dungeons and dragons at game table cafe

Millennials and the Board Game Revival

What’s a Millennial?

As a Millennial, I hear the whispers in the dark surrounding me. Millenials are lazy, burdened by debt, and they’re killing cable and brick-and-mortar stores. They’d rather have craft beer and avocado toast than a house, and they’re always staring at a screen.

But by definition, they are the generation that first grew up with technology. Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials spent most of their formative years surrounded by gaming consoles and computers. We remember our first Gameboy and our late hours playing The Sims on the family’s first computer.

Fast-forward to today, Millenials are in a tough spot with low employment levels, crushing student debt, and rising costs in healthcare. Millenials reject the notions of yesteryear in favor of cost-effective and progressive solutions.

gaming with technology

Tabletop doesn’t mean unplugged.

So what draws a Millenials into tabletop gaming? Millenials are not swapping screen time for face-to-face fun. They’re not ditching their phones to play a round of Clank in Space. Odds are, their Twitter feed and Snapchat followers are going to know they’re playing. Games like Werewolf require a mobile app to play, and I know too many people with their character sheets and spell lists tucked on their laptops.

Millenials want to escape into alternate worlds, beyond their student loans and tiny apartments. They have an affinity for nostalgia and cost-effective entertainment.

zelda clue

Fantasy is Main Stream

The line demarcating a nerd of the 70s and 80s – pushing up his glasses and rolling a D20 – is dead. Millenials grew up alongside Harry Potter, and they watched The Lord of the Rings and Star Wars in theaters. Today, Game of Thrones is one of the most popular TV shows in history, and Marvel is knocking comic book movies out fo the park. Fantasy is no longer reserved for nerds, and Millennials are soaking themselves in these worlds away from life’s burdens.

From Controllers to Dice

A lot of Millenials have fond memories of spending time with a friend or sibling while they play A Link to the Past on their Super Nintendos. Though Millennials have grown up on video games, they have changed drastically within the last decade. Companies are doing what they can to milk every penny out of each game. Between additional downloadable content (DLC), subscriptions, and paid loot boxes, playing video games is expensive.

On top of that, to play with other people, they also need to purchase a copy of the game. Though a board game and a console game can both run around $50, only one person needs to buy it for a group to enjoy. They are easy to pick up and play with your friends or even your grandparents.

dungeons and dragons at game table cafe

Gaming Cafes and Bars

Millennials can’t afford big purchases like houses, so they use their money for experiences rather than things. That means delicious food, enjoyable company, and entertainment. Places like The Game Table Cafe offer all these things at affordable prices.  From strategy, card games, roll-and-move, and cooperative, there’s a tabletop game for every taste. And you can jump from Settlers of Catan to Monopoly to something weird like Exploding Kittens. The options are endless, and so is the fun.