Date Published: 2015-05-26

Will Video Games Eventually Kill Board Games?


By Adelia Ladson

Decades ago, now, video games made their appearance in popular culture, giving the centuries-old tradition of playing board games a run for their money. In the late Seventies, somewhere between the neon light of the screen of an arcade game and the back-and-forth, back-and-forth of “Pong”, we got hooked. Video killed the radio star but will video games kill the board game.

In the early years Atari was the king of home video game systems.
In the early years Atari was the king of home video game systems.
Growing up at the start of the video game revolution, I still have a special place in my heart for those old board games that kept me and my friends and family entertained for hours. But, on the other hand, I also was utterly thrilled to play that first game on our brand new Atari. It came with “Combat”, which pales in comparison to today’s “Call of Duty” but I was completely in awe of the ability to move those tanks around on our television screen. If you go to stores that have a toy section, you can still find the “old stand-by” board games waiting on the shelves. But I wonder, if they will eventually meet their demise and be relegated to antique finds only and do we really care if that happens?

Since I’m of two minds about this, I have taken a look at the pros and cons of each to see which way the chips or blips would fall.

Monopoly has a long history of entertaining families - about 80 years to be exact.
Monopoly has a long history of entertaining families - about 80 years to be exact.
The first thing definitely on the pro side for video games are that you can take them virtually anywhere – no pun intended. They are compact, require no set-up, and don’t have pieces that could be sucked up in the vacuum cleaner. Obviously, the biggest com is that you can’t play them without electricity or a battery. Once the electricity goes out or the battery goes dead, the party’s definitely over. And if you have priced a video game against a board game, lately, there’s really no contest on who wins the Most Expensive Award.

Board games, on the other hand, give the players a more one-on-one contact experience with each other and more players can play at one time in the same room. (Remember the feeling of utter joy when you win the money on Free Parking, just when you were going bankrupt, and you can rub it in everyone’s face.) You are looking right at the player not the player’s character on the screen. And, again, no electricity is needed for the good, old, standard board game like “Monopoly” or “Clue.” So……if that Zombie Apocalypse does happen, rest assured you can entertain yourself between the periods of fighting for your life. Also, again, you can probably buy at least five board games for the price of one video game.

Systems like this original Xbox replaced the Atari in homes over the years.
Systems like this original Xbox replaced the Atari in homes over the years.
Both mediums come in dead equal when it comes to providing family entertainment and developing hand and eye coordination. I think I’m going to have to take this to my friends here, at True Swords, and take a poll….

Okay, all the votes are in and the answer is that although, video games are exciting and the graphics are incredible, our folks are not ready to let go of their board games quite yet.


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