ALL ABOARD! BOARD GAME FUN SWEEPS INTO PUBS
everyone’s nerding out and having fun with board games and beer these days.
At Stormcrow Tavern on Commercial Drive, customers sip pints of beer over a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity, or peruse the wall of board games for their next challenge.
“On weekends, I’d say over half the customers are playing board games,” said Colby, a waitress at Stormcrow. “People sometimes join other tables. I see fewer phones, different kinds of conversations.”
Stormcrow is part of a trend towards board games for adults, who see playing at a bar, or at home with friends, as a more engaging way to socialize.
From a giant Jenga game in a hotel courtyard, to a pizzeria offering hundreds of games, board games have never been more popular in Vancouver.
Local English instructor and board game enthusiast Ginny Chien fell in love with games as an adult. On an annual ski trip, a friend pulled out a deck of cards with weird pictures on them. At first she was disinterested, thinking these games were meant for children, “but a few hours later I found myself calling for one rematch after another.”
Although she generally plays at home because “we’d seem like five-year-olds taunting each other,” she sees the benefits of playing at a bar or restaurant.
“You get to try out games with experienced players before building your own collection.” Chien said it cements social bonds. “I might not remember that text I sent out an hour ago, but I will remember how hard my friends laughed years ago during a round of Bang! when I revealed my identity as a sheriff after knocking down all my allies.”
As for the games’ allure, she believes each player is in the moment while playing, and games result in authentic and spontaneous reactions. Players must work hard to make it a mutually satisfying experience.
Get your game on at Stormcrow Tavern, Pizzeria Ludica, 131 Water St., Bomber Brewing, and Six Acres, all of which offer an extensive selection of games. The Board Gamers of Vancouver and Beyond the Infinite play most evenings at Board Game Warriors in New Westminster.
Old-fashioned board games are a hot new trend in the Vancouver social scene.