A recent trip to the local Borders revealed an interesting trend: two stand-alone shelf units and a rotating product rack filled with various family hobby games. Sure, most Borders usually have such a display, but the selection seems to be trending away from traditional board games toward those with a more “hobby game” flair.
The selection included some standards of the Euro-game genre like Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, and Smallworld never before seen in Borders; more eclectic additions like the Battlestar Galactica board game, the cerebral Set, Steve Jackson Games’ Cthulhu Dice and Zombie Dice, and Gamewright’s latest Mensa Select award-winner, Forbidden Island; and the usual standards like Scrabble, chess, dominoes, various word games, and numerous incarnations of Monopoly, Life, and Scene It. Don’t forget to stroll through the children’s section for kids games, including the recently released line of Lego boardgames. It’s nice to see Borders providing a source for such games in markets without a local gaming store. The placement brings the most popular and even some of the latest hobby games to the attention of customers who might not otherwise discover them.
Regrettably a quick search at the Borders.com website produced no listings for such games to order online.
No doubt other brick-and-mortar bookstore chains like Barnes & Noble carry such diverse inventory (and certainly offer it on their websites); but after frequenting Borders for so long and finding little beyond the dwindling selection of roleplaying games, Axis & Allies miniatures sets, and numerous incarnations of Steve Jackson Games’ ever-enjoyable Munchkin, it was refreshing and encouraging to see more mainstream, cutting-edge hobby games displayed.