One of the great things about a board game is the intimate setting it provides. Unlike a video game, where the players are generally seated next to each other facing the screen (or worse, not even in the same room, or country), players of a board game generally seat themselves around a table facing each other. Everyone has to converse, and persuasion and diplomacy become an integral part of play.
There are a ton of different board games out there, but they can generally be broken down into one of the following categories:
Abstract Strategy-this includes chess, checkers, and go. Pretty much anything where the pieces and board aren't too fancy (unless you have a sweet themed chess board. Boba Fett takes Luke Skywalker's Rebel Soldier. Check.)
German Style-also known as Eurogames, this includes such classics as The Settlers of Catan and Puerto Rico. Also includes my personal favorite Agricola.
|Doesn't this look like hours of fun?|
Roll-and-move-are pretty straightforward; you roll, then you move. this includes Monopoly and Life (although you actually spin a wheel in Life).
Trivia-Trivia Pursuit and Scene It come to mind. If you're answering questions in order to win, you're playing a trivia game.
Wargames-Risk, Axis & Allies, if you're using representations of soldiers to fight other players' representations of soldiers, it's a wargame.
Word Games-are dangerously closely related to Educational Games. If someone is making you play them and they're not a teacher and you're not in school, you may want to leave the area. Scrabble and Boggle are two popular examples.
|You can't spell "excitement" without Scrabble! Wait, yes you can.|
Family Games-are generally fun for kids and old people, and sometimes they're even fun for adults.
There are other types of games out there, but most games fall into the above categories somewhere. Wikipedia has a complete list if you're interested. But you're probably not interested in all the boring details. You want to know why you should turn of your XBox 360 and play a boring old board game, right? To be honest, I can't really give you a reason why you should. But I highly recommend giving board games a try. If your local game shop (you know, the place that sells D&D manuals and Magic cards where all the nerds hang out) hosts a board game night, I suggest going in order to get familiar with some of the more popular games for free. A lot of the games I recommend are pricey but definitely worth it.
|This kid just landed on your Boardwalk.|
So pull up a chair, and a table, and a $40 board game, some friends, and some more tables and you can have yourself an evening. How about it? Are you willing to give board games a try?