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Faculty Examines Board Games as Media

Board Games as Media book cover
(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
"Board Games as Media" explores the growth in popularity of board games today, and unpacks what it means to read a board game. What does a game communicate? How do games play us? With little scholarly research in this still-emerging field, "Board Games as Media" underscores the importance of board games in the ever-evolving world of media.

What inspired you to write this book?

I'm a huge board gamer myself, and I play tons of new games every year. I was surprised to find there hasn't been any research into what board games communicate about the culture that makes them.

What’s the most surprising thing you learned while writing this book?

I learned board games can actually be a positive influence on people's mental health.

What are your favorite board games at the moment?

Gloomhaven, which actually has an entire chapter in this book. Gloomhaven is a game of Euro-inspired tactical combat in a persistent world of shifting motives. Another favorite is TIME Stories, a time travel board game. Finally, and maybe ironically, Pandemic Legacy. In this campaign game, your disease-fighting team must keep deadly diseases at bay for a whole year. There are surprises each month, and your decisions in each game will have repercussions on the next.

About the author:

Paul Booth is a professor of Media and Cinema Studies in the College of Communication. He received his PhD in communication and rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He researches fandom, games, technology, popular culture and cultural studies. He teaches classes in media studies, television narrative, convergence and digital media, board games, popular culture, new media, communication technology, and participatory cultures.

Publisher, release date, length:

Bloomsbury Academic, January 2021, 296 pages

Originally published in DePaul Newsline.