The Design, Culture and Play of Modern European Board Games


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About the Book

While board games can appear almost primitive in the digital age, eurogames—also known as German-style board games—have increased in popularity nearly concurrently with the rise of video games. Eurogames have simple rules and short playing times and emphasize strategy over luck and conflict. This book examines the form of eurogames, the hobbyist culture that surrounds them, and the way that hobbyists experience the play of such games. It chronicles the evolution of tabletop hobby gaming and explores why hobbyists play them, how players balance competitive play with the demands of an intimate social gathering, and to what extent the social context of the game encounter shapes the playing experience. Combining history, cultural studies, leisure studies, ludology, and play theory, this innovative work highlights a popular alternative trend in the gaming community.

About the Author(s)

Stewart Woods is an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Western Australia and a postdoctoral research fellow at Curtin University.

Bibliographic Details

Stewart Woods
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 262
Bibliographic Info: 30 photos & diagrams, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6797-6
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9065-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      5

1. A Brief Introduction to Hobby Games      15
2. Anglo-American Hobby Board Games 1960–1995      32
3. Gesellschaftsspiele—Gaming in Germany      46
4. From German Games to Eurogames      63
5. The Eurogame Genre      79
6. Hobby Gamers      120
7. The Pleasures of Play      146
8. Goals and Outcomes in Social Play      173
9. An Act Apart?       194

Conclusion      210
Chapter Notes      217
Bibliography      231
Index      257

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “well written and in depth..provides great insight into the inner workings of the Eurogame genre and those who are a part of it…there is no shortage of interesting material contained throughout…fascinating…. The notes section and bibliography are both outstanding…a must read…highly recommended”—Game Nite
  • “A valuable study of eurogames and eurogame hobbyists…represents a significant achievement, for both its author as well as game studies.”—Mia Consalvo, PhD, author of Cheating: Gaining Advantage in Videogames
  • “A conclusive counter to the false notion that motivation for game playing is all about winning and losing.”—Lewis Pulsipher, PhD, Game Designer