Trends from the ’80s and ‘90s are back in full force thanks to shows like Stranger Things and Picard. This nostalgia is trickling down in other forms of entertainment, including games. Dungeon and Dragons is one of these nostalgic board games that has regained popularity. Seeing depictions of Dungeon and Dragons in Stranger Things made the somewhat obscure board game regain its immense popularity among everyday people.
But are these trends the only reason that nostalgic board games are on the rise? The most likely answer is no. A big part of these games' popularity is the community aspect. The recent effects of COVID-19 caused many of us to feel very isolated and crave any form of socialization. With this in mind, these board games are regaining popularity at the perfect time, as people are starting to congregate again owing to the COVID-19 vaccines.
Companies and content creators are taking advantage of this nostalgic board game trend. Some companies are updating these nostalgic board games with a new look, like Millennial Loteria, a fun and refreshing spin on the classic Latine game Loteria, making it more accessible and fun for the younger generations. The dungeons and dragons inspired sandwich-making TikTok series, Roll For Sandwich, by username: adventuresinaardia has also gone viral multiple times. Adventuresinaardia is taking advantage of the recent trends in a creative way, allowing everyone to take part, even if they don’t feel comfortable sitting down for a whole dungeons and dragons campaign. Other companies are choosing to take a storefront route and opening up board game cafés. These cafés act as a communal space to bond and socialize in a way that was not available during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whatever the reason, or however, you are playing board games, you are a part of a bigger trend that is hoping to regain a sense of community.