What Is A Board Game?

What Is A Board Game?

That's actually a rather tricky little question, and has certainly been the subject of often heated discussion among gaming aficionados. If you ask a dozen different people that question, you'll probably get a dozen answers. At least.

OK, so what properties do "board games" share?

  • They're typicaly played on a game board of some sort (hence the name)
  • Players are usually represented on the game board by markers or pieces of some sort
  • Player movement is defined by a set of rules (varying from game to game, of course)
  • Player movement is often randomized to some degree by dice or other types of game pieces drawn at random
  • Players have some choice in how they make their moves (gameplay is not completely random)

The definition of a board game, as used on this site, is somewhat generous, and probably completely arbitrary. For instance I'm calling dice and domino games "board games", even though they're not played on a predefined game board – though they are typically played on a tabletop, which can be thought of a a sort of generic game board.

But I'm not including most card games, puzzles, or many role-playing games, even though they're also often played on tabletops, and some use game boards. Those types of games have their own web sites.

If you disagree with this site's definition of a board game, feel free to write and let me know.

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Last Update: June 4th, 2013