Board games exist in continuous interaction between tangible and intangible elements. They are grounded in material play instruments. From crudely shaped animal bones to detailed resin miniatures, the materials being used to craft them shape the games we play and their relations with other cultural artefacts.
Materiality has a central role in board game enjoyment. Enthusiastic players appreciate the tangible and visual aesthetics of board games, customise and look after the components and game boxes, even furnishing and decorating their homes to fit the hobby. Material culture — the material manifestations of societies and cultures — is a key entry point in the study of board games and allows us to look at them with historical depth, and it lets us imagine how people played even when we have no written sources.
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Mattia Thibault, email@example.com