A dicey proposition: why video gamers should also get into board games

Terror in Meeple City - Board Games

So you’ve vaguely heard about this board game business, but you’re unsure of why you would ever want to tear yourself from logging hours on Steam to want to actually play them.

After all, board games are dorky and old-fashioned, and how can a stupid board compete with 1080p graphics, right?

Wrong! Board and video games have way more in common than you think.

Chances are, if you’re a gamer, you’ll love playing board games too. Here are just a few reasons you should consider taking the plunge.

Your friends are already doing it

Remember multiplayer games in the dark days before we had reliable internet connections? Yep, I’m talking about LAN parties.

You and your friends used to get together to eat questionable snacks, cracking wise and mercilessly beat each other at whatever game you couldn’t get enough of at the time.

Board games offer a chance to relive those kinds of social experiences – chilling with mates and using what you know about them to try and outfox them.

Many board games make use of this face-to-face interaction in a way that video can’t, incorporating elements of deception, bluffing and outright treachery.

Because the hobby is growing at such an insane rate, you’ll probably find at least a few of your gaming friends are already doing the tabletop thing.

Chances are you’ll have a ready-made gaming group to try board games out.

You’re already playing them

Let’s face it; if you’ve played any number of genres over the last couple of decades, you’ve essentially played a kind of a board game.

Tabletop games and video games are so closely related, it’s illegal for them to marry anywhere outside of Westeros.

Take turn-based strategy games. What are games like Civilization and Master of Orion if not much more complex board games?

Then you get the RTS games like StarCraft and Command & Conquer, that can trace their roots back to wargames.

The most obvious example comes in the form of RPG games, which translate the mechanics of tabletop RPGs to digital format.

Games like Baldur’s Gate and Planescape: Torment use both Dungeons & Dragons settings and rules.

Do it for the miniatures

If there’s one thing common to all geeks is that we love our merchandise: statues, shirts, prints, toys and, uh, less conventional stuff like body pillows.Who doesn’t get a kick out of owning something eye-catching that represents your love of a game?

The problem with video games is that there’s generally not much to show. Your Steam library may be massive, but it’s just not the same as owning something physical.

Board games scratch that itch for something tangible.

Forget those games of the past that look like they were designed by an accountant. Modern board games just look plain good.

For around the same price as the latest AAA title, you can get an awesome box with all kinds of objects to play with: funky dice, colourful cards, beautiful boards and miniatures…so many miniatures.

So while board games may not deliver the same graphical experience that video games do, they stand on their own as attractive physical objects.

 

The brain factor

Stereotypes about twitching be damned: gamers use their noggins. Whether it’s anticipating your enemy’s tactics in an FPS, mapping a path to total domination in a 4X or working out a devilish puzzle in a point-and-click, gaming requires serious brainpower.

Board games offer those same kinds of challenges and then some. It doesn’t matter if you get off on battlefield tactics, juggling resources to build something great or crafting a great story, there is a board game out there that does something unique with those mechanics.

Strip away the flashy graphics, and you’ll find that the best video games all come down to awesome gameplay. Board games are video games in their purest form, and I can’t think of a better recommendation than that.

Are you a gamer who also loves board games? Let us know why in the comments.

Other worthwhile reads

Old videogames given new life – but can you ever really go back?

GPUs killed the videogame star: has 3D graphics eliminated originality in gaming

Gaming improves your brain power – reality or hype?

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A dicey proposition: why video gamers should also get into board games

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