For those safely bubbled up with the in-laws, board games can offer a communal bonding experience. Graeme Virtue, the Guardian. December 2020.
This frustrating oubliette of a year has ended up being a rainy caravan holiday on a huge scale. Legions of us have been stuck indoors casting around for leisure options. So, alongside the headline-grabbing launch of a new generation of consoles, more old-fashioned games have also been enjoying a resurgence. Hasbro – landlords of the venerable Monopoly franchise – recently reported a 21% increase in board game sales.
The idea of swapping a vibrating PlayStation 5 controller for cards, dice and plastic tiddlywinks might seem a little retrograde. But there is something special about convening a fractious household round a physical board. Unlike demanding head-to-head duels such as chess or Stratego, a multiplayer free-for-all is a communal bonding experience. Each session offers an escape from smalltalk about tiers, furloughs or vaccine timetables. As Christmas looms, it will likely be an even more important ritual.