Exploring the World of Board Games
【◎English translation: Hou Ya-ting
◎Photos by Wu Ke-wei】
Smart phones have had a tremendous influence on how people communicate. They have made people more antisocial and even at dinner parties they just get onto their phones. Even when they should be chatting with their friends and family, they start lining with their friends or checking their Facebooks. However, board games have recently made a comeback. They provide a way to maintain communication and keep people off their phones. They require full participation and sometimes even teamwork.
Taiwanese families have enjoyed playing board games for decades, traditionally Chinese Chess, Chinese Checkers, Go and Mahjong. Today, there are more than 90 thousand board games worldwide and information regarding each of them can be found on www.boardgamegeek.com. It is the world's largest board game website and ranks the games into three categories. It also provides general descriptions about the games. It is considered one of the best websites that gives the most comprehensive information about board games.
Board games allow players to transform and carry out role plays. In Pandemic, players can become medical specialists, farmers in Agricola and gem merchants in Splendor. Board games can also teach people how to strategize, such as in Rummikub. Board game consultant, Mr. Cai Fong-ren discusses how board games have become more elaborate, realistic and sophisticated. People can use their imaginations and engage in role plays that reflect the real world. Mr. Cai Fong-ren points out that Monopoly is a good example of this, where successful landowners can amass a fortune by acquiring land and assets. Another such game is Carcassonne, which is a tile-placement game. Players acquire property and influence while building a city. Players can often relate to board games through their own life experience.
There are an estimated 43 board game stores in Kaohsiung, and clients of all ages are most welcome. Board game groups even tour the stores and play with other groups. Enthusiastic players even organize board game tournaments and are always looking to attract new players. There are even researchers that go around lecturing about the games and its related psychology.
In a modern time of smart phone addiction, board games are making a comeback. In world of increasing pressure and digital communication, board games create great opportunities for social interaction and escape from stress. It only takes approximately 10 minutes to learn the rules and leads to hours of fun and new friendships.
For more board game information, go to the following websites: