Boardgame Bulletin 23-2: Are you the One Who Is Good at Boardgames?

Ran across another “Boardgames in 2023” article, this one from The Sydney Morning Herald on January 19. The article is written by Kishor Napler-Raman and titled, “Board games are terrible. Please don’t make me play them.” This is some Australian humor I think we all can enjoy, in part because so much of it is TRUE!

Like I wrote about in Boardgame Bulletin 23-1, this article also refers to the recent Washington Post article that gushed on boardgames:

It’s 2023, the pandemic is effectively over for most of us, and yet, the strange phenomenon of huddling indoors around a dining room table for “fun” still isn’t out.

Instead, according to a recent Washington Postarticle, we are living through a “golden age” of board games. Unlike so many relics of painfully uncool millennial cringe, board games are here to stay – the industry is worth up to $13 billion globally and growing. The nerds have well and truly won.

Red flags right out of the gate! Sure, COVID forced many to huddle around indoors…but it also helped family bonding. The reference to “millennial cringe” and “the nerds” hints at jealousy, which may explain some later comments.

What follows is perhaps the best description of a board game night ever:

Billed as a wholesome way to break the ice with new friends, or reconnect with old, the affair is usually suggested by The Guy Who is Good at Board Games. If, like me, you happen to be a relative rookie, this is bad news – make sure you bring another amateur to make you feel better about yourself.

A “relative rookie?” So you’ve played boardgames before but you need “another amateur” along to feel secure about yourself? That’s telling.

Who is “The Guy Who is Good at Board Games?” The author again gives us a very accurate view:

The Guy Who is Good at Board Games then spends close to an hour explaining the rules. Perhaps you are slaying a mythical beast, making sushi, or cosplaying as colonisers in a foreign land.

I can figure out what the first two games probably are, but I can’t figure out the cosplay reference. Admittedly, it’s getting hard at this point to read the difference between authors humor, sarcasm, or just plain ignorance.

Of course, the explanation is never enough. You fumble along. You are reassured you are doing OK and it will get better. Then the kicker:

When The Guy Who is Good at Board Games suggests you might watch a few YouTube videos of the game first, you realise, far too late, that your supposedly fun night came with homework.

By the time you start to figure out what you should be doing (a few hours in) the wine is finished, the brie eroded down to the rind, and The Guy Who is Good at Board Games has already won.

At this point the article jumps the shark and goes off on a rant about the infantilization of adulthood. I ignored that part (like you should too) because the author obviously had a sad, sad childhood.

Maybe they should have played more boardgames…

Feature image courtesy © 2007-2023 by Ian B is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

4 thoughts on “Boardgame Bulletin 23-2: Are you the One Who Is Good at Boardgames?

  1. Not going into the social commentary of the article (which left me as bewildered as you), but want to point out that the author’s assessment of the infantilization of adulthood is the exact opposite of what’s happening – for millennia, playing board games has been a mainly adult activity, and only in the 19th/20th century have they been regarded as the domain of children.

    1. Great point…all the more proof the author’s humor is strained.

  2. What a prat.
    Move on; the world’s full of people who are jealous of your fun.
    Pieces like this don’t diminish the potential audience for games, at least not by anyone we would miss.

    1. Looking at all the comments about I think I might be the only one to see that this was clearly labeled “humor.” That said, the infantilization of adulthood opens the author up to well-deserved criticism.

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