Are boardgames back or are we just really bored?


Like many, I sit at a computer from 8am to 5pm, five days a week. After concluding my eight and a half hour screen heavy shift, I generally find myself perusing Airbnb, talking to a friend over Zoom or scrolling mindlessly through Depop. After suffering with dull and consistent headaches, I realised the approximate 13 hours of screen time a day was taking its toll. If the age old adage was true, my eyes should well and truly be square by now.


To help provide some light reprieve from the nagging blue light after work, I decided to turn to the trusty and ever-present boardgames, which were slowly gathering dust on my book shelf.


In recent months, some of the household favourites have included Dooble, the new kid on the block, Crystal Maze, a very elaborate and somehow active board game and Rummikub, the old timer. Rummikub, which was invented in the 1940s, requires the ability to count, think strategically and have the luck of the draw (I realise I am describing a large swathe of board games, but nonetheless it has never been more true). If you want to kill half an hour and have at least one other player, this is the game for you.


Not only do board games take your attention away from the latest episode of the Politician or stalking your ex on Instagram, they provide you with the perfect time to chat, without having the pressure to fill the silence. Now for the more competitive among us, you may be scoffing that board games are not the time to chat and during particularly spirited rounds of charades I would have to agree. But games with a slower pace like Rummikub provide you with the time to think and chat languorously, which can be a rarity in our ever increasing digitised lives.


The chance to rid an instant gratification laced endorphin kick that is synonymous with social media seems to be catching as a 240% rise in puzzle and boardgames sales has been reported since lockdown began. If you are wondering, family favourite Monopoly pulled in the biggest crowds.


So will we see precious moments of human interaction continue over one of the last relics of our analog existence that some of us look back on with fondness, remember vaguely, or didn't know existed at all? Or will we all slink back to the comforting glow of Netflix once office hours are back on the cards?

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