We never had what you would call "family game nights" in our home when I was a kid. Our mom worked nights and would normally nap until she had to get ready for work and our dad wasn't board game playing material. Nevertheless, my sisters and I did play a lot of them.

We'd usually receive one we had wanted or seen advertised for Christmas, play the heck out of it for a few weeks and then it would end up on a shelf or in a closet until our mom would guilt us into getting it out again.

"I guess you really didn't want that damn game, huh?!"

Some of our favorites were Monopoly, The Game of Life, and Clue (my personal favorite, as a murder-mystery lover, even back then). I know when we did play them, we'd play for hours; laughing, crabbing and cajoling, until we tired of the game, or each other's company.

When it comes to board games, the saying "everything old is new again" has never been truer. Believe it or not in 2016 sales of board games were over $1.4 billion and continue to trend upward this year. In some cities, neighborhood bookstores and cafes have become havens for board game mavens.

Target released 70 exclusive board games last week and their senior vice president of merchandising was quoted by USA Today saying, "The board games trend is booming as families and friends look for fun, memorable ways to spend time together."

In his book, The Revenge of Analog - Real Things and Why They Matterauthor David Sax addresses the booming board game phenomenon, along with the resurgence of vinyl records, print books, and Polaroid-like cameras among millennials and others.

This desire for human interaction — and a sense of community and place — is one of the magnets that draw people to neighborhood bookstores, where readers can get expert recommendations (from a person, not an algorithm), and attend readings and discussion groups. The more time we spend in the digital world of clicks and taps and swipes, the more people have begun to recognize the value of face-to-face interactions."

Since I never had any intention of getting rid of my vinyl albums and turntable, real books, and board games, the information Mr. Sax has revealed makes me feel even better about that decision.

Let me just say, "I'm sure it was Colonel Mustard, in the library, with the candlestick! Now let's play that Exploding Cats game."

Sources: USA Today, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter, The Brock Press 


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