‘Don’t need to press the bell button, just walk in’ — that’s how the Board Game Lounge welcomes game-fanatics in Chennai.
Board Games + Café = Board Game Lounge, says Arjun Sukumaran, a freelance writer who started it along with his wife Chitra Bianca Appasami, a designer, in Chennai’s Adyar.
To take people’s gaming interest a step forward, Arjun and his friends started a Board Gaming Community for the first time in Chennai. “People have great interest towards board games, but they were used to gaming with their own family or among their own group. So, to take that hobby a step forward, we formed Chennai Board Gamers in 2015 and brought people from various spheres and provided them a platform.
“Initially, people were not aware of what this was all about as they had minimal access to it. But in the last three years, a lot has changed. When we started out, we had a lot of games which you wouldn’t find anywhere else in this city. But now, you can buy whatever you want online, like from Amazon,” Arjun added.
“Since it (board games) has become accessible, a lot of communities have grown. With board games becoming more and more popular, we thought we will start a gaming lounge. And given the response Chennai has shown us in just a couple of events, we thought this would be the right time to try something out like this,” Arjun said.
To enter the world of fantasy, game fanatics need to pay a flat fee of Rs 300 on weekends and Rs 200 on weekdays.
“You can pick and choose any game of their choice from the list of 240 games. If you want to try out a new game, we are happy to help you by explaining the game, the genre and the complexity, and you can have a fun session with your buddies,” he said.
Board games are coming back to life and it feels great, says Vijay Krishnan, a hardcore fan of Board Gaming.
“I love Board Games. Settlers of Catan, Ticket to ride, The Power Resistance and 7 Wonders are my favourite. When a couple of my friends and I started to play Dominant Species, we began the game at 10 pm and finished at 6 am. That’s how addictive it is. I am happy there is finally a place in Chennai where I could meet other game fanatics,” Vijay said, with a big grin on his face.
But unlike other gaming cafe’s there won’t be fancy menus here, because Arjun feels the focus should be on the game more than anything else.
“The focus should be entirely on the game, because of which we named this place as ‘the Board Game Lounge’ instead of ‘the Board Game Cafe’. If you look at other cafes in India, their focus will be on food and drinks instead of games, we wanted to do the other way. But of course, during a tense gaming session, there will be limited menus like tea, coffee, and cookies,” Arjun assures.
Based on the response from the Chennai circuit, ‘the Board Game Lounge’ is planning to expand its operations.