Today, in an interview with the business editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about my board game, I was asked why board games still exist. Given video games, computer games, and handheld/smart phone games, why do people still play board games?
I’m sure there are a wide variety of reasons, one big one being that there’s something tactile about board games that is much more “real” than video games. BUT there’s another reason that I mentioned, and the interviewer seemed to find it interesting, so I thought you might too.
I think that board games are the perfect social construct for introverts.
That’s right, I’m still on a Myers-Briggs kick. Let me explain.
Contrary to popular believe, introverts like people. We even like interacting with people, and many of us are skilled in conversation (probably because we’ve honed our skills over the years). But small talk exhausts us, and in the loose confines of happy hours, networking events, and social situations where we don’t feel like we have a purpose or a goal, we can feel lost.
Board games solve all that.
Board games give us face-to-face access with people, something that we genuinely do enjoy on a regular basis. But unlike other social interactions, board games give introverts a formal structure in which to interact. Board games have rules and strategies to talk about and develop. The conversation topic is right there. You have a job to do: Win the game. All of the components for a fulfilling social interaction for introverts fit into a single cardboard box.
And that, my friends, is one of the big reasons that I think board games have survived and will always survive. Because there will always be hordes of us, and we’re always going to be looking to interact with people from time to time in ways that don’t exhaust us. Board games are at the top of that list.
What do you think?
Also, commenter and friend Penelope had an amazing op-ed piece published today. Check it out here.