Monday, April 16, 2012
The Reinvention Of The Board Game
It isn't news to smartphone users how much fun apps can be. From random camera apps, to information or mass media apps, smartphones have quickly begun to replace the need for laptops more and more. This in many respects was expected, many saw this coming, but the replacement and reinventing of board games, though inevitable, was not foreseen by many. The concept was simple, introduce a game that everyone could play, while being a simple game that does not require much investment when it comes to learning how to play it, the solution, board games.
"Words With Friends" was not the first board game to make it to smartphones, but it was the first one that succeeded in a massive scale, this was the reintroduction of Scrabble to the world. Scrabble is a fun game for sure but when you are playing the board game there are pieces everywhere, you have a limited time per turn, you can't consult anyone around you for aid, you are basically restricted to a table and not able to continue on with your life until that game is over. This is the big appeal to the rethinking of the board game, the ability to play wherever you want whenever you want, no longer are you constrained to a chair and time limits, now you can play at work, at school, before bed, or whenever you feel like playing. You get to play a board game with your friends without all the negative aspects of playing said board game.
Here is a point that should be made, sitting down and playing a board game is really fun and not a "universal negative", what is meant here is that sitting down to play Scrabble counts as a positive at times but the majority of the time it is a negative, not in all cases but in most. Let's take this thought further, what would the creators of Scrabble want us to be able to do everyday? Play Scrabble. What prevents us from doing so? Having the time, want, and company that is required in order to play. How do you solve this? By removing the need to slow down and giving the players the power to play whenever they want by removing the need to sit and play. This is why board games for smartphones was so ingenious, because people love playing games against one another and now they are able to do so whenever they want.
Other games have sought to follow Scrabble's example but no game succeeded like "Draw Something" did. Here is another simple concept, a game enveloping attributes from our favorite classic board games like "Pictionary" and so forth. The concept is simple and fun, therefore making it a hit with everyone, it appeals to all ages and because of this it is bridging a gap that has long existed between generations. Where as before this there was no way to play a fun game with your parents back home, or friends back home while you were away at school, now you can, not only that but you can play multiple games with multiple people and reconnect with far away friends.
There is another aspect to this movement, one that was also unexpected but welcomed by many, the resurgence of board games due to smartphone games. The concept is simple, raise the awareness of how fun your game is and people will come together to play it. Though we do live in world where time is becoming precious and everything is done quickly, there is always time for recreation, there is always time to sit down and enjoy a good conversation with friends, while playing a game together. There are immense health benefits to slowing down and including a social gathering in your week, in fact to not have any social interactions during a week can bring life from being a beautiful thing to a morbid thing.
Board games caught their second breath due to the smartphone move, it should be interesting to see what the future might look like when it comes to them, we think that they will always be around. From card games, to video games, to make believe games, to board games, being united is a very important aspect to being human. Having social interactions keeps us going, it ignites something within us that is unexplainable and it is this spark that helps us see the beauty in life. This is why board games will never disappear, because we are sociable creatures, we need one another and board games just happen to be a great medium for a good bonding, relaxing, and rejuvenating time. Thus we think that the reintroduction of board games is a beautiful thing in that it bringing people together and reinvents an old concept while at the same time breathing life into a classic concept.
We hope you have a great week this coming week and pray that as we approach the end of the school year that you may find time to relax and rest, maybe play a board game with some friends, that is always a good choice. Personally I'm partial to "Quelf", I recommend it.
Love from your humble blogger,