Board games are fun; let’s get that fact out of the way. I know that for myself, there is not much more enjoyable than playing a good game with friends where we are trying to save the world from destruction. But sometimes, a board game can feel a little, well, lackluster.
I know what you are thinking. This is a board game information site, and they are saying that board games are lacking? What insanity has Cthulhu bestowed upon their piteous souls?
Before you go for the pitchforks and delete keys, hear me out. First, I love board games. They are one of my absolute favorite pastimes. But, have you ever played a game and felt like what was happening could have a bit more to it? Maybe like something was missing that could throw that moment in the game into the realm of moments you remember fondly?
Board games, along with books and audio programs, help to encourage our imaginations to reach for new heights. Whether you finally scale the peak of the mountain in K2, open up a chest to find a mystical lamp in Tales of the Arabian Nights or are defeated as the elder one awakens in Arkham Horror, we all have memories of the games that we play. But the ones that stick out more in our minds are when we have music along with it. Not just Beethoven’s Fifth, mind you, but sounds and songs that help to place the mood of the situation. By simply adding a soundtrack to your favorite board game, it helps to enhance the cinema of the mind. Why is this, though?
The human mind is an incredible device. With the right stimuli, it can create feelings of fear, guilt, regret, joy, happiness, pride, defeat…. the list just goes on. When you combine music to all the other pieces that a board game gives you, the story, miniatures, tokens, cards and board, it creates a symphony in your mind’s eye. It becomes a type of orchestral, cinematic masterpiece that filters into your memories for a long time to come. One of my favorite examples of this is when my wife Christina and I were playing Zombicide. I had just entered the car with one of my characters when we had the idea to play Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust. Quickly, that song became weaved into the tale of that game, as we said that there was one person on top of a hill in a radio station that decided that if they were going out, it was going to be doing what they love; playing music.
So, the next time that you are playing a board game where the world is ending, you are on a quest for treasure beyond your wildest dreams, when the group has to save the kingdom from the evil necromancer, or you are running over zombies in a ’78 Oldsmobile, give music a shot. If you do though, be prepared for something that will hold your imagination for die rolls to come!