Board Game Cafe Captures The Imagination Of The Young Generation
Board Game Cafe Captures The Imagination Of The Young Generation
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  • 승인 2003.03.05 00:00
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Do you remember the board games "King of the Hotel" or "Blue Marble?" If you do, you probably recall two characteristics they shared with many similar games­easy to learn but hard to win. These features make Korean board games a favorite among many young children in their elementary school years. However, as the youngsters grow up, they begin to feel bored of rolling dice and following simple rules. They start thinking: "Board games are no fun. Winning and losing is only determined by luck."

Until a few years ago, board games were regarded as games for children in Korea. Most of the grown-ups who enjoyed playing them did so to recall the precious memories of their childhoods. Recently however, the fortunes of the Korean board games have begun to change. Near the Sinchon and Hongik University areas­often known as "campus zones" due to the many colleges located in their immediate vicinity and the accompanying vibrant campus lifestyle they accommodate­numerous "board game cafes" have begun to appear, attracting increasing numbers of students.

When you first step into BereBere, a board game cafe located in front of Yonsei University, you feel as if you were in a normal coffee house. Then you take your seat and glance at the menu. You discover that the menu on the table is not intended for drinks, but rather serves as a game list, complete with game names and short explanations.

BereBere is way noisier and more liberal than usual coffee houses. No one here looks sad, worried, or bored. The cafe is full of laughter, and people sound energetic. Even on weekdays, tables are filled to capacity, with groups of two to seven people gathered around a table to play different kinds of board games.

Do Yun-ho (Sungkyunkwan Univ., 2) could not hide his enthusiasm about the new board game cafe: "This is my first visit here, but I am very fascinated. I didn"t know that playing board games would be so much fun. I was in here for almost three hours without noticing the time. Time really flies. He was playing "Clue," a classic American detective game requiring players to find the murderer, the crime weapon, and the crime scene.

I n the evening, people keep coming in with hardly anyone leaving, making it difficult to get a table. There are also many visitors who regularly come and play. Lee Eun-young, the owner of BereBere, says, "There are 100 to 200 visitors every day, and especially in the evening, the wait for a seat is about an hour. Also once people visit, they tend to come back."

The most attractive thing about the board game cafe is that you never run out of things to do. There are about 80 different games to try out. Even if you have no idea of how to play a game, you need not to worry. Staff crews are there for you. They know the rules and will explain them. Lee says, "All the staff members love to play board games. They like helping people with the rules." There is no limit to the number of games you can play at a time.

Smoking and alcohol are prohibited in board game cafes. Indeed, drinking alcohol is often thought inevitable at college club meetings or gatherings. Lee Do-kyeong (Soongsil Univ., 2) says, "When people want to meet each other, they don"t say "let"s meet," but instead they say, "let"s drink sometime." I"m tired of drinking and going to the karaokes afterwards. Here, I can have fun without getting drunk." To this BereBere owner added, "We aim to develop a sound culture around the campus area. It was an experiment, and now we know that it"s a success. There have been neither disturbances nor fights since the cafe opened. Everyone feels happy when they leave the cafe."

Most games at board game cafes are imported from Europe and the U.S. In Western culture, playing board games with families and friends is a very common activity; so there are numerous creative board games available. It makes it easier to get along with your family and friends. Just think of the theme of the game "Blue Marble":: Let"s go on a trip around our blue marble, the earth, together on a board.

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