All the rooms are crowded with gamers seated at tables surrounded by gawkers; the pathways between the rooms have lots of people squeezing through the little spaces of huddled friends chatting about the most recent in fantasy, sci fi, or anything else on their mind; some are watching the foster cats through a window, admiring the local geek art on the wall, or looking through for games to check out. Busy employees at the counter, brush between customers to serve them snacks, tea, or to ring out any game they purchased. This is the exquisite re-opening of a café on Magnolia Street in California – the place is delectable.
It is one of the numerous board game cafes that have recently been springing up across the country; a place where gamers can convene for a game and a beverage for a small price. The way it functions that patrons pay a table rental or an entry fee and they can select from any of the games on the shelves. They can then hang out there for as long as they choose, buying snacks and beverages, but with the extra benefit of checking out any game from the library, just like any cafe.
This idea has spread all over the world, and now a board game cafe can be found in many major US cities, including Kansas City, Denver, Los Angeles , Omaha, Berkeley, New York, Galveston, and lots more, as well as overseas in countries such as Indonesia, the United Kingdom and China. There are over 200 board game cafes in Beijing alone.
And there are a lot more to come. Presently, there are 44 board game cafe projects on Kickstarter, some are already fully funded. And many of those which are open for business have recorded enormous success.
Gaming cafes such as Internet Cafe Markham all have their own uniqueness that set them apart from other cafes. Some cafes focus on attracting children for after-school activities. Another cafe in Manhattan prides itself about the seriousness with which it serves its beer and coffee. The design of one of the cafés in Galveston is similar to a pizza parlor; it has a patio for parties and a full organic menu which is outstanding as it serves all manner of tea flavors with themes, such as Goblin King tea, Boomstick tea, Groot Root, and Agent Coulson’s blend.
All of these cafes have a lot of things common to them. A noticeable feature is a member of staff who tries to assist customers learn games such as Players Unknown Battleground if they find the rules to be challenging. In addition, they usually sell the games played by patrons at the tables to allow them take them home.
Sociologists have warned that the continuous separation of the online world has given rise to “trust crisis” in today’s world. It is believed that the lack of face-to-face communication has causes a distortion in the way humans interact, which has led to a lack of empathy and other social abnormalities.
Board game cafes are a part of the solution to this problem as it provides locations for people to congregate for food and drinks, and to interact through cooperation or competition in games, fun, and amazing drinks.