Note: Board Games and their making are not, in fact, a lost art, it is the enjoyment of them by the general public that I think is a lost, and depressingly so, art.
As my friends all know, I’m a huge fan of board games. Period. They’re fantastic.
But it feels to me that the vast majority of people had forgone board games for screens, and while screens are not the devil (says the blogger), I think it’s a sad loss.
Personally, I think that board games are a unique, interesting exercise in storytelling. Unlike many screen-based games, the story is not fully spelled out for you. It builds and changes over time. The Game of Life is great for this, because there are markers giving you pieces of the story, but you can fill it in for yourself as you go.
This occurred to me specifically the other day when my brother and I played Monopoly together for the first time in a long, long time.
I happen to be a huge fan of Monopoly. After all my friends had gone to sleep at sleepovers, I would stay up with the Junior Monopoly and play against myself for hours. I still enjoy playing Monopoly and Life against myself, and even have a computerized version of Life that I can either play against myself or the computer, so I can take it anywhere! I get to change my choices in Life and think about how that changes the whole trajectory for the game. When I play by myself, it’s not about winning but about the story I’m telling with the pieces, and how it could be different with just one simple change in choices.
Maybe this is just one of my strange brain quirks, like life-long obsession with names, but I think there’s more than just motor skills and human interaction lost if we give way to screens completely. Screens may not be the devil, but I think it’s important for people to keep buying kids board games, card games, and things that don’t just tell them the whole story.