I have heard the object of our hobby's affections called a number of things, none of which quite work for me. Failed descriptors include:

  • Boardgames
  • Eurogames
  • German-style board games
  • Hobby games

What do you call the games we love, the ones we mean when we talk about boardgames?

  • 3
    This seems like you just wanted to talk about the term "modern boardgames", and you tossed in a question at the end when you realized there wasn't one Dec 6 '10 at 17:54
  • Basically, you're right. I kept trying to find the question in this topic as I was typing. Whoever migrated this to meta - good job, thanks. I would have made it CW if I had the power, but I think this is a better solution!
    – gomad
    Dec 6 '10 at 20:21
  • np, I would still suggest rephrasing this to feature the question. "Modern Boardgaming" feels like the answer that you would like to see to a question like, "What is the best name for our hobby?"
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Dec 6 '10 at 20:30
  • @Pat - Is that better?
    – gomad
    Dec 6 '10 at 21:23
  • @gomad - yes I think so, and I think this is a good question to ask. I usually use "German-style" games, but would like something better.
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Dec 6 '10 at 21:28
  • Why was this moved to meta?
    – Andrey
    Feb 14 '11 at 21:01
  • Two of your four options make me think that you are referring to only a subset of modern boardgames, but it's not clear what you mean. Not all modern boardgames are German (or otherwise European), nor are they necessarily in that style. Please list some games that you would include in the category you're trying to name. Dec 27 '11 at 15:52


Plain and simple. Though over here in Switzerland that term probably holds a much broader meaning in people's minds because we've known this type of games for decades now.

Thus the questions is highly dependent on your location. Overseas I'd probably use the term "German style boardgames" if I wanted to distinguish from games such as Chess or Monopoly. If that puts people off then that is unfortunate but ultimately their problem. This type of games was internationally popularized through German boardgames - a feat that justifies the naming. French cuisine is called as such even though it is now served all over the world.

  • Interesting points, thanks! It's always great to get a wider perspective on things like this.
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Dec 8 '10 at 19:20
  • Agree. With people who "know" what I mean, I say "board games" here in the States, but I am usually quick to clarify "German-style board games" if my audience is the type who will probably think of Monopoly or other family games (which then usually requires a 5-second definition). Dec 13 '10 at 22:58
  • Here in Italy they are just called "giochi da tavolo", i.e. "boardgames". Yes, the same term is used for the old-style boardgames, but this is not an issue. I also sometime call them "giochi nerd" ("nerd-games"): this might be instead confused with RPGs, but, again, that's not an issue.
    – o0'.
    Jan 13 '11 at 14:02

As a former retail store owner, I actually like the term hobby games. It references the stores that these games first got their American foothold in (hobby stores), and the kind of store they're most often found.

I'm not as big a fan of calling them eurogames or German boardgames because a large number of them don't have those origins any more (Ex.: Most of the games coming from Z-Man).

On the use of "modern boardgames": Although this has a nice ring to it, I feel that "modern" is subjective. Is something that's been around for 20 years "modern"? Talisman, Illuminati, and Cosmic Encounter are certainly hobby games, but they're also about 25 years old.

  • I have experience with the games you cite. I'm a huge Illuminati fan. I own and pretty much loathe Cosmic Encounter, and got rid of Talisman when I was in college. "A bag of gold!" is still an expression in my family that means, "Thanks for nothing!" Sure, they're not Monopoly, but I would never describe any of them as 'modern'. Illuminati comes closest - it has the use-it-to-build-it-as-you-use-it mechanic you find in Puerto Rico or Agricola. And like 'modern art', the phrase can cover a significant period of time and reflect philosophy as well as chronology.
    – gomad
    Jan 6 '11 at 16:55
  • "Hobby games" is my favourite suggestion so far. Currently on the site we're discussing the likes Werewolf, Race for the Galaxy and Bridge... none of these have boards and they by no means all come out of Europe! Jan 13 '11 at 1:06

Modern Boardgames

I was watching the excellent "[beyond Monopoly][1]" themed video from [Boardgames With Scott][2], when I heard him use this new (to me at least) term to describe our hobby. I liked it a lot and I'm going to start using it regularly. Here are some reasons why:

  1. If you don't differentiate from regular old boardgames somehow, people think you mean Monopoly and Sorry.
  2. Hobby Games doesn't quite capture it for me. Chess and Go at the very least are long-standing hobby games, neither of which is what I mean.
  3. Eurogames / German Boardgames have a couple of problems.
    1. It's not accurate any more - Lots of games are from the US now.
    2. It sounds snobby and puts people off. Seriously, I've seen it.

I tend to call the games I enjoy as Euro Games. Whilst I appreciate that the origins of games are no longer purely european, the style and nature of these games definitely have evolved from the classic euro games, and have origins from UK, France and most predominantly Germany.

Although, your question is quite broad. Whilst the games I play are certainly in the Euro Game category, this site is for all board games, including the likes of monopoly, cluedo, pictionary and other younger audience games, but they certainly fall within the remit of this site. So I don't think you can categorise the whole site in any way other than saying Boardgames.

Boardgames to most people means Monopoly-esq games. But we know better in that it is the top of the taxonomy tree.

EuroGames/German Style/Modern boardgames means puerto rico / power grid style games, and is a subset of boardgames, and the ones most discussed in this site.


Boutique Boardgames

Boutique: a business that serves a sophisticated or specialized clientele

Considering the small print runs of the games we are talking about, isn't this the best definition?

  • Magic the atheling and Dominion can't really be called small print runs
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Dec 27 '11 at 17:01

Designer Boardgames

Since the games designer is featured proudly on the cover. Since the games seem to have more thought devoted to the design (mechanics, theme, otherwise)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .