Board gaming has been a popular hobby since Monopolyburst onto the scene, but the typical board game that is released has changed a lot -- especially in the last two decades.
Games such as Monopoly and Scrabble were popular family activities mostly enjoyed by children, while adult board games were generally limited to Dungeons andDragons type games that were only for the most hardcore hobbyists. There were a few exceptions along the way,such as the game Cosmic Encounter, but for the most part, this past time was either for children or a niche hobby.
Things remained this way up until the 1980s or so, when mega popular adult social games such as Trivial Pursuit burst onto the scene. This wave of board games showedcommon adults that this was a hobby that even they could enjoy. This in turn spawned more purchases of games for their children, and the industry flourished.
As video games became more and more popular in the1990s, board games were sort of pushed to the side for awhile. That is until one game came along and changed the face of the scene forever -- The Settlers of Catan.
The Settlers of Catan was translated from its Germanheritage in 1997, and became a worldwide smashing hit. The most influential game of the last 20 years, Settlersbridged the gap between all types of gamers -- the child who grew up on Monopoly and Sorry, the adult who played Trivial Pursuit with his or her friends, and the hardcore hobbyist who was used to playing RPGs.
Settlers achieved this by including elements that made allof these types of games popular: ease of play for children, strategic depth for hobbyists, and a strong social aspect for social gamers.
Gaming has not been the same since, and most gamesthat come out today are at least somewhat influenced byThe Settlers of Catan. They use many design features and elements that were first seen in Settlers, such as victory points, no player elimination, and modular game boards which change every time you play.
As someone who loves to play board games with all sorts of people myself, it warms my heart to see this sort ofmecca that we have now. Many people playing, and manypeople playing together. For me and others who share in my interests, life in 2011 is very good!