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Getting board is a good thing

Preethi Govindarajan
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Board game enthusiasts meet up to socialise and challenge themselves

Brain picking:Their love for board games brings this group of Bangaloreans together.
Brain picking:Their love for board games brings this group of Bangaloreans together.

Tuesday evenings for a small group of people in Koramangara are all about political intrigue, intensely fought wars and settlements. These men and women are transported to faraway lands, visit European renaissance societies, learn to control modern day pandemics, venture into space or fantastical worlds, and even become wordsmiths.

Coming from various ages and backgrounds, they have one thing in common — their love for board games.

Strategising skills

“The level of strategising required and the in-depth knowledge of human behaviour necessary to play and win board games makes it a very advantageous tool in business school as well as in companies,” says Madhujith Venkatakrishna, a senior strategy consultant at Deloitte. He and a small group of friends get together around four times a month to play and challenge themselves.

The games could last for hours, he says, especially intense strategy ones such as Modern Art, Puerto Rico or the Resistance.”

“We don’t come here to socialise, but to tax our brains. The decisions one needs to make in these games and the choices can all be scaled up for real world living and this makes it a much more exciting prospect. They are not trivial games but very stimulating intellectually.”

An avid collector who owns around 150 board games, he says, “I started buying games when I was studying in Australia and it was more a way to pass time. Needless to say, I was hooked. Every time anyone left the country I had a list of games that I needed.”

Unconventional evening

The Tuesday gathering at Koramangala was started by Kara Jordan, who moved to Bangalore from San Francisco, California, with a large number of board games. In an effort to meet people with similar interests, she started this group where people met once a week to play, eat and socialise.

Its members are aged between 18 and 50, and are all enthusiastic board gamers. Many found their way here through the Internet. Most finish up work hurriedly so as to make it to the meet on time, where they spend the evening huddled around tables, strategising. Couples looking for an unconventional evening also turn up.

Pradyut Anand, who works for Hewlett-Packard, plays For Sale, a game about auctioneering. “I love this place and I have been coming here for six months. I went online to look for people who played monopoly and I came here to play [it]. However, I have not played monopoly because there are so many new games to try.”

People aren’t required to bring their own board games. There is an optional Rs. 100 donation that can be made towards keeping the initiative going.

Details on the date and venue of the next meet can be found on www.boardgamegeek.com or www.meetups.com

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