Because board games are such a strong contributing category in the Educational Insights line, it’s no surprise that we research, examine, and talk about board game trends as a team all the time. One fact that has become evident in all of our social listening and scrutiny of this category is that board games themselves are a trend. Why? Because board games are “the great connector."
It may seem counterintuitive to the fact that so many of us are smartphone-obsessed multi-taskers. However, connecting with others is an evergreen aspect of life that people crave—maybe more than ever. And, board games satisfy that craving for all ages. Perhaps that’s why we’ve found that board games are generation neutral, or even better, a common link for all generations.
This isn’t a new phenomenon—only one that some may find remarkable in this overly digital age. “That’s how I learned to play poker—from my grandpa,” said our Director of Product Development, Heather Weeks, in one of our recent board game assessment discussions.
At one point in time, television used to provide some multi-generational common ground. But now, it’s not easy to find family shows that everyone enjoys. Also, in our “always on” world, Mom and Dad never really leave the office—at least from a fully present standpoint. Board games, even if just for a short while, are a conduit to valuable IRL bonding time that is essential in all family and friend relationships.
At Educational Insights, we have several categories of games, with our most popular being preschool skill-building games, brainteaser games, and family-friendly party games.
For little ones, parents recognize the importance of preparing their children early on, and games are a multitasker when it comes to this. Our target mom believes that she is primarily responsible for her children’s education. Early skill-building games provide her with a fun yet prescribed way to help her children grow academically and socially/emotionally at the same time.
We’ve observed that our brainteaser games are one of the biggest generational bridges we offer. When we did consumer research for BrainBolt, our electronic hand-held mind-challenge game, we discovered that grandparents were drawn to the game to keep their minds sharp, but at the same time, they were delighted that they could entice their grandkids to play in head-to-head mode against them—over and over again. The same has been true for our top-selling Kanoodle brainteaser line. These types of games provide valuable connection points and bonding time between older and younger generations.
Family-friendly party games, such as our top-sellers Blurt! and Sculpltapalooza, are the utmost face-to-face engagers. Family members tend to leverage each other’s best attributes when playing party games, which creates bonds, improves communication, and strengthens family relationships. These are the social interactions that kids, parents, and grandparents remember and cherish.
Essentially, we’ve determined that games are trending because they provide the ultimate “social network” for all ages.