The next time you happen to visit a friend or colleague don’t at all be surprised if you are asked by your host what you’d like to choose — not from food options – but from a stack of board games! Despite intense competition from the online games and Xbox 360 and Playstation, newer, more interesting and more exciting variants of the good old Snakes and Ladders as well as Ludo are here!

According to owner of Ram Chander & Sons, counted among India’s oldest toy shops, board games are doing well. Businesswise, he is very happy since eager customers are walking into his store armed with a list of games they have checked on the net. He has been quoted as saying in a newspaper interview: “Families walk into our store and ask for at least three different Scrabble versions.”

Board games act as a great binding force. For instance, the US based investment banker, Ajesh Shah, who returned to India a few years ago to launch ‘game clubs’ for likeminded gamers, is busy finalizing plans for the new round of ‘board game night’ in Mumbai. Shah’s Peacock Projects is a forum for organizing cultural festivals while also trying to promote newer names in the domain of dance, music and visual arts.

He is a board game ‘freak, and began a new club, entitled ‘Board Game Bash’, where members register and assemble to play board games. The response, informs Shah, who owns close to 20 board games, has indeed been overwhelming.

There are already about 150 registered members. Shah began the initiative with Tarun Durga of Zapak games. The duo is now in the process of launching a host of interesting board games for the niche market. So, if you are looking to present something interesting to your best friend or colleage, pick a challenging board game. He or she sure would relish it…

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