Many of the elements that make board games engaging and fun can be applied to designing visualizations

Recently I visited the biggest trade fair for board games in the world. The Internationale Spieltage (Spiel) takes place annually in my current home town of Essen in Germany. In 2019, a total of 1,200 companies from 53 countries presented their games on an area of 86.000 square meters. 209,000 visitors came to see the fair. Many board games can be played and bought on site.

Visitors test playing board games at the stand of Kosmos (photo from 2018)
Visitors test playing board games at the stand of Kosmos (photo from 2018)
Visitors test playing board games at the stand of Kosmos (photo from 2018)

Looking at the wide range of contemporary board games presented there, I couldn’t help noticing how much board games have in common with data visualizations. In fact, at their core, all board games are…

Johannes Wirges

Freelance Data Visualization Developer from Essen, Germany https://dataviz-jwirges.de

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