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Subject: The Golden Age of Board Gaming rss

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W. Cracker
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Are we presently living the Golden Age of Board Gaming? I believe that we indeed are. Although the 1960's and 70's was also another period when board gaming was also exceedingly popular. But numbers typically speak louder than words. Here is a brief survey to attempt to answer that question. Albeit, this will only be an opinion that might be difficult to establish in fact based upon the actual time period's games bought per capita. We can, however, estimate the percentage of board gamers in a global region based upon population. To do this by country would require an unwieldy number of countries to list, so for practicality we are limited to doing this by global region based upon that regions population. Yes, there may be statistical flaws in this approach, however the overall results may be truly representative of the reality. The survey will be left open as new board gamers join BGG over time as BGG will be our representative sample group.

Poll
1. Are we currently living in the Golden Age of Board Gaming? If you select"Some other time", please identify that time period in a reply and why you believe that to be the case.
Yes
No
Some other time
2. In what region of the world do you currently live irrespective of your citizenship.
Southern Asia
Eastern Asia
Southeastern Asia
South America
Eastern Africa
N. America
Western Africa
Eastern Europe
Western Asia
Northern Africa
Western Europe
Central America
Southern Europe
Middle Africa
Northern Europe
Central Asis
Southern Africa
Caribbean
Oceania
      238 answers
Poll created by MrMzchf


At some point(s), I or others may calculate the percentage of board gamers of the regions based upon that region's current population. As a reference, here are the current populations of each respective global region circa 2010 to 2016:


Southern Asia 1,749,046,000
Eastern Asia 1,620,807,000
S.E. Asia 618,793,000
South America 406,740,000
Eastern Africa 373,202,000
Northern Amer. 355,361,000
Western Africa 331,255,000
Eastern Europe 294,162,000
Western Asia* 245,707,000
Northern Africa 210,002,000
Western Europe 192,060,000
Central America 167,387,000
Southern Europe 155,827,000
Middle Africa 135,750,000
Northern Europe 100,404,000
Central Asia 64,370,000
Southern Africa 60,425,000
Caribbean 42,517,000
Oceania** 38,304,000

*The Middle East is primarily Western Asia.
**Oceania is the islands of the Tropical Pacific and Australia.
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David H
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I believe the golden age was twenty years between 1985 - 2005 or there about. Could probably shave off 5 years either way.
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Alexandre Santos
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I think you should post a picture of the different world regions you created, so as to clear out any ambiguity (contries and region's borders, what do you do with Russia, and overseas territories of France/UK, etc)

Also, what do you call periods : decades, centuries, etc?
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W. Cracker
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AlexFS wrote:

I think you should post a picture of the different world regions you created, so as to clear out any ambiguity (contries and region's borders, what do you do with Russia, and overseas territories of France/UK, etc)

Also, what do you call periods : decades, centuries, etc?


Due to the plethora of countries that would involve, I would suggest that an individual do what I did; Google it, as I did for Oceania. In my mind I defined "period" as any time in history when the respondent believes board games were at the height of popularity within the culture, though you are correct, Golden Age is subject to wide interpretation. For example, board games were massively popular in the 60's. Perhaps maybe more than today. But in terms of sophistication, I believe this is the Golden Age. Yes I should have been more granular in my question or perhaps asking several questions about Golden Age based upon certain criteria. But it is what it is and perhaps there will be very interesting replies who believe it to be some other time. I'm very curious about those responses as I hope they will be an interesting source of ideas and healthy debate.

Edit: The regions are not of my definition. They are geographically establihed regions that are easily searched.
 
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Barry Churchill
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The Golden Age is yet to come.

It will be when digital and cardboard collide and we get tabletop hologram stuff going on. Then board games will overtake video games in imagination.

Pushing the evolution forward are the terrific board games that have been coming out over the last decade or so.

Cheers
Baz

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W. Cracker
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Bazmondo123 wrote:
The Golden age is yet to come.

It will be when digital and cardboard collide and we get tabletop hologram stuff going on. Then board games will overtake video games in imagination.

Pushing the evolution forward are the terrific board games that have been coming out over the last decade or so.

Cheers
Baz



Cool. I like it. Thinking outside the box.
 
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Look on my works ye mighty and despair
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BGG is only a decent sample group if you want to focus on Eurogames though.

We're talking about a site that once nominated Small World for Best Wargame. That's illustrative of quite how narrow BGG is in the aggregate.
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Timothy Young
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Abiezer Coppe wrote:
BGG is only a decent sample group if you want to focus on Eurogames though.


