19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Tabletop Gaming: Low Tech, Lots of Fun

Geek Squad Agent Fey Grimm loves to get together with her friends for a night of gaming.

But there’s no TV, no console and no controllers. Instead, they play something decidedly more low-tech: tabletop games.

These board games involve more strategy than their childhood counterparts. Think Settlers of Catan, Pandemic and Ticket to Ride. They’re gaining popularity, and now tech-focused Best Buy even sells some of them.

We chatted with Agent Grimm to learn more about these games and why she loves them.

How long have you been playing tabletop games?

I kind of started in high school, just with some friends I had met. So I’ve been at it for a good 15 or 20 years now. I have a pretty big library at home. We have a few bookshelves that are full of about 100 different board games.

How often do you play?

I have a couple of different groups of friends that I meet with regularly, usually once every couple of weeks.

What’s a night of gaming like?

It’s kind of like a quiet party night. We like to rotate who’s hosting, and sometimes we’ll do theme nights. So, if we’re playing a horror-themed game, we might watch a horror movie with it. And we like to play music in the background and have side conversations while we play.

What do you like about these games? Is it the strategy behind them?

Yeah. It’s fun to come up with a plan and trying to execute it. Or maybe everything will fall apart, and you’ll have to scramble to figure out what to do.

Do you think it makes sense for Best Buy to carry these games?

I think it does. A big part of this, for many people, is to invite others to your home to have an experience. Tech definitely helps create that experience.

Are there ways to bring blend these low-tech games with high-tech gadgets?

I think music and lighting are really big. You can easily get people set into the scene you’re trying to build within the game by adding background sound effects or music, especially with whole-home audio. If you like to open up your home and have multiple games happening in different rooms, you can keep everyone engaged together. We also have smart lights at our house, which are kind of fun. Pandemic, for example, has a zombie apocalypse theme, so you can change the color to an ominous red and use a candle effect to make the lights flicker as the game progresses.

You could even have a projector set up to display what you’re looking at, and there are all sorts of dice-rolling and scorekeeping apps out there. And, for people who can’t get together and physically play together in one spot, you can use services like Skype to play with friends across the country.

What’s a good starting point for someone interested in trying tabletop gaming for the first time?

I would consider Settlers of Catan a “gateway game.” It’s a great way to break away from traditional family board games and try to spark that interest in the world of strategy games. I think Pandemic is starting to become that, too.


Did you know Best Buy carries a limited selection of board games and puzzles? Click here to check them out.