For one, it could be for the reason that we invest so much time in them. There aren’t many board games that last short than 20 minutes, and even still, there are several that can consume an entire afternoon. If you lose a video game, a simple “fuck it” usually suffices as you throw the controller at the wall, but if you spend 4 hours of your life trying to defend Australia in Risk for the entire game, you can actually feel the pain of your little soldier pieces as they dissemble, leaving your stronghold in ruins. You spent all those hours building up for what you believed to be a perfect strategy only to find out that you’re just really not that smart. It’s devastating. It’s a lasting hurt that ends your day.
Or maybe it’s because multiple players can allocate the pain amongst themselves. Unlike a video game where at most 4 friends can play while simultaneously glued to a TV, a board game can suck in numerous souls and pin them against each other while forcing them to stare each other in the eyes as they destroy each other’s empires. Empires that have taken hours to build crushed by the very friend that sits on the other side of the table. Even worse, come harsh times, alliances are forced upon everyone. Friends group off into secluded factions and only talk amongst themselves as rage runs rampant in the opposition. Bonds are cut and mended in lackluster fashion; friendships will never be the same.
Maybe it’s because failing at the game is the equivalent to failing at life. Monopoly and Life are perfect examples. You are allotted a certain amount of money to do with it what you will. It is on you to make the right investments. The board game is like a crystal ball that predict your future success. Did you invest wrong in Monopoly and end up bankrupt? Well, it looks like you might as well donate all your money to charity and get used to living in a box down at South Station. But, if you are surrounded by stacks of colorful, counterfeit bills, you’re in line for success. You know how to play the game; therefore, start planning your dream house because you’re not going to have to do jack shit for the rest of your life.
Just pray that the victor isn’t a business, finance, or whatever major because they will flaunt their superior knowledge of capital investments and assets and such. If a college education counts towards anything, it’s board games.
I work on Wall Street, and I lost?!