Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity lead gaming comeback

Blackwells Bookshop floor manager Calum McGhie with some of the board games the store sells. Picture: Jane Barlow
Blackwells Bookshop floor manager Calum McGhie with some of the board games the store sells. Picture: Jane Barlow
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THEY seemed destined to go the same way as CDs, Polaroids and video tapes.

Once the centrepiece of any family party, board games were overtaken by tablets and telly.

I think people like spending time with other people which is something computer games don’t bring the same way. This way you have to sit and talk to each other.

Shaz Aris

But now they are making a comeback, with one city retailer boasting soaring sales.

Blackwell’s bookshop, on South Bridge, said that demand for the likes of Monopoly and Cluedo – alongside new games – was up 400 per cent in 2015 on the previous year.

The bookshop has even launched a Game Night, where individuals and groups can come along to try before they buy.

Calum McGhie, a manager at the shop, said board games were getting better all the time, adding:“There’s brilliant creativity in board game production. Very traditional games have to reinvent themselves to meet different niche markets.”

Old favourites such as Monopoly have attracted new customers by producing city-based versions, such as an Edinburgh edition.

Meanwhile, the popularity of new games such as Cards Against Humanity, Pandemic and Ticket to Ride is growing all the time.

Mr McGhie said Blackwell’s had rolled the dice to diversify amid concerns over book sales.

He said: “Bookshops have to be very proactive at creating sales. Long gone are the days when bookshops could just exist by sitting there and people coming in and browsing books.”

Blackwell’s introduced Game Night in November and has seen all sorts of gamers come through its doors on the last Monday of every month. “There was a nice scope across both age and gender, it wasn’t specifically males, which was a bit of an assumption on our part,” said Mr McGhie.

“I love the fact that people come in and just explore their creativity, they’re comfortable expressing themselves through games.

“Not everyone has an outgoing personality, but when you sit there and play a game with somebody, you get to know them and relax and have fun.”

Shaz Aris, owner of Games Hub on Lauriston Place, set up the cafe on the back of a resurgence in board gaming and card gaming.

He said: “I think people like spending time with other people which is something computer games don’t bring the same way. This way you have to sit and talk to each other.”