Board Games – Past and Present

Board Games?

In the past 10 years board games have come back into popular culture. Moving from games that rely solely on dice roles to games that involve strategy, team work, and new ways of thinking. European style board games made the transition to America. This transition led to board game stores and cafes appearing across the country. People would seek out these locations to meet and play together. Many found small and large groups alike to play with, but a problem emerged for others. What happens if you can’t find a group to play with or there is not a store near you? Sure, you can order games online, but then the problem becomes finding a group wanting to play. If you move away from your group, you might only get to play when you return for visits.

Survive: Escape from Atlantis

A Beginning

In the early years of video games, there was a similar problem. A second player was needed in order to really enjoy many games, but if you don’t have friends, you were stuck playing against artificial intelligence (AI) that left much to be desired. Video games overcame this with the advent of the internet and online games. Some board games began to make the leap and were playable against both AI and occasionally a single online opponent. Chess and checkers were easily coded and installed on many computers, but more complex games wouldn’t start making the transition for several more years.

A Partnership

Technology and modern board games have finally met, and the results are fantastic. Card games were fairly simple to make the transition as special pieces were not needed to be coded. For those players who wanted to play board games instead of fast paced video games, you were not limited to solitaire or chess, so it has become possible to play online blackjack with friends or strangers. The gambling industry made sure that you get everything you need as if you were in a real casino house. Video game companies started to see the possibilities and games like Hearthstone and Gwent came online. Simultaneously, virtual reality (VR) was coming into being and the world’s first full VR board game, Lost Cities VR, was created. It was followed shortly by Tabletop Simulator, a game that quickly made the jump from excessively VR to being released on Steam for regular PC players. Tabletop simulator is a physics game specifically designed to allow you to play any board game you can imagine and create the pieces to use.

The HTC Vive

An Online Presence

The partnership was not limited to modern games or specific platforms.  Websites like roll20.net created platforms for users to play Dungeons and Dragons together no matter the distance. If you are not able to run Tabletop Simulator, don’t fear, boardgameareana.com has a wide variety of games for you, your friends or strangers to play. These are just two of the many websites that allow you to play board games for free. If you want to meet with other users or discuss the different games, boardgamegeek.com has a catalog system to show off your collection.

A Future

Board games are still growing in the digital realm. New games are being released that are completely digital board games. These games, such as Antihero, are board games that would never be possible to play in the real world. Physical limitations would not allow for various key aspects of these games. As more people are introduced to the concept and reality of digital board games, they will continue to grow and the player base will expand. If you have never checked out digital board games, consider looking into them. They tend to have really friendly and welcoming communities.

Antihero: a digital board game

Sarah

Officially joined eGO in March of 2016 primarily gaming in Team Fortress 2. After being promoted to Advisor for TF2, she continued to help EdgeGamers advancement in other aspects of the community. Writing about the latest happenings in eGO and what's new in the gaming world.

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