Saturday, March 16, 2013

The top 10 vs. The top 10

I consider myself a larval geek gamer i.e., I play board games often, have played /own more titles than the average person, am open to new games, and enjoy those that are medium-heavy or even heavy in mechanics and game play. Living in India, it is hard enough to find people even willing to play board games much less the "geeky" board games.

My guess is that the following would be the top 10 board games that an average non-gamer I know would most willingly play:

  1. UNO / Card Games (incl. poker)
  2. Scrabble
  3. Taboo
  4. Pictionary
  5. Monopoly
  6. Trivial Pursuit
  7. Cluedo
  8. Chess 
  9. Checkers
  10. Battleship
And just from my current small collection of 40+ games, here are the top 10 that I am most willing to play anytime (only those games considered whose rules can be explained in 5 minutes or less):

  1. Blokus
  2. Scrabble
  3. Rummikub
  4. Jaipur
  5. Archaeology
  6. No Thanks!
  7. Othello
  8. Upwords
  9. Checolo
  10. Stratego
That's a grand total of one game in common (Scrabble) and even then, considering that most people don't like to play with obscure words, aren't aware of the word lists (especially the twos), bingo stems and strategies, so when we do play it is like we are playing two different games. Sigh.

I think it is a pity most people (and more so in India) have no opportunity to be exposed to the variety of interesting and fun board games in the market. Board gaming a cheaper, more social, more fun hobby than (say) spending time at malls shopping for stuff you don't really need, eating unhealthy food in restaurants, or watching random movies. Mind you, I've nothing against movies or eating out per se (I enjoy both on occasion) but if the default answer to "I'm bored today. What can we do?" is always one of "Let's go watch some movie / let's go shopping / let's go eat something at a restaurant", I think that's tragic.

Hopefully as more people travel abroad, learn of board games, and experiment with the hobby, board gaming will become a more preferred entertainment option. Amen.

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