I enjoy playing board games. I suppose by some people’s standards for entertainment, that makes me pretty lame. That’s OK. I am lame. I also enjoy watching Lawrence Welk reruns, birdwatching, and sitting by a lake. And I can’t stand the Avengers movies or any video games from this century.
On the first Friday night my older son was home from college for the summer, we sat around the kitchen table playing Trivial Pursuit. It was awesome. I don’t know of many other activities we could have done instead to top it.
When we get together for the holidays, we also break out the board games. When I go to my parents’ house, we do the same.
Turns out, we’re not the only family playing these games. According to the “Board Games Market 2019” report from Analytical Research Cognizance, $41.95 billion was spent globally on board, dice, and card games last year. The market is expected to continue growing by 7 percent annually through 2025.
Several factors are credited with driving the growth, including millennials who enjoy board games like Catan and adults who play party games like Cards Against Humanity. For me, the reason for the popularity is simple: the games provide inexpensive ways to have fun, feed the competitive spirit, and encourage interaction when spending time with people we want to be with. And they’re reusable. I have board games that are decades old.
When my wife and I were first married and pretty much broke, we played backgammon almost every night because we didn’t have a budget to go out. I usually won. From the time my kids were young until now, we continually added to our collection of games. We have three Monopoly sets — the original, a SpongeBob edition, and a Doctor Who edition — to keep pace as their interests changed, in addition to a couple dozen other games.
Fortunately, this is one area where our kids have not pushed back as they’ve gotten older and wanted to distance themselves from something they did when they were young. In fact, they like playing games as much as ever. My older son is a Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master and plays regularly at home and at college. My younger son is always up for almost any board or card game. It’s rewarding to see an appreciation for simple things in life like playing games get passed along to young adults.