03 March 2012

Silly Rabbit, Games are for Kids

How to Get Your Wife & Friends Gaming - Part VI

Do you remember Saturday morning commercials? They were geared to have kids beg their parents for the best cereal or newest toy. One of the best was the Trix cereal rabbit. He tried and tried to get some Trix, but he would always lose them in the end to some kids. Then they would say, "Silly rabbit Trix are for kid." It seems that this is the same treatment that is given to board games.

The culture tells us that games are for children. You're supposed to play Sorry!, Battleship, and Trouble with your kids on cold winter days and that is the only place for them. Games are not for adults unless it revolves around trivia questions or some variation of charades (see Taboo and Catch Phrase). Because of the this view, many adults won't touch board games with a thirty-nine and a half foot pole. However, games have become so much more than just kid's stuff. There are games for just about anyone in almost any circumstance, and I would argue that is why games are beginning to thrive. They are reaching out passed the stereotype and revealing to people that games are not just for kids. They are for everyone, and they can be fun for all.

We are in the middle of a board game reformation, and one of the main reasons for this is because games are now being made for adults. There has been a change in the demographic. Yes, kids still play and love games, but more and more adults are playing games everyday. I have seen it just in the people that are around me. When I was in high school and college five and ten years ago, I was playing Risk, the local game store was in the corner of the mall and was reserved to selling D&D books and Magic: the Gathering cards. Now, there are half a dozen game stores in my area and they are carrying the latest and greatest in gaming--games that are, for lack of a better word, more inviting to the masses. I have seen my gaming friends go from a handful of guys, to a group of thirty plus who love and enjoy playing games. I see friends enjoying gaming, that you could never get to play a round of Clue.

Gaming has come a long way since the days of Parcheesi. They have become more than just the luck of the die. They have more engaging themes and better mechanisms. As games have evolved, so have the people that play them. The age and gender diversity is growing, as more adults begin to engage in the hobby. So, engage more people in this beautiful hobby that we love. Teach people games and show them how much fun they can be, and hopefully they will no longer relegate games as "kids stuff."

Question: What was your favorite game when you were a kid?

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