High-Tech Push Has Board Games Rolling Again

11 May 2014OpinionTechnology

Nick Wingfield, writing for the New York Times about the rise in popularity of board games, particularly those created by independent designers:

New tools now power the creation of tabletop games — many in the strategy or fantasy genres — from idea to delivery. Crowdfunding sites provide the seed money and offer an early gauge of demand. Machines like 3-D printers can rapidly create figurines, dice and other prototype game pieces. And Amazon, the online retail giant, can handle shipping and distribution, cutting out the need for middlemen.

I think this article highlights a trend in several industries, not just board games. Technology is helping small, independent businesses take on well-established corporations like never before:

  • Marketplaces like Etsy enable artisans to promote and sell their unique goods around the world.
  • Backend as a service (BaaS) companies like Amazon Web Services and Parse provide affordable, world-class platforms on which a single programmer can create a scalable application capable of supporting millions of users.
  • Self-publishing services like Blurb allow authors to create beautiful books without relying on a traditional publisher.
  • YouTube has launched the lucrative careers of numerous personalities without any need for talent agencies or Hollywood studios.

It’s empowering to know that an individual with a great idea can bring that idea to fruition, even in well-established industries, without risking their entire life savings. Not everything created with technology is beneficial, but these are all examples of the Internet at its best.