Over four hundred board games were produced for the North American market last year. This news may well surprise many and Ward Batty hopes to remedy that with a new weekly column. "The Game Table" is devoted to covering board games and unique card games, debuted in newspapers and online Wednesday, February 1, 2006.
"As unlikely as it may seem, during the ascendancy of the videogame, the humble board game has been experiencing a renaissance of its own," writes Batty. Many of these games were designed for the European market and have been brought over in English by US publishers. These are unlike the games you played as a kid. They are called designer games or social board games and tend to be shorter and not have a "gotcha" element. Players are often competing more against the game itself in a race against the other players than taking money or other things directly from other players. Players are rarely eliminated from a game. This creates an experience that is more social, and therefore more enjoyable for all the players.
The card games covered do not use the standard 52-card deck. "There's nothing more versatile than a standard deck of cards, but the card games I'm going to cover are created to each use a their own deck, the freedom not to be locked into four suits of thirteen has given designers a chance to create some wonderful new games." says Batty, "Yet many still have familiar aspects that fans of rummy or bridge will recognize."
"The Game Table" will feature news from the world of board games, as well as game recommendations and discussions with top game designers about their games and how they create them. The Game Table is self-syndicated by the author. Two of the first newspapers to sign up for the column were on the Florida coast and in Hawaii, so Batty notes that the column already is available "from coast to coast."
Ward Batty currently writes a monthly column about the business of board games for Comics & Game Retailer, a trade magazine, as well as reviews and feature articles for The Games Journal, Knucklebones, Scrye, Boardgamenews.com and Games International. He has over thirty years experience in publishing and retail, as well as over twenty years playing these games and will bring all these experiences and industry contacts to the column.
Newspapers interested in carrying the weekly column can contact Ward Batty. Readers who are interested in seeing the column in their local paper should contact the managing editor of that paper and request they add it. "Coverage of these games in the mainstream press has been limited so far," Batty admits, "But I think this creates an opportunity for a column like 'The Game Table.'"