Now in it’s fifth year, BGC has come a long way from its humble beginnings in a “painfully hipster” Shoreditch pub.
Board Game Club, founded by Playtime PR’s Lesley Singleton and Toyologist Peter Jenkins in early 2014, regularly attracts 60-80 guests at each monthly event. Attendees can enjoy the newest and popular games in comfortable surroundings, with likeminded games fans, making the club a hugely popular night out for adult board game fans.
“We originally set this up as an informal way of getting people in the industry together for beers and games, but it’s evolved into a fantastically popular monthly fixture for the widest mix of people,” explains Lesley. “The friendly vibe means people are happy to come along on their own and just join in with whatever they fancy. We’ve seen genuine friendships blossom, and fruitful business chat is also commonplace as people network and bond over amazing games in the sumptuous surroundings of our West End venue.”
The sector is enjoying increased interest from board games fans both new and old, and a raft of new releases is hitting shelves every week across a huge range of play patterns. With particular scrutiny on our consumption of tech and screen-based entertainment, is the booming demand for board games an indication of our changing tastes?
“I wouldn’t say there’s a backlash against tech or a sudden desire to move away from screens – but I do think that people crave more interesting and engaging ways of interacting face-to-face, even though they simultaneously can’t wait to tweet, snap or Instagram what they’re up to,” says Lesley. “Board games increasingly provide brilliant opportunities for people to socialise, both in person and via their social media accounts, and more games are being designed specifically with this in mind.”
She adds: “People of all ages want to feel things, rather than just have things. This can be seen in the huge rise in popularity of escape rooms, pop-up cultural events like Secret Cinema and kidult experiences like bars and restaurants themed around ballpits and crazy golf courses. Board game cafes and clubs have become part of that movement and in turn that makes people want to replicate the experience at home.”
To read the full interview with Lesley, which was published in our bumper September Games & Puzzles Supplement, click here.