Games Research Network

Researching analogue and digital games

Month: September 2016

Mascarade (Special Collections, 21 Sep 2016)

For the inaugural meeting of the Tabletop Games Research (TGR) research group, I have picked Bruno Faidutti’s Mascarade, a card game for 2-13 players which is all about bluffing and counter-bluffing. This is a relatively straightforward game to play, which normally takes around 30 minutes per round, depending on how devious people are feeling!

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A Ticket to Ride?

Board games are currently enjoying something of a renaissance. Sales of board games continue to rise globally (over 20% since 2009 [1]), gaming communities are growing and flourishing, and games design and production values are at an all-time high. Whilst the sales figures for board games might be dwarfed by those for the video games industry (in 2015, the UK video games industry was worth nearly £4.2bn, up 7.4% from £3.94bn in 2014), there is clearly a significant increase in the popularity of board games, not only in terms of the amount of units that have been sold, but also in terms of the number, and the demographic, of the people playing them. This increase in popularity, and an increasing mainstream acceptance of gaming culture, has resulted in a dramatic  increase in coverage across the popular press and media, with The Guardian recently announcing a new monthly column, The boarder’s hoard, dedicated to reviewing the latest board games on the market. With even Vice running an article on the rise of board games, and popular celebrities such as Wil Wheaton running extremely successful YouTube channels dedicated to their favourite games, does this mean that board games are suddenly cool and that being a gamer is now something to be celebrated? As well as their newly celebrated social status, It would appear that gamers, or at least gamers that go on to create their own board games are also getting rich, with Kickstarter funds for board games now exceeding £41 million in total sales. All of this seems in stark contrast to this 2015 Telegraph article, pronouncing the death of card and board games.

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