Board games have increased in popularity in recent years, and they will only be even more well-liked.

Just see the statistics on Statistica. The worldwide market value of this type of game was $7.2 billion or so in 2017. It expectedly reaches twelve billion dollars by 2023. That growth is impressive! 

What are the reasons for such popularity? And are board games better than video games?

Board games are popular because of the multiplicative effect of family gaming. Gaming culture acceptability is worth addressing. There are social media influences, and the utility got along with playing board games as well. For other reasons, make sure you keep reading this post. 

Compared to these games, video games are fantastic in their way as well. Ultimately, which is a better choice depending on some factors mentioned below. 

Are Board Games Better Than Video Games?

Why have board games increased in popularity in recent years?

Board games are no longer a niche hobby partaken in by only some people. Nowadays, you can find them in mainstream society. That is because:

1. Positive effect of Magic: The Gathering game

As far as we know, the tabletop game Magic: The Gathering has had a beneficial effect on board games. Having been around for around three decades, it keeps being hugely well-loved. Why this game got and stays so popular is another story.

2. Multiplicative effect of generational gaming

There were two million game players around the globe thirty years ago. There was a good chance that lots of them played games with their children. 

That is why these offsprings likely continue to play games too when they grow up. The chance is, their parents are still gamers. After some time, the children of the parents have kids. And the same hobby adoption unfolds.

3. Multiplicative critical mass 

Some key games attained a critical mass about a century ago. We are addressing games such as Settlers of Catan. These have sold a multitude of copies. 

There is multiplication to critical mass, too. Picture this: You join a random game night that features one of those games. As the gaming experience is incredible, you purchase the game. And you invite some others to take part in it. Then, a couple of these gamers do the same. 

Better yet, people tend to play more than a Catan game their whole life. They begin to search out other modern games as well. 

Check out: games like Catan.

4. Game-changing role of Kickstarter

Kickstarter has boosted the prevalence of board games. This platform manages to expose projects to the possibly most considerable number of people, including newbies to board games.

Making things easier for the creators, Kickstarter has incredibly narrowed down the barrier to the gateway to be a game publisher. That is why there is a soar in the number of games – excellent games, available right now than yesterday, last week, last month, last year, ever before. And new games are highly likely to bring new players into the hobby.

5. Gaming culture acceptability

Gaming culture, generally, is increasingly socially acceptable and mainstream. It is safe to say that a substantial percentage of people join some kinds of games regularly. For instance, it is a video PC game, a mobile phone game, real sports, a fantasy sport, escape rooms, or a board game. 

The world today is brimming with games. And to the best of our knowledge, each kind of game is an entry to the other game types.

6. A cool refuge from screen time

Why have board games increased in popularity in recent years? We bet that you folks have plenty of screen time in your life nowadays. What is worth celebrating is, board games are still more than engaging to serve as an enlivening refuge from it. 

On the one hand, screens can offer access to engaging content. Yet, all the more so, board games are a good excuse. With them, you can stay away from the screens for some time. 

7. Social media impacts

Thanks to social media, it is far easier to discuss games. While this is true to any topic, we think the social media influences on hobbies are considerable.

Imagine twenty years ago if you wish to connect with people with the same interest as you. Compare that to the ease of doing so today.

8. Prevalence of board game cafes and bars

Some years ago, nobody had heard of this type of cafe. These days, they are more and more popular spanning different countries.

The board game cafes are fanciful places. Here,e game players of this kind can come and enjoy new games, meet other players, and have a good time with their friends. 

A rocking number of board game shops are serving snacks and beverages. They are also great at holding regular gaming events.

9. The appearance of board games in television shows

You can see characters playing board games in the Big Bang Theory series. These games appear in many other TV shows as well. For example:

Orphan Black has frequent references to board games, say Agricola developed by Mayfair Games. Its Season 4 even shows the scene of a local friendly board game shop!

What is more? In the Stranger Things series, the children play the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy tablet game. The name of the creature in the game gets even used for the monster in this TV show. 

10. Their availability in high street stores

Were local friendly board game shops the only place to purchase these games previously? Still, these days, it is more convenient than ever to order them from Amazon. You can have it shipped to your doorstep the same day, also. It is even easy to purchase gateway games such as Carcassonne at Waterstones.

Above all, a proven sign of a rise in board game popularity is its accessibility in high street stores. And as soon as they are in such places, any customer can buy them. 

Are board games better than video games?

A board game with dice

Read these key factors before you decide which wins:

Board games

1. Be time-tested

Compared to simple dice games, board games are that old. But on the other hand, these games have had a pretty long history, and their position is increasingly strong nowadays. 

Senet is among the longest-developed board games. It left its trace in Egypt’s Predynastic and Early Dynasty gravesites and hieroglyphs from about 3100 BCE. 

Senet features a board with thirty squares set up in three rows of ten. It has sounded like a two-player game, with five pawns or more per player. The game’s exact rules are debatable among historians. And there is a good chance that the rules change as time goes on.

