09 Oct Board Games: An International Hobby
Often great hobbies produce great communities. One that immediately comes to mind is the CrossFit community. Many people within the CrossFit community have found that by supporting one another with specific workout goals or even just holding each other accountable for the “Workout of the Day,” fulfillment can be found. Appreciation for the hobby also increases as the number of participants continues to rise. A true feeling of “strength in numbers” permeates as an individual takes part in this larger-than-life workout environment generated by the community.
In some cases, a parallel can be seen in the board game hobby as well. Board games are becoming more inclusive, making it more accessible. TV and media have been increasingly including board gaming as a legitimate hobby, and with this ever-growing popularity, the industry has and will continue to flourish. Just think, Dungeons and Dragons has almost become mainstream with its use in Netflix’s Stranger Things. Games are released by the thousands every year, and the community is eating it up. Perhaps the most intriguing piece of this growth has been how universal it has been across the globe.
When shopping for a game, it is incredibly difficult to find a game that has not been somehow influenced from a global game market. Many of us in the board game community are familiar with games from Europe (just think about how many games are called “Euros”), but now we are seeing a greater influence from places beyond Europe. Publishing companies are beginning to work as distributors for other publishing companies as well. Deep Water Games, for example, is providing distribution for EmperorS4 games from Taiwan to Canada, the United States, and beyond. As these connections continue to be made, cultures are shared and experienced through the art of gaming, making the board game community one of international acclaim.
Upon thinking of my own experience within the hobby, my life has become much more connected to the world around me not only through playing board games that have been crafted from all over the world, but from the people it has put me in contact with. Just last week I was able to receive a Kickstarter exclusive expansion pack from a friend I met on a board gaming forum who resides in Croatia. Obviously, the internet has made that transaction a much more real possibility, but I never imagined I would be interacting with someone so far away through one of my hobbies.
One would think board gaming is all about finding people who live nearby and making those relationships stronger, but I have found that it has been my greatest catalyst to find people who live far from me and then creating the most engaging of relationships.