Back in my day, tabletop gaming wasn’t ‘cool’. They were played by kids, families, and nerds that I thought were far more nerdy than I. At the very least, that’s how I saw it. Even as late as my first experience at Fan Expo in 2010, I went into the tabletop gaming section and passed judgment with extreme prejudice.
What a difference a year makes. After being tricked by my girlfriend to partake in her friend’s Dominion night, I’ve actively partaken in many tabletop gaming nights and am slowly expanding my horizons in the genre. Apparently, I’m late to the party, because I get the sense that this scene has been in the midst of a resurgence for quite some time.
Not having done enough research on the matter, I can’t definitively say what the turning point was for the scene. However, I get the sense that the scene is going a lot more mainstream. For instance, Snakes and Lattes here in Toronto – a cafe with over 2,400 board games for customers to play with – was once considered a weird novelty when it first opened. Nowadays, it’s one of the hottest hangouts in the city, as it’s seemingly always full. It really hit home when Steff and I invited my high school friends over for some tabletop gaming. Back when we were in high school, we never would have even thought to play this style of game when we hung out. However, all of my friends now had a ton of their own stories to share about board game nights with a number of cool designer games.
For me, the enjoyment partially comes from having a reason to get friends together, and the fact that a lot of these games have very interesting gameplay mechanics. When I first played Dominion, it hit me that this card game was scratching the same itch that Street Fighter did. I love the idea of having a bunch of different tools at my disposal and figuring out the best way to use them to my advantage. I haven’t won many games of Dominion, but I sure love trying. At the opposite end, Cards Against Humanity is light on the mechanics, but the hilarious cards have kept it a staple at game night.
I definitely didn’t give this scene its due in the past, but it has my attention now. With the right games and the right people, tabletop gaming is a lot of fun and a change of pace from my norm in front of a screen pressing buttons. Looking forward to experiencing more game nights to try out new games and spend more time with friends and loved ones.
Will I start to write more about tabletop games on In Third Person? Maybe. I’ll probably never reach the level of John Wells over at Splitkick, who writes solely about tabletop games, but I don’t see why I couldn’t write about my experiences with them. Though this is a gaming blog at its core, it hasn’t stopped me from going beyond that to write about everything from my apartment hunting experiences to cooking.
At the very least, there’s this post and a new Tabletop Gaming section on the official In Third Person Amazon.com store for you to check out games that I personally recommend. Would love to hear your thoughts on tabletop gaming in the comments!