Given that ancient Egyptians had a strong belief in fates, stakes were a little higher in this game than they are when playing present-day board games. Success here had a lot to do with protection by the gods!

2. Be long-running

Games see changes over time, considering they can become less or more loved. Board games are not an exception. Still, some of them prove to have long-lasting success in the job of appealing and entertaining!

For instance, Backgammon is among the longest-standing games most playable these days. Better yet, originated from the 3000s, the Royal Game of UR was even longer-running. As a two-player strategy racing type, this game was well-known in ancient Mesopotamia. Up to the 1950s, people in Kochi (India) still played Aasha, the Royal Game of Ur’s variant.

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3. Deliver life lessons

Be honest here, folks! Have you ever desired to table flip the whole board after a Monopoly gaming night with your buddies? That intention is justifiable, indeed!

For your information, Monopoly is an elaboration from Landlord’s Game known as a board game developed by Lizzie Magie, one of the United States’ first board game designers in 1904. 

There is a connection between Magie’s game and Georgism’s economic principles. This game got intended for portraying how illegal land appropriation made owners richer and renters poorer. It managed to provoke kid players about how unjust this system is. Further, it encouraged the children to take such lessons seriously as they grew up. That is why there is nothing wrong with table-flip anger you may feel when playing the game. It is simply part of Monopoly!

On a side, the Parker Brothers acquired Monopoly from Magie in 1935 for 500 dollars. And it turned into their gold mine, giving them the financial success their firm would appreciate for more than 100 years!

Video games

1. Be a digital breakthrough

Colossus and ENIAC, the first electronic computers, were made during WWII to fuel the Allied war effort. When the war ended, computer program architectures placed at universities in America and the UK enabled computers to become reprogrammed for other assignments. This implementation made it easier for educational institutions, government organizations, and big companies to commercialize and adopt computers amid the progression of the decade.

For sure, these machines were not just functional! Following the technological explosion the computers brought on, not before long, the first computer games have made their appearance in the market. 

On the one hand, people made earlier-known computer games to show these new machines’ power. Still, on the other hand, there are games dedicated to entertainment as well. Tennis for Two is one of them. Here, the gamer leveraged a controller to bounce a point of light (virtual tennis ball) over a vertical line (virtual net).

2. See fast evolution

Along with computers’ more sophistication, the games people enjoyed on them became so, too!

Pong was one of the first arcade video games that gained a big commercial success. It featured a white square and two lines as the key visuals.

As such, arcade consoles saw explosive popularity later in the 70s and earlier in the 80s. Home consoles also increased in their favorability.

While arcade game fame gradually ended, home consoles continued to go strong. The Legend of Zelda and other eight-bit games that remain excellent franchise status got launched by Nintendo later in the 80s.

All over the 90s, home gaming kept being well-liked. And thanks to new technologies, games incorporated more and more stunning visuals. In the middle of the 90s, there appeared games featuring 3D graphics.

Speaking of modern video games, they leverage cutting-edge techniques to increase your gaming immersion. VR and AR-incorporated games enable your more natural interaction with the virtual world by using your body instead of clicking controller buttons.

Amid the continuous computer technology advancement, video games will be sure to become even more impressive! For us, wait and imagine how the next gaming revolution will be in the meantime. 

3. Help champion your career

Some people play video games as a hobby. Meanwhile, a couple of players turn it into a successful career! The explosive fame of esports has been undoubtful over the last few years. Top players have received millions of dollars in prize money. 

Just look at the numbers: Championship competitions attract thousands of people to the arenas and millions of online viewers! Above all, their popularity seems to keep rising. 

If you aim to pursue a gaming career, one of your best bets should be team video games.

Are board games better than video games?

It depends. Do you enjoy tangible pawns and physical media? Do you appreciate chatting with several buddies around a great cardboard square and find it fun to see their reactions when you dominate the match? Are you into a mental challenge with a touch of luck here and there? Then, you cannot go wrong with board games.

Otherwise, would you prefer delving into a 3D graphics-incorporated virtual world of swift reflexes? Do you favor being together with your friends around a monitor? Are you fond of shouting interesting phrases at worldwide strangers? If so, video games should be your choice.

Generally speaking, these two entertainment mediums have their plus points. Ultimately, it is up to your preference. Even better, there is no need to choose. Just enjoy both.

Final words

two people playing chess

Now that you find the answer to the question, ‘are board games better than video games?” Consider the factors above and figure what is preferable to you. 

Talking about board games themselves, we also help you discover why they have increased in popularity in recent years. Do you think there are more to the reasons mentioned above? Then, let us know. We would love to hear from you. 

Some of our readers have also added that board games biome increasingly popular because of quality solo gaming modes and presentation enhancement (for example, graphic design). Some mentioned Amazon’s recommendation algorithm and party game spread, say Cards Against Humanity.

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