Just like ebooks could never be better than the feel of paper pages between your fingers – technology and video games could never replace the hands on and social experience of a board game.
Not too long ago, we came across someone looking to get rid of a box filled with old vintage board games. We were interested for mainly two reasons, one being that we don’t have this type of content in our inventory – so we were interested in diversifying. Secondly, simply because board games are special; and seeing that these were old — well— that means they were extra special.
If you think about it, it can’t be easy to create something that needs to be entertaining for almost everybody (I’m focusing here mainly on family oriented board games). Not only do they have to be entertaining, they have to be entertaining more than once. Personally, there’s nothing worse than paying for a $30 board game, playing it, and then never pulling it out again. I’m going to call this the board game “meh” effect.
Looking at this stack of old, slightly musty-smelling, board games — you get a glimpse of when the “meh” effect took place. Monopoly, Operation and Clue are still popular games today, but others like Late for School or Manhunt are games that have been lost in time. Games based off TV shows or movies seem to suffer the most. If I had to guess, probably because of marketing; why waste time on perfecting an awesome game when the interest will only be temporary. A lot of these board games seem to rehash rules and ideas that have already existed. For example, the MAD board game is essentially a simplified version of Monopoly, with the goal reversed (you win if you lose all your money).
So kudos for the board game creators who have been able to avoid the dreaded “meh” effect – creating something that is timeless is no easy feat.
And for those Patty Duke and Six Million Dollar Man board games of the world, it’s ok. We might not be playing you anymore, but you still make for some darn good memorabilia.