LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Nostalgia is a powerful feeling. It takes us back. We relive memories, emotions, and experiences that make our life what it is today. Knowing the power of nostalgia, more and more companies are bringing back nostalgic items and making them new and popular again.
In THV11’s series “Cool Again” we look at some of the old school items making a major comeback.
In a world where things are becoming more and more digital, games made up of cardboard pieces, wooden tokens and cards are having a renaissance.
2016 was one of the most influential years for board games growth. There were more than 5,000 board games introduced into the U.S. market during that time.
With rapid growth, the global board games market size is expected to reach values of over $12 billion by 2023. Board games are returning as a mainstream entertainment among families, kids, and even child-less millennials.
But why are board games becoming so cool again?
Park Lanford is one of many millennials hooked on board games. He hasn't been an avid “board gamer” for long but he's now a huge fan, even attending board game nights at Game Goblins in Little Rock. He said board games give him a better way to connect with friends.
“So many things are online nowadays, it can be hard to make up a reason to hang out with people,” said Lanford. “Board games give people something to do and gets them to spend time with each other.”
Part of the draw is the sheer number of board game options.
“I didn't realize how innovative the board game industry has become,” he said. “You can’t even count them; there’s more board games here [at Game Goblins] than you’d find in a Best Buy video game section.”
While the classic board games like Monopoly have remained popular, the increased demand for new games from the younger generation has the board game industry booming.
Game Goblins Community Events Manager, Michael Scott, said there are new games coming out every week.
“Innovation is on the upswing and every week there is something brand new,” he said.
Scott said the demand for board game related events keeps growing as all the new games keep flowing. That’s why Game Goblins started offering game nights every week plus game night events with restaurants and breweries all over central Arkansas.
“Our adult game night continues to be hugely popular,” he said. “A lot of people comment on our Facebook page and people say it looks fun and they tag their friends saying ‘we have to do this sometime.’”
Scott said people love the social connection and nostalgic feeling that playing board games offers.
“Connecting across the table is what gives a lot of people the feeling of nostalgia,” he said. “They remember sitting with parents on family game night playing a simple game of scrabble and the feeling of connecting with family and friends is a really special thing.”
Scott thinks that’s why board games are continuing to grow in popularity with all types of people.
“I can find something to play with anyone whether it be a former student, a 17 year old, or my mom who has a lot of trouble understanding rules to newer games,” he said. “No matter who I am playing with we get to the point where we’re vibing on the same frequency.”
He's confident that with all the innovation in the industry, the popularity of board games is only going up from here.
“Either there is something coming or there is going to be something coming out right around the corner that’s going to be exactly the experience you want,” said Scott. “And when you master that, there’s going to be something new and totally mind blowing in its design and how fun it is.”
For more information on Game Goblins and adult game nights visit their website.