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Gaming

6 Reasons Why I Prefer Video Games Over Board Games

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You know what’s great? Games. Games come in many shapes and forms, and they all have a place. There are video games, board games, card games, physical games, and plenty of other types. They all have one thing in common: fun!

But one type of game rises above the rest, and that’s the video game. We actually just did an article on why board games are preferable to video games, and while Joel made some great points in favor of games that involve dice and cardboard, I still think video games are the superior way to get your game time in.

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1. Online Multiplayer

In order to really play a board game, you and your friends need to physically get together in the same space. There are services out there that allow you to play pen and paper RPGs over the internet, but it doesn’t offer the intended experience.

With video games, however, playing online with friends from next door or in another country is the intended way to play. And with services like PSN, Xbox Live, and Steam, it’s easy to chat with your friends, setup games, and group up. Even if your friends don’t like far away, playing online is just much easier than getting everyone together in the same place, especially as we all get older and start having families and the responsibilities that come with that.

2. Lack of Setup Time

I’ll admit right here and now that I enjoy playing games, but I absolutely hate the amount of setup that comes from them. Between reading the rules, trying to interpret the rules so the rest of the group understands them, and then physically setting up the board and pieces, you could be looking at a pretty substantial amount of time to get in and start playing.

With video games, the world in which you play is completely digital, so there’s no need to spend arduous hours setting everything up. Instead, you simply need to turn on your console and play (assuming you’ve already purchased and downloaded the game). The most physically demanding thing you’ll need to do to play a video game is to find your controller!

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3. Better Replay Value

With the exception of pen and paper RPGs, which have near infinite replay value, many video games offer much better replay value than board games. Even deeper board games are limited by the number of cards or mechanics offered within the game rules, and after a few games, you probably won’t want to go back anymore.

Contrast that with a game like Call of Duty, The Division 2, or Destiny, where you can literally spend hundreds of hours playing, and the value prospect clearly falls in the favor video games on this one.

4. No Pieces to Lose

Have you ever slogged through the setup of a board game only to realize that you’re missing something important? Perhaps a key piece to the game has been eaten by the dog, or half a deck of cards has fallen into that mysterious black hole where everything seems to end up. Either way, there are lots of pieces with most board games, and unless you’re meticulous, it’s very easy to lose them, which can render a fairly expensive game unplayable.

In video games, the actual game itself is safely stored on your hard drive. Short of a glitch in the game, your character won’t lost his sword, nor will a key aspect of a quest go missing. The game exisists digitally, so you never need to worry about losing a thing, and that’s a huge convience.

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5. Can Play Solo

In a perfect world, we’d have our friends available for a board game night whenever we want them. We’d send out a group text to the crew, and they’d hop in their cars and be ready to play at a moment’s notice. Sadly, we don’t live in that world, which makes playing board games difficult, since few games have any sort of single player component.

Contrast that with video games, which are sometimes even more enjoyable alone, and it’s clear that electronic entertainment wins out here. We’re all busy humans and we can’t be available to our friends whenever they want to play, but the digital world of video games is always ready for you. You simply need to hit the power button and enjoy!

6. Requires Less Imagination

One of the key positives of board games can actually serve as a negative as well, and that’s the requirement to use your imagination. In a pen and paper RPG, the game master tells you that you swing your sword and hit the giant skeleton, but in a video game, you see your character swing that sword and you see the effect it has the skeleton’s now lifeless corpse.

Using your imagination is fun, but sometimes it’s nice to see the fruits of your labor in front of your very eyes. Sure, with board games you’ll see your pieces move around, or your hand-painted miniatures on the board, but it just doesn’t compare to the visceral feel offered by electronic games.

It Really Comes Down to…

In the end, it really just comes down to convenience. As much as I enjoy a nice board game or pen and paper night, you really can’t beat the modern conveniences offered by video games.

Whether it’s online play, the ability to play alone, or any of the other benefits offered by electronic games, when push comes to shove, I’ll pick up my controller over my cardboard any day of the week.

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Brian Boru
Brian Boru

I replied to Joel’s article, mirroring some of your points. A couple I’d add to your list: 1. Price Board games are very very expensive, challenged only by the gouging which goes on with the ‘special editions’ of newly launched video games. I have close to 2,000 video games, and maybe 30 board games—price being the huge factor. The value available for non-new games in the video retailers approaches insane at times. 2. Space I still have a large wallet of old game CDs somewhere, but have long since replaced them all with dirt-cheap digital versions. I probably haven’t bought… Read more »

Joel

The point about physical space is a really good one. There aren’t enough IKEA Kallax shelves in the world for all the board games produced every year!

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