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Author: wickedpam    Date: 05/09/2014 12:55:25

I heard a story the other day that i thought was interesting. Sales of tabletop games have been on the rise, some of that because of the advancement of technology.

High Tech Had Board Games Rolling Again

Sales at hobby stores in the United States rose 15 to 20 percent in each of the last three years, according to ICv2, a trade publication that tracks the business. Amazon says board game sales increased by a double-digit percentage from 2012 to 2013.

Thanks to things like the 3D Printers, crowd funding, being able to sell direct through Amazon and creative minds its easier to go from idea to product these days.

“It has been this amazing boon for the average game designer to come in, put up an idea, get it funded and get to press,” said Peter Adkison, founder and former chief executive of Wizards of the Coast, a tabletop game publisher he sold to Hasbro in 2001.

Mr. Shapiro’s experience with his creation Robot Turtles, a game meant to stealthily teach children basic computer programming concepts, illustrates how the new model works.

He raised $631,000 on Kickstarter in under a month, far exceeding his $25,000 goal. Robot Turtles has more backers than any other tabletop game in Kickstarter’s history, with 13,765 people pitching in money for the project, and Mr. Shapiro had more than 20,000 presales on the site.

He then found a manufacturer in Michigan by doing a Google search, and paid it to make 25,000 copies of the game from over 36 tons of cardboard and paper, shipping most of them in three semi trucks directly to a warehouse for Amazon. Amazon then delivered them to customers.

One of the most popular is a game that I've been trying to find in the stores but may have to just order it from Amazon - Cards Against Humanity.

Some of the new games from independent makers have even started to outsell games by major toy companies. Three years ago, a group of eight men in their 20s — middle school friends from Highland Park, Ill. — came up with an idea for a game that resembles a profane version of Apples to Apples, the game that involves creating humorous combinations by pairing noun and adjective cards.

The result was Cards Against Humanity, billed as a “party game for horrible people.” During each round, one player draws a card with a question or sentence with a missing word while the other players compete to come up with the funniest, most outrageous answer from their own selection of cards.

A typical question: “What are my parents hiding from me?”

“The placenta,” reads one of the tamer answers.

Cards Against Humanity and four expansion card packs for the game are currently the top five best-selling items in Amazon’s toys and games category. While the game’s co-creators continue to work at other jobs or attend graduate school, Max Temkin, 27, one of Cards Against Humanity’s creators, said none of them needed to work since they all had “pretty substantial savings” from sales of the game.

That's amazing in the age of the epic video gaming systems. So why are people taking a look at tabletop games again? The Chief Exectuive of Kickstater thinks it could be becuase of rise of geek culture and how people want to suddenly talk about their "geek cred".

Ironically, though it could be because of those who play video games that tabletop gaming is one the rise.

Somewhat ironically, perhaps, video game players are often among the biggest devotees of tabletop games. Some in the business believe that is no accident, theorizing that the abundance of opportunities to connect electronically with people through games and social media has also created a hunger — sated by tabletop games — for face-to-face contact.

“It turns out that being together is very addictive,” said Jerry Holkins, a creator of Penny Arcade Expo, or PAX, a series of video game conferences that dedicate about a third of their exhibition space to tabletop gaming.

I've always enjoyed playing games but only really having adults to play with as a child my games were Scrabble, Yahtzee, and Rummy. Not really kid games and when video games came to be I found my way to playing something more fantastical and fun. About a year or more ago, Geek & Sundry, a source for youtube shows, came out with a show called TableTop and I found that I missed playing games with people face to face and enjoying the social aspect of gaming. So I've been picking up a couple of those, Zombie Dice and Gloom. While I haven't gotten to play Gloom yet, Zombie Dice is a fast fun dice game that you can play with any number of people.

I hope to add to my selection tabletop games in the future. I think I could easily become addicted to the social aspect of these games. That could be a good thing for society these days, a way to come back together when so many want to push us apart.


31 comments (Latest Comment: 05/10/2014 01:34:28 by Raine)
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