.6 billion in 2016. Sure, it’s not the biggest increase ever recorded but considering the expanding number of apps and video games essentially serve as competition, any rise is notable. Not to mention, they anticipate seeing another 1% in growth this coming year.
As a result of the so-called board game boom, we are seeing a flood of new board games headed into and out of production. The internet frequently sees GoFundMe campaigns from hopeful developers, and ironically enough it encourages the discovery and sales of existing games.
Not only are there many new games to discover, there are places too! With the reviving interest in games, many bars and cafes are beginning to host board game nights. It’s an appealing lure and more are likely to surface over the coming months as 30% of surveyed millennials have expressed the desire to visit such a place.
Between sites like BoardGameGeek and eBay paired with services like BoardGameExchange- any fan of board games will have plenty of places to get their fair share. Taking advantage of borrowing games instead of buying them could very well turn into the next “Netflix-style” fad.
Even more interesting, the independent publishers and board game developers are seemingly responsible for the growth in sales and interest. It’s not as if the masses are buying more Scrabble than ever before. Instead people are discovering new and original games online via forums and social media created by people just like them.
Look at it this way, websites like Etsy have taken off over the last few years because everyday skilled artisans and their talents have become accessible to anyone looking for them. Once upon a time, if you wanted something handmade you had to source it locally. The internet works for the board game industry in the same way. There is a place for everyone, which means there’s an answer to every demand.
Whether it’s love for old fashioned fun or a touch of nostalgia, the board game boom is a great thing. All ages have something to gain from returning to traditional family fun!