Families Driving the Resurgence in Board Games

A real resurgence of interest in board and card games in the UK

Mark Rivera of  Board Games in Blighty (a fellow games blogger) recently interviewed Michelle Davis, one of the three founders of the Cardiff based bricks and mortar shop Rules of Play.  One of her comments was particularly interesting given my own thoughts on this subject.

"From talking to our customers, it seems that there is a real resurgence of interest in board and card games in the UK – particularly driven by families. They appreciate the opportunities that gaming as a family bring – with younger kids it’s about having fun as a family and also picking up valuable social skills – negotiation, how to lose gracefully, how to take turns and so forth. There are some great games out there which different ages can relate to in different ways – with even the most surly teenagers happily getting involved, which is great to be part of!"

The full interview can be read here

These positive comments are supported by a 10% growth in games sales in the 4th Qtr of 2010 as reported in the  ICv2's data reported here with the top 10 board and card games for Q4 2010 being:
  1. Settlers of Catan
  2. Ticket to Ride
  3. Small World
  4. Munchkin
  5. Dominion
  6. Dixit
  7. Axis & Allies
  8. Carcassonne
  9. Pandemic
  10. Forbidden Island

Games in a Pub – Week 3

Staw - Counting the scores as one of the players broke the camel's back
27/3/2011 – From the sublime to the ridiculous – from quiet to very noisy

Sunday night saw a step in the right direction as far as building awareness and getting people involved in some of the games we have available. A total of nine people turned up to play games through the evening and one group joined us around 6:30 and stayed through till 9:30. They were a boisterous group that immediately requested a game of Bausack, presumably because they had seen the flyers around the bar area over the last few weeks.

Bausack is game produced in Germany with only limited availability in the UK and far from the cheapest in our collection, it is described elsewhere on my blog. However in many respects as a dexterity game it is ideal for a pub environment where some players may be suffering the cumulative effects of

Beware Modern Board Games are Addictive!

The growing trend to play card and board games in China

Whilst this is not yet the case in the UK, there have certainly been some reports along these lines in China where an online survey earlier this year (of 343 people – hardly representative in Chinese terms!) suggested that 60% felt they knew children who where obsessed with board games. One example given was an 11 year old boy becoming hooked on a new board game, Killers of the Three Kingdoms, playing at a local gym until the lights were turned off at 9:30pm. Perhaps this underlines the old adage that too

Two More Games Events For Your Diary

GameCamp 4 – 4th May 2011 in London
The first is GameCamp 4, still in London but at a new larger, more central location than the previous events. I attended GameCamp3 last year see my post on it here. The early bird tickets sold out on the day they were released and te second tranche are selling fast. The following is taken from their web site

GameCamp 4 brings us back to the dynamic and stimulating unconference format, like GameCamps 1 and 2. No prearranged talks, no guests, no keynote speakers, just a massive crowd of movers, shakers, thinkers and creators from all areas of the world of games and ready to discuss them.

Once again we’ll have break-out spaces, a library of modern and classic board-games for people to play, food and drink, and loads of other stuff going on.

UK GamesExpo - 3rd to 5th June 2011 in Birmingham

The next event is the UK Games Expo arguable the premier games event in the UK, it runs from Friday (playing games only) through to Sunday in Birmingham. Of particular interest will be the events Imagination Gaming will be running on the Saturday and Sunday focused on introducing a whole range of games to families, young and old. Taken from the UK GamesExpo web site:

Imagination Gaming will be bringing a range of games from all over the world, some of which you may know, others that you will not, but all of which will have you thinking, laughing and enjoying yourselves. We will have a host of games covering lots of different topics that will be suitable for everyone from six to ninety six! We will have card, board, tile, puzzle, dice, strategy, two player games, four player games, eight player games and even twenty four players if we can get them.

All of the games we are bringing are used in our work with schools, libraries and youth clubs and so on so we know how much people love playing them. They are all simple to learn, easy to play and don’t last too long, which means you will be able to play a huge number of games before the day is through and nearly all of the games are better when played in a big group, so we will make sure you get to meet lots of other people and make some new friends and gamers along the way.

We will have a great team of demonstrators with us ensuring you have the best of times and teaching you how to play the games in the quickest and cleverest ways possible.

For more details check out their web site http://www.ukgamesexpo.co.uk/family.php

Match Report 14th March 2011

The players during a game of Dominion
As expected we had a much smaller turn out with Ian heading down to the West Country, Crispin holidaying in Miami (if he can break himself away from the paper and his comfy chair he may even get a game with Tom Vasel and the other members of the Miami Boardgames Meetup Group) and shortly heading to the Bahamas for a long weekend and family wedding before returning to Miami to recover for a further 10 days – a tough life!

On this occasion we were joined by Malcolm and Daniella plus Ben back from a weekend sailing down to the Scilly Isles as part of his preparation for crewing on a race around the UK, starting in a few weeks. Apologies were also received from Pauline and Matt.

Dominion (Age 10+, 2-4 players, 30 min playing time)
Given the disturbing failure of our favourite game of the moment during our last meeting we were keen to overcome this trauma and so launched straight into another game of Dominion; on this occasion using the card configuration ‘Interaction’. This is in reality a euphemism for

Games In A Pub – Week 2

13/3/2011- It got quieter!
A very quiet Social Evening with Games - Blue Anchor, Crowborough
The second Sunday in our series of 4 events at the Blue Anchor Crowborough was quieter than the first one with sadly nobody other than my supporters pitching up.

It is perhaps difficult to see a positive from the evening but I believe not impossible:

1. Both Damian Cotton (the co – owner of the Blue Anchor) and myself have talked to many people in the intervening two weeks and whilst 10% ish have said ‘I don’t do games’, or something similar, at least 50% have indicated they think it is a good idea and or that they would be interested in coming along and giving it a go. One such person even put his head in to say that he was sorry but his group of 10+ friends

Match Report 28th February 2011

The night we failed with Dominion

Monday night saw another good turn out with Ben, Daniella, Matt, Ian, Crispin and Malcolm joining us. Gwen working in the background was sadly not able to join us and Natalie had similar problems having hoped to be with us but found herself deluged with work at the last minute.

Straw (Age 6+, 2-6 players 30 minutes playing time)
Having not played Straw for a while we gave this a run out to start the evening and get us limbered up for more serious fare. Ben and Ian joined us midway through the game and so not surprisingly finished well down the rankings. On this occasion the laurels went to Crispin with a deft and almost unnoticed demonstration of how not to

Games In A Pub – Week 1

27/2/2011- A Quiet Start

Playing Alhambra in the pub
The first of our Social Evening with Games events at the Blue Anchor Crowborough got off to a very quiet start. Whilst the pub had been absolutely buzzing at lunch time our little group made up half (or more) of the clientele for much of the evening. I guess the end of the month, a local wargames event through the day, TV scheduling and the end of half term all contributed to why the pub was so quiet, with its knock on impact onto our event.

Having set up a number of games on the tables within the restaurant area and with no interested takers for games my band of supporters