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Do you hope modern table top gaming hits the mainstream?

2011 October 13
by Michael Schroeder

No. I get satisfaction when I introduce someone to our world of modern board gaming. “You mean there are other board games out there besides Boggle and Monopoly? Really?” I feel like I’m part of an exclusive club of people In the know (when I’m reality I’m just friends with geeks and I happen to investigate things on the web more than others – but that’s ok).

I’m mostly against our board gaming hobby hitting the mainstream. Yet, I do hope to see it flourish. I have some thoughts on the subject…

For instance, if these games that we play are produced in higher quantities, I’m afraid they will go the route of Hasbro and suffer from sub par production quality. The titles im talking anout are like Monopoly and Clue. Now this is not true in all cases, for instance, check out Battleship Galaxies or heroScape, but I think lower production quality of games are more prone to happening when economies of scale through higher production output happens. Our games are designer games, most of the companies that publish these board games pride themselves on the quality of their work. When I look at the box for Monopoly, it’s all computer graphics and blah! When I say blah, I mean, the rulebook (often printed on cardboard inserts), the box itself and the components are poor quality.

Another reason why I’m happy where our hobby is, is that there’s room to grow. It’s a small, unsaturated industry. We have room to grow! But let’s not grow too big. I’d like the hobby to be big enough that non-gamers treat us seriously.

Another reason why I like where this hobby is, is that talking to the publishers, designers and artists is not a difficult task. I myself am an aspiring game designer, and it’s great that I can talk to designers (though, probably not too often), and possibly game with them at conventions! The hobby is small, and everything is reachable.

I mentioned I’m an aspiring designer, well, the less games that are out, the more chance I’ll get an accepted game submission. If the hobby gets too large and all the themes and mechanics under the sun are taken, well, my chances of having a game published are even thinner. Selfish reason why I want the hobby right where it is, but, hey, it’s true. And I’m sure some of you aspiring designers feel the Same.

The final reason is, that there are thousands of board games out there and I hardly have time to play one game so many times and truly learn it, because with the amount of games I have I’m always playing new ones!

One Response leave one →
  1. January 2, 2012

    I fully agree with your concerns about the low-quality production value of mainstream board games. It’s a problem when otherwise good games suffer from poor workmanship and corporate greed.

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