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Board Game Article from Reuters

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Carlos
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Joined: 08/01/2009

Hey gang, thought this article might be interesting to some. Link below, and text of the article below that:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060226/us_nm/leisure_games_dc

Board game makers seek new ways to win back players

By Justin Grant Sun Feb 26, 2:20 PM ET

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York accountant Aaron Libburd and his friend Malik Nicholas, a computer technician at Deutsche Bank are looking to settle a score.

For 11 years, since the two met as sophomores at New York City's High School for Economics and Finance, they have been ribbing each other over who knows more about comic book heroes and movies.

Now, even though their schedules have become more frantic -- and their responsibilities include more than debating the merits of Superman vs. Batman -- they may be able to find out the answer.

On March 1, GameSnacks, the brainchild of Los Angeles-based Snap TV, is coming out with Pop Culture Trivia -- a DVD game that quizzes players on scandals, celebrities and fashion trends.

The game is the latest step that toy and game companies are taking to jazz up their historically low-tech industry.

DVD games are at the epicenter of a growing trend in which board game developers want interactive technology to bring people together -- combating the Internet, iPods and Playstations, which largely focus on individual entertainment.

"We're social creatures and there's a real hunger to share an experience together," said Richard Fast, chief executive of Toronto-based Zapit Games and co-creator of brain-teaser question game MindTrap, which debuted in 1991. "It's all about how you get people to share a night talking. We're trying to get people together and make it an interactive thing."

Developers are also streamlining the amount of time it takes to play a traditional board game.

"As a society, our attention span is getting shorter and shorter," Fast said. "People don't want to invest an hour and a half in a game waiting for turns. You can wait six to seven minutes for a turn."

Zapit's Game Wave, which was launched in Canada last year and is slated for a full U.S. release in September, is a game console that plugs into a television like a video game and plays traditional board games without the board and dice.

GameSnacks, which debuted earlier this month at the American International Toy Fair in New York, is a DVD-based line designed to give players a "quick bite" of play in less than 20 minutes, said Snap TV Chief Executive Nicholas Wodtke.

"The time required for a traditional board game is an hour. We came up with the concept of a snack. We identify that most people today just don't have discretionary time."

Libburd, who sampled the GameSnacks: Popular Culture Trivia agrees. "It's sad, but we just don't take time to roll the dice anymore. DVD games work because you can just pop it in and play."

Snap TV is not just concerned with quickening the pace of games, but also getting parents and children to interact more, Wodtke said. The company is coming out with GameSnacks: Family Showdown, a trivia game pitting children against their parents.

"We weighted the questions appropriately," Wodtke said. "Parents are sometimes thrown a curve. They may have to answer a question about 'That's So Raven,"' a Disney Channel show for young people.

NPD Group, which provides global retail sales and marketing information, showed a 9 percent decline in sales in the games and puzzles category in its 2005 report on the U.S. toy industry.

Industry analyst Anita Frazier is not convinced sales declined because people have suddenly become bored with the board though.

"The majority of the top-selling items remain classic games such as Life, Monopoly, Uno, Connect Four and Candyland," Frazier said. "I would say the DVD trend mirrors other categories within toys, where technology is creeping into what used to be tech-resistant categories."

Declining sales of strategic trading-card games such as Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon, not poor board game sales, were to blame for the lackluster numbers, said Reyne Rice, a toy trends specialist at the Toy Industry Association.

"They can grow market share," Rice said of the board game industry. "They're trying to build social interaction. It's kind of a multi-generation category that brings people together."

markmist
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Board Game Article from Reuters

Quote:

"As a society, our attention span is getting shorter and shorter," Fast said. "People don't want to invest an hour and a half in a game waiting for turns. You can wait six to seven minutes for a turn."

But why is our attention span getting shorter? I don't think that is necessarily a good thing.

Quote:

"The time required for a traditional board game is an hour. We came up with the concept of a snack. We identify that most people today just don't have discretionary time."

I think that people have as much discretionary time as ever, maybe moreso, but just choose to spend it doing other things like consuming media. Technology has definitely had a profund impact on how we choose to spend our time and will likely have an even larger impact in the future.

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Board Game Article from Reuters

The line up of games looks mighty dull. All they have so far is a few trivia, word and casino games. The system retails for over $100 and games are $27 each. I don’t know who they are targeting with this but I know it certainly is not me.

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