You might be surprised to learn that board games are experiencing a resurgence in popularity around the world for millennia. Around five thousand years ago in Egypt and Mesopotamia when the world depended more on human interaction than virtual worlds, board games were the main source of entertainment. They were racing games and war games, and while racing games had a lot to do with the luck of the player, the latter involved strategic moves like chess or go. And with the advent of the printing press in 15Th Over the centuries, these games became more attractive with more colors and narratives, and only after the 20s did a huge boom take place.Th A century of economic prosperity after World War II.
We can call it a comeback – due to the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown, the family enjoyed playing board games just like our childhood days. Monopoly came off the shelves and we loved those Hungry Hungry Hippos marbles.
Mass-market games like Connect Four, Candy Land, Monopoly, and Trouble never lost their popularity, even after the invention of video games and mobile apps. Perhaps, because an object with a physical presence has more potential to excite us. Such is the popularity of board games that brands are going regional with their presentation of the game. Hasbro, a popular gaming brand, has launched several games in Tamil with complete packaging, instructions, elements of board games and action cards in the ancient language. In fact, we learn that this is the first time a board game has been launched in a southern regional language. “These games can be played from start to finish in Tamil and this is a unique proposition of this offer. The whole family can come together and play Monopoly, Deal card game version as well as Game of Life in Tamil language. We are proud to bring the rich culture of Tamil Nadu to these games,” says Lalit Parmar, Commercial Director – Hasbro India, who we spoke to earlier this week to learn more about the regional approach to traditional games, the market and more. In the age of digital gaming, board games will make their place in homes.
They tell us that these games are made and manufactured in India which helps local sourcing and manufacturing resources in India. “These games ensure that everyone gets moments of joy while playing the Tamil version. Buy, sell and trade property in towns and cities across Tamil Nadu in the classic Monopoly and Deal card game,” says Lalit, adding that the game includes cities like Thanjavur, Chennai and Coimbatore with exciting action cards and lots of fun. Repetition
The traditional design elements, however, are still retained with the Tamil version of the games, mixing the Tamil language with the traditional board games. “Tamil customers can get the same experience as in English because the basic gameplay remains the same. We have added some nuances and cultural adaptations to the game to make it more culturally relevant,” he says, adding that parents want to pass on these games to their next generation and that brings nostalgia so these games are strong in the household. In the age of digital gaming options. “Parents can encourage their children to read, speak and learn Tamil while playing games so it’s not just about playing and enjoying, but also learning along the way.”
At a time when family members are stuck in their electronic devices and personal space, board games can be a way to spend quality time together. These games also come with challenging features that encourage learning while playing. For example, Game of Life will encourage the player to think critically and make their own decisions. Monopoly, on the other hand, helps to understand the value of trade, mathematics and communication. But is this a child of the epidemic since board games resumed during the lockdown? “That’s true but we also wanted to expand our customer base. The idea was to ensure the best drama experience and extend it to local languages and Tamil Nadu has an affinity for their mother tongue so this offer was needed,” says the director.
While there are more opportunities to play all board games online, Lalit says that can’t take away the engagement of face-to-face gaming with family and friends. “Despite all adaptations and technological advancements, board games are complementary in nature and nostalgia is the most important factor here,” concludes Lalit.
The list of games available in Tamil includes exciting, fast-playing card games like Monopoly Deluxe Edition, Jenga, Battleship, Monopoly India Edition, Monopoly Junior Peppa Pig, Hungry Hungry Hippos and Monopoly BID, 5 Alive, Rook, The Classic Card. Game range (Clue, Battleship, Connect 4 and Guess Who?).
Price: Rs 1,199 onwards. Available online.