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Tabletop Games Back With a Vengeance

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Tabletop Games Back With a Vengeance

Tabletop games fell out of popularity for awhile, but are back with a vengeance in the digital age. 

Why are board games popular again? There’s no single answer that will satisfy. The internet, video games (online and mobile), crowdfunding, and the desire to reduce screen time are all possible reasons. The answer might be that all these reasons, and more, combined together to help tabletop games make a comeback.

What are tabletop games?

Tabletop games are games that are usually played on, you guessed it, tables. They’re more commonly known as board games, but this name is inaccurate as some games don’t require a ‘board’. Most people think of rolling dice and moving pieces around a board, but there is so much more to it! There are games for all ages and they incorporate numerous different strategies and mechanics. Some games use only cards, some games are the classic dice and board, while some games, have so many different components the thought of playing them is simply daunting. 

What brought the boom?

The tabletop industry is booming! Everyone is getting in on the action, and we think it’s down to a few things, one being that it’s the age of the geek! Gaming has reached a level of popularity that has never been seen before. Companies and individuals are seeing the value in investing in and playing games. Schools have also been making use of the latest in digital technology to help children develop. But, it isn’t just the digital that interests schools. With the rising value placed on STEAM Education and emphasis placed on critical thinking and creativity, board games are taking center stage. 

kids playing board game
Children learning strategic and critical thinking through board games at Digital Playhouse.

It isn’t just for the children though. Companies and organizations are seeing the value of tabletop games to help with the development of their employees. Games are relevant and useful because it’s a friendly environment where competition and cooperation can be fostered. Cooperative game play is one of the best ways to go about this, some companies have even gone so far as to design their own board games that simulate the challenges, characteristics, and lessons they would like their people to learn and develop.

Easier Access and Better Tabletop Games

In the past, the only place to buy board games was to go to a specialist shop that sold them. Which in Thailand, was super difficult to find. The internet has made it not only easier for us to purchase tabletop games and get them delivered, but it’s paved the way for us to learn to play them. Personally, I find it a bit confusing to just read the rules attached to a game, YouTube and all the channels with explanations and playthroughs have made it easier for me to learn to play. 


Speaking of access to games and learning to play, board game cafes are a huge hit now! Not sure what to do on a weekend with your friends? Bored of the humdrum routine of watching movies, going bowling, or singing karaoke? Want an activity that entertains, stimulates, and also allows you to socialize? Hit one of the numerous board game cafes around town, with some even open 24/7! Okay, so that’s access. Now, how does that help me learn? Well if you’re new to the board game scene, each tabletop cafe has employees that know how to play most of the games. These are sometimes known as game masters and they’ll sit with you and help you get started on any game you wish you play. 

Is that it? Most definitely not!

Board games are better! There are thousands of options to choose from and they’re more intricate, with elegant and varying mechanics, and the artwork that goes into them is mind blowing! The more tabletop games there are available, the higher the chance that everyone will find something that interests them. We’re basically spoiled for choice. 

Another reason people could be seeing the turn towards tabletop games is the human connection and social aspect of it all. We’re in the digital age where our screens take up most of our lives. Thankfully, we’re starting to see the need to break away from it all, to bring back face to face interactions. Board games allow for this to happen. Social skills can be introduced and practiced in children through the use of board games, and adults as well! The scenarios you find yourself experiencing through many of the games are great practice for the everyday. 

It’s shocking, isn’t it?! That tabletop games have decided to take center stage away from the digital. That people are leaning back towards activities that increase personal interaction. That we’re back to playing games with a tactile aspect. It’s refreshing.