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Conference Papers Year : 2024

A Taste of Boardgamers

Le goût des Passionné·es


A transformation in board game production during the 1980s marked a tighter connection between the material object, its prescribed rules and its fiction components (Brougère, 2021). As this market diversified and grew, social play practices followed, influencing common family and adult practices and leading to the constitution of a specific “play culture” (Brougère, 2024) surrounding some practices. The “boardgamer” play culture relies on knowing, playing and discussing niche edited board games, known or played by a small fraction of the population (Rogerson et al. 2017 ; Berry, Coavoux, 2021). It regroups mostly men below 40 years old and educated, sharing an “habitus” (Berry, 2012) of tastes, roles and predispositions involved in board game play and discourse, acting as a local norm. This socially and culturally homogeneous group includes not only players but also authors and editors, who put forward their boardgamer play culture when discussing their career (Berry, Roucous, 2020). Since then, market research reports show a growing adoption of board games by a wider audience. Our research on public board game encounters suggests that the play culture linked to boardgamers also spreads to frequent or occasional players less involved in boardgamer play culture. This brings the question of the processes by which the play culture is mediated, its norms enforced, and differences in preexisting norms that it might put into light.
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halshs-04567497 , version 1 (09-05-2024)



  • HAL Id : halshs-04567497 , version 1


Michael Freudenthal. A Taste of Boardgamers: tensions in norms surrounding play. Board Game Studies Colloquium, Tampere University, Apr 2024, Tampere, Finland. ⟨halshs-04567497⟩
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