Rewinding back to board games


Remember the times when after-school evening pass times were all about playing Carrom board, Monopoly, Pictionary, Don’t Say It and Game of Life? From inviting colony friends at home to playing these board games with cousins during sleepovers, every moment of playing these games are piled up as some of the best memories of our childhood. But gradually, the advent of play stations and mobile app games like Temple Run, Subway Surfer and Candy Crush Saga took over and board games seemed to vanish from the scene.

But keeping in mind the strong parental control over children, the impact of these mobile app games is minimal in nature, according to R Jeswant, senior vice president, sales and marketing, Funskool India Ltd. 

“Children are well aware of various mobile app-based games and they spend a considerable amount of time on them. However, parents still have control on their mobile phones, and are the ones who decide how much time children should spend on them. Also, usually children don’t buy the paid version of the games and play on the ones with free versions available. Hence, the impact of the mobile is games in minimal,” says Jeswant.

While the mobile app games start becoming addictive and a favourite activity during long metro rides and are our companion just before dozing off every day, some board games like Pictionary, Monopoly and Carrom are still loved during family gatherings and friends’ reunions, especially amongst the 90s children, who grew up playing them.

Agrees Jeswant, saying that board games come in the largest categories of toys and are still very popular in India. “Today, the first generation of parents who had grown up playing board games like Monopoly, Scotland Yard and Game of Life expose their children to the world of board games,” he says.

“Sometimes, a new way of playing very popular games may lead to enhanced interests. For instance, the traditional Monopoly is played with currency (money) in paper to buy and sell properties. But in the new electronic banking unit, the currency paper has been replaced by an electronic banking unit where upon the swiping of a debit card, the money is automatically
credited or debited,” Jeswant tells Metrolife.

Thus, improvisations such as this, that meet the children’s fondness towards technology, credit to keeping the charm of board games alive. But, are board games capable of meeting their competition with mobile apps games and are they here to stay? “Variety, simplicity, fun, learning and new ways of playing will always help board games to survive,” he says.

“Some board games do have a short life span, whereas others continue to be popular over the years. Some of the licensed games like Marvel Avenger monopoly may see a surge during the movie release but the numbers may dwindle after a period of time. Classic games like Monopoly, which recently celebrated their 80th anniversary continue to rule because of the constant efforts are made to innovate it and be on par with the mindset of children,” explains Jeswant.

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