The UK Board Games Championships return for another embarrassing year

17 January 2017
2016.04.30-Pork-Farms-Boardgames-Championship-(181)-Tim-Bentley--22852.jpg UK Board Games Champion Tim Bentley
Tournament run by pork pie company sees players complete at tired classics such as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Jenga, Boggle and Taboo

The UK’s Board Games Championships are back to give board games a bad name once again.

Despite having a name that conjures hope and suggests organised play of some of the tabletop’s latest and greatest modern classics – perhaps you’re thinking X-Wing, Magic, Catan or Netrunner – the UK Board Game Championships are in fact simply a marketing campaign run by the pork pie manufacturer Pork Farms that wallows in old cliché.

The event was introduced last year to run during National Board Games Week, which takes place this May. The tournament’s opening heats will take place in pubs around the UK from the end of February to the end of March, with a grand final on May 13th.

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Rather than celebrating the contemporary strength and growth of board gaming, most of the games involved in the tournament are the kind of thing you’d break out at Christmas to a choir of groans and complaints about having played them a million times before.

Yes, Monopoly’s in there, alongside Boggle, Taboo, Trivial Pursuit 2000s and Jenga (as you might guess, Hasbro is sponsoring the event) – not necessarily terrible games alone, but hardly the best way of promoting the best that the tabletop has to offer and breaking public perception away from the belief that board games haven’t changed all that much in the last few decades.

Still, at least the championships are being treated as a serious (if lighthearted) competition, rather than the butt of a Big Bang Theory-style joke about D&D-loving nerds – and if diving back into old favourites convinces at least one player to try out A Feast for Odin, Scythe or Great Western Trail, maybe it will all be worth it.

If you want to compete in the UK Board Games Championships, you can sign up on the Pork Farms site. Should you win (remember that complaints about luck-driven mechanics probably won’t fly during matches of Monopoly), you’ll be awarded with a selection of Hasbro games and framed certificate – plus an exclusive ‘pork pie trophy’. Going by the celebratory snap of the current champion, Tim Bentley, the trophy is actually a pork pie. You can’t say that about the Magic World Championship, we guess.


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