09 Aug Changing The Way We Play
Cooperative Board Games Are Changing The Way We Play
We all remember playing games like Monopoly when we were growing up. Monopoly, like most of the games of that time, is designed as a competitive game where players are pitted against one another to either win or lose the game. Befitting of the name, the game Monopoly separates the winner from the losers. Candidly, it didn’t feel great losing to my older brother EVERY time we played Monopoly. He always seemed to build a metropolis on Broadway and Park Avenue, and I was broke before you knew it!
Fortunately for gamers, many games have emerged that are not win/lose. These games are classified as “cooperative” instead of “competitive” as the primary objectives is for the players to play against the game. They are inherently win/win because these games bring all the players as a team on one side against a game that is weighted toward an even outcome.
Peaceable Kingdom has built a business around the concept of cooperative gaming. Titles like Hoot Owl Hoot and Feed the Woozle introduce the important life skill of cooperation to kids as young as 3 years old. Asmodee has acquired a franchise with Pandemic and the Pandemic Legacy titles. Pandemic is an elegant cooperative game platform where all the players work together to defeat the spread of a global contagion. Likewise in Captain Sonar – although two teams of 4 players per team are pitted against one-another – each team must cooperate as a unit to defeat the other team. In a word, this dynamic creates a “coopetition” between the competing cooperative teams. Big G is proud to add the cooperative game dynamic to How to Rob a Bank, where one player is the bank guard and the other players cooperate against the guard to rob a bank. It goes without saying that the explosive growth of “Escape Rooms” is a reflection of the unique fun of cooperating as a team to get out of the room.
We hope and believe this trend toward building the life skill of cooperation will continue. It’s not as defeating for a single player if the game wins, and it’s a high-five moment for any party when everyone can contribute to the success of defeating the game.