I love board games. Almost religiously. Some (*cough cough my wife cough cough*) might even say I love them a little too much. So what if I need two closets, a large bookshelf, and a shed out back to store them all! That’s no reason to toss around vicious, hate-filled words like ‘obsessed’!

But if you, unlike me, resemble the average human being when it comes to board games, you probably think one of three things when you hear those words: Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, or Candyland.

Here is an accurate picture of what I look like if you ask me to play any of these games:

Those games, while fun for the 1950s, are frustrating, tedious, and mind-numbingly boring, so it really shouldn’t surprise me that people run screaming in horror when they realize I’m asking if they want to play a ‘board game.’ My blogging cohort, Game Master Stephen, hasn’t actually screamed yet, but I can tell that a nameless dread seizes his throat whenever I start a sentence with, “Hey, wanna play….”

Board games, however, are not the pain-inducing experiences that they once were or solely the domain of 12 year-olds forced into playing them because the Playstation is broken. Board games, spurred on by star European designers (board game reviews often sit next to film and music reviews in European papers) have significantly evolved over the past 20 years to become challenging, exciting and, most importantly, fun. I’m convinced that if most people had a chance to try out the new generation of games, they’d at least be mildly intrigued and, you know, remain in the room rather than flee it as if Satan’s own arch-demon was poking them in the back with a hot skewer.

So if you hadn’t noticed already, I consider myself a board game evangelist. In the coming weeks, prepare to get proselytized!

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