Why Play Board Games?

Why board games in the 21st Century? That’s like the 19th Century right? I’ve got a Wii, a PSP, a broadband internet connection and an iPhone. What else do you need?

Well, here are some reasons why I’d say you need to play more board games:

They will surprise you – If you’ve only ever played Monopoly, Risk or Scrabble, you will be in for a real treat when you break out some of the new games that are out there these days. The games are more specialized, more strategic and quite often less reliant on pure luck. If you liked Monopoly and the building aspect, try Carcassonne. If you enjoy war games, there are tons like Battlelore and Memoir ’44. And Scrabble – how about Bananagrams?

Socialization – Most board games need more than one person. The vast majority require at least one other person. And the good thing is, that other person isn’t half the world away. More, there are tons of award winning games out there that are best played with 3 or more. That means, well, a social life of sorts!

It’s not on that machine – After 8 hours at work, the last thing I want to do is sit down and play on the computer for another 5 hours. And it’s only because it’s given me tendonitis already (sit straight, take breaks and read and practice all the good ergonomics you can. No, seriously.) but because I just don’t want to deal with that monitor either.

Nothing stays the same – Every game you play changes because players and scenarios change. Each time you take it out, there’s something new. The luck of the draw will shift how you play the game and how your opponents do. Quite different from a computer game or worst, movie.

All this randomness ensures that each game is new, providing players a new experience in a similar setting. While the rules might hold the same, it is the changing board and rolls of the dice that make the game interesting.

Portability – Even if everything seems to be getting smaller and smaller – well except my waistline – all those electronic toys are still very much dependent on their batteries. Portable board games such as Citadels or Blokus will continue to entertain long after the batteries have run out for your other toys.

Cost – Now, this is probably the most important for many of us. A single board game like Citadels or Odin’s Ravens comes under the $20 range, less than the price of a single CD or console game. Long after you’ve grown bored of listening to the album, you will be enjoying these games.

So those are my reasons for playing board games. What are yours?