I think thematic/Amertrash games get a fair look-in here.

Abiezer Coppe wrote:
We're talking about a site that once nominated Small World for Best Wargame. That's illustrative of quite how narrow BGG is in the aggregate.


The Grognard wargaming world is active and dedicated but pretty small, probably no more than 5% of hobby game community as a whole.

Unfortunately many of them choose to avoid BGG because they won't be seen dead talking about Euro/Thematic games, which is their loss really. There is a dedicated wargame board and each game has its own forums so plenty of space for them to talk if they wanted to. Their loss.


As for the Golden Age, for me it will be when hobby board games become accepted by the mainstream - when a "Best 10 Boardgames" list in a major newspaper isn't inevitably topped by Monopoly and you can buy board games in regular shops that are not just Risk and Cluedo IPs.
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David B
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For volume of board games coming out, I'd say we are in it. As for quality, I'd say we are about 15 years past it.
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Bill Eldard
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Bazmondo123 wrote:
The Golden Age is yet to come.

It will be when digital and cardboard collide and we get tabletop hologram stuff going on. Then board games will overtake video games in imagination.

Pushing the evolution forward are the terrific board games that have been coming out over the last decade or so.


You may be right.

And you raise a point regarding so-called Golden Ages.

Can we really assess a so-called Golden Age before the subject of the assessment has run its course, or at least been in decline for a long time?

But before taking polls, it's necessary to define what we mean by Golden Age. If a Golden Age is the most flourishing period in the history of a subject, then I would say we won't know if this is the Golden Age of Gaming until it stops flourishing.

In the early 1960s, editors and readers of comic books began referring to the period of approximately 1937 to 1950 as the Golden Age of Comics, partly because the number of publishers and super hero titles greatly declined after 1950, and partly because DC had revived a number of super heroes of that era with new costumes, origins, secret identities, etc. beginning in 1956. At the same time, they referred to their own era as the Silver Age (for lack of a better term, I guess). Today, comic book enthusiasts still refer to the Golden and Silver Ages, yet we live in an era where comics are flourishing like never before, so what is the true Golden Age of Comics?
 
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Tim RTC wrote:
I think thematic/Amertrash games get a fair look-in here.


There's a difference between "gets a fair look-in" and "balanced sample group" though. I think it's pretty clear (judging by previous polls etc.) that the BGG community leans heavily towards eurogames.

There's nothing wrong with that, it just means you can't use it as your only sample if you want the full picture.

In the same way, Fortress Ameritrash has a reasonably active Eurogames subforum, with a lot of praise for specific games. But none of that changes the fact its community primarily leans towards Ameritrash. And attempting to use them as your only sample for modern boardgaming would skew the results accordingly.

Quote:
As for the Golden Age, for me it will be when hobby board games become accepted by the mainstream - when a "Best 10 Boardgames" list in a major newspaper isn't inevitably topped by Monopoly and you can buy board games in regular shops that are not just Risk and Cluedo IPs.


If that's your criteria, we're halfway there at least. Articles like this - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/the-filter/11250173/15-party-...
 
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Rodrigo Santos
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I think we ARE in the Golden Age... because I honestly think gameboard hobby is hitting all over the world. 20 years ago... or even 10 years ago there wasn't so much access to gameboard knowledge or info to everyone as there is today.

I live in South America, Uruguay to be exact... thanks to the internet one can know acces pretty much anything, reviews, let's play, this great forum and community, everything. Even though it's REALLY hard to get games here, it is possible, even though expensive the scene is getting bigger every year and that is great.

It's true many games existed decades ago... I even played MTG a long time ago (that really hit hard in my country), but there was no knowledge of other games... today there is such a HUGE selection that we can actually say there is a game for everyone and that's why it think we are in a Golden Age cause we can trully say... "If you wanna give Gameboard Hobby a chance... we can find a game for you!"

Cheers

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Matt Brown
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pfctsqr wrote:
For volume of board games coming out, I'd say we are in it. As for quality, I'd say we are about 15 years past it.


Maybe not 15 years, but I agree with the idea. There's simply too many new editions, rethemes, and KS games to verify this as a golden age. I figured out based on recent and my next purchases something like 5-6 out of 8-9 games will be from 5+ years ago. I continue to find so many DoaM games simply fail in comparison to El Grande. And yes, the sheer number of games is overwhelming these days.
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Chris Talmadge
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pfctsqr wrote:
For volume of board games coming out, I'd say we are in it. As for quality, I'd say we are about 15 years past it.
Exactly.

