Why Tabletop Games Grew In The Pandemic


Long before history was recorded, games have existed as a way to take a break from working, and that has stayed true through thousands of years of history although games have become more complex over time. I’m sure anyone reading this has fond memories of at least one tabletop game, whether it be a simple classic like Monopoly or a complex modern one like Flesh and Blood. Everyone has a game they can call their favorite and play with the people they care about, or entirely new people to form everlasting friendships. But why? What has made the concept of a game withstand the winds of time, and instead of it falling into obscurity, it flourished and has grown in the last couple of years, even with the pandemic closing off social interaction. How did it grow in these times and why?

Why did tabletop gaming go back into style during 2020-2021? It’s simple, boredom. During the pandemic, families had to cancel plans and events and instead were stuck at home with not much to do. So many families decided to dust off a few older games they once played when they were young such as Monopoly and Ticket to Ride, and the youngsters showed their own games that they played in their younger stages of life like Betrayal on House of The Hill and Exploding Kittens. This gave families the ability to bond and become closer during these hard times.

Another part of tabletop games that was hit hard by the pandemic was the collectible card games like Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon TCG, and Magic the Gathering. All of these games and more rely on being able to see your opponent’s side of the game and their cards, and not being able to be in front of the other person can truly hinder the game and make it unplayable. At times, this can truly hurt all of the people who play those card games, seeing as how their collections of little paper squares are worth hundreds of dollars if they collect a lot. The way these card game players solved this issue is with websites focused on playing the game from home. Websites like Spelltable use your camera on your computer to show your board state to your opponent and vice versa, allowing you to play the game while you’re stuck at home.

So why did tabletop gaming flourish when so many other things withered away? Because of the people trying their hardest to keep doing the things they love with the people they care about. Even though the pandemic tried to separate us, we stayed connected, and even grew closer during those times. I hope all of you all reading this can remember your first time playing a game with your family or friends that will always last with you. Go Knights!