In an age of game apps, video games and online gaming, there stand alone the ones who deny the technological advances of the modern world and pledge allegiance to the cardboard box. These are the members of Youngstown State University’s Modern Board Game Club.
The group meets every Friday from 3-9 p.m. in the James Gallery in Kilcawley Center to discuss and play different board games, old and new. The club is a relatively new one to YSU, with the official establishment of the club being the beginning of this semester.
Jamie Cretella, the president of the Modern Board Game Club, said that the group was established to celebrate the tradition of sitting with a group of pals and bonding over a face-to-face activity.
“When most people think of board games, they think of Sorry and Monopoly, those really competitive types of board games. The different kinds of board games have exploded over the years that are much different than the classic ones,” Cretella said.
“Some of the big popular ones now are Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan … There’s also a game called Werewolf that we have been into now. What gets played just depends on who is at the meeting each Friday.”
Jake Mauch, one of the members of the club, said that he believes that with the development of different styles of board games, there has been a drastic increase in the people who habitually play them.
“Modern board gaming has been growing for the last couple of years, starting in the mid-nineties. When most people think of board games, they think of the old ones that you had to be mean and competitive in,” Mauch said. “Now there are a lot of cooperative games where there isn’t elimination and everyone can play the entire time. It’s fostering a community where we can get together and do something that we enjoy. We can develop social skills and interact each other with a couple of rules. We have a reason to talk to each other and meet new people this way.”
Between board game classics, modern hits and games that are only being beta tested, the Modern Board Game Club offers a variety of enjoyable games for everyone. Mauch said he urges anyone who would like to give the club a try to come out to a meeting with an open mind.
“We have all kinds of games. Sometimes the very first thing you see, you might not like,” Mauch said. “But with my experience with this, I’d say that we have a huge variety of things and there is bound to be something for everybody.”
From the classics to the current, the members of the Modern Board Game Club take a vow to curate fun via face-to-face contact over board games. With today’s technology, gamers are taking competition to a whole new, serious level. The club can’t promise strict rivalries or a 100 percent approval rating on their games, but they can promise a Friday night of a new kind of fun, batteries not included.