When I was a kid, I loved playing board games. Cozy Sundays together, quiet music playing in the background and playing board games with the family. The time together began with choosing the right board game. Our wide selection of board games offered something to suit every type of player. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a strategic masterpiece like the Settlers of Catan, knowledge games like Trivial Pursuit (to this day not my forte) or action-packed speed games like Skip-Bo.
The fun already started with building up the board game. Everyone knew their role & actively participated in setting up the board game interface (and yes – I mostly shied away from it). But I was all the more active during the game – to this day I’m an ambitious player who can hardly stand losing.
Evoking the sense of togetherness
To this day it tempts me to recreate this nostalgic feeling in me. Even if the family understandably doesn’t get together that often to play together, it always triggers an inner security and the feeling of being home when we manage to play together. I’ve tried to recreate that feeling by playing board games or similar games together online, but it’s just not the same. The feeling of neatly polished wooden figures in my hand, the tension when the dice are rolled or the reading the other person’s face when you have made the ingenious strategic move – I only get these impressions when we are sitting together at one table.
Digitalisation is a challenge – and a chance
Thinking about how to fill this free time these days, I often tend to reach for digital media. And don’t worry, there won’t be a moral sermon about the decay of our society, because everyone is only attached to their smartphones – but with all the advantages that digital media brings us, we often consume alone and social interaction gets lost. And it’s not just me, it’s the same for the younger generations. Most children have probably heard the sentence “put the screen aside and do something sensible” often enough in the last 15 years.
So how can we succeed in ensuring that digitization progresses at its pace, but we still enable spaces for encounters in which characters can form and social bonds develop?
The best of both worlds
And here I come back to the feeling that I described at the beginning and that I still associate so closely with board games to this day. If we manage to combine the feeling of togetherness, the development of social skills and the building of relationships by playing board games together in a new hybrid world that combines all the advantages of the digital and the analog world, then a platform can emerge that not only leads the young digital generation to a digital togetherness, but which can also give rise to cross-generational encounters.