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Chapel
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The Golden Age of boardgaming started in 1981 when I played the first game that wasn't Monopoly and LIFE, and will end when I'm dead.

Hopefully, you will all be present during the Golden Age.
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Michael Debije
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Do people care if we are in a Golden Age or not? Does everything have to have a label?
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Scott Johanson
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This seems like a second or third Golden Age of boardgaming. It might not be happening if not for the work of companies in the 60's and 70's.
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Jeff Rietveld
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Bazmondo123 wrote:
The Golden Age is yet to come.

It will be when digital and cardboard collide and we get tabletop hologram stuff going on. Then board games will overtake video games in imagination.


One can only hope you are dead wrong...
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Rood Bird
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MrMzchf wrote:
Edit: The regions are not of my definition. They are geographically establihed regions that are easily searched.



Really?

I googled Northern Europe. The first website listed categorically stated the the UK was part of this group. So clearly I reside in Northern Europe.


I then googled Western Europe. Guess what? The first website listed under this search states that the UK is Western Europe. Clearly I must reside in Western Europe.


Perhaps you shouldn't be so hasty in discounting someone else's observation about the clarity of your survey.

Hope this helps

RB
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W. Cracker
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roodbird wrote:
MrMzchf wrote:
Edit: The regions are not of my definition. They are geographically establihed regions that are easily searched.



Really?

I googled Northern Europe. The first website listed categorically stated the the UK was part of this group. So clearly I reside in Northern Europe.


I then googled Western Europe. Guess what? The first website listed under this search states that the UK is Western Europe. Clearly I must reside in Western Europe.


Perhaps you shouldn't be so hasty in discounting someone else's observation about the clarity of your survey.

Hope this helps

RB


Not my intention at all to discount your post. I was just trying to be helpful in my edit in response to your quite correct observation. I sincerely apologize if I offended you in any way.
 
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matt tweedt
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No disrespect at all to those that weren't alive in the 1980's...

But it truly was the Golden age of Board Gaming. The Avalon Hill/SPI era is what started it all. This site wouldn't exist and none of the thousands of games available today wouldn't be around.

This is when Gary Gygax came to my school and taught us how to play DnD and it's when I went to the only local game shop in Torrance California and I bought (Avalon Hill) Civilization. It is still my favorite game of all time. The year was 1982.
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It all depends on your perspective. For me, the Golden Age of wargaming was 1975 - 1985. This was the era of Avalon Hill and SPI. We had thriving wargame clubs soley dedicated to wargames.

Then D & D came along and things went downhill. A lot of players abandoned wargames for role playing and the player pool decreased.

The renaissance began for wargames with Mtg and other collectable card games. Since this was a very lucrative children's game, Game shops opened up gaming areas in their stores to promote tournaments (and sales) in a safe environment for children. This left a lot of time and space open for wargaming face to face in those store game rooms.

I don't enjoy playing via computer because I enjoy the friendships I make in gaming that are made in person. I can tell you a lot about the games I play. I can also tell you a lot about the people I play, such as about their families, jobs, and vacations. Likewise, I don't enjoy playing in people's homes. The environment is too sterile. I like the hustle and bustle of game clubs and store game rooms. Even playing 2-player card games at starbucks is a lot more exciting than playing at someone's home.

The exception is when playing with family, whether it is a lawn game like bocce ball or a boardgame like Ticket To Ride or Star Realms. (I mainly ony play Eurogames with family.)

I currently play a wargame each weekend at a store game room or a local game club, all organized by meetup. We get lots of watchers. A historical game seems more fun to watch than people playing Dominion or Power Grid. Whether it is 1776, Up Front, Axis & Allies, Starship Troopers, etc., people seem fascinated by the subject matter.
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Scott Gillispie
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The archetypal quote is 'The Golden Age is twelve' - whatever you encountered then is what is right.

Actually, I got my copies of Squad Leader and Kingmaker just before my eleventh birthday, but close enough.

I would put the Golden Age as starting with Tactics II, Diplomacy and Risk around 1958-60, with the equivalent of Gwen Stacy being tossed off the Triborough Bridge being the folding of SPI in 1982.

Now would be more of a Silver Age of gaming. Perhaps Bronze.

Nothing wrong with that, mind you...
 
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Franz Kafka
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mi_de wrote:
Do people care if we are in a Golden Age or not? Does everything have to have a label?

You sound like a Millennial.
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Carl Nyberg
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I believe we are in the golden age of board gaming, but I believe there could be another golden age later also.
 
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