China’s Board Game Magazines Are Totally Not Just About Board Games

China’s Board Game Magazines Are Totally Not Just About Board Games

China’s one of the few places in the world where print media is still being consumed by the masses. Part of the reason for that is the State running most (if not all) media. Because China still consumes print, I am able to show off one of China’s more interesting geek-chic publications, China’s Board Games magazine.

Starting in November 2010, Board Games has been bringing Chinese interested in board games and geek culture the latest news and happenings in the industry/community in China. Many attribute the rise of the publication to the popularity of Three Kingdoms Killer, a card game that grew to prominence in 2010.

The term board game in China really means tabletop games; 桌游 (zhuo you) directly translates to table games. With that in mind, all types of games played on tables in China, excluding electronic games such as video games, are called board games.

Often found at internet cafes and board game cafes, the 128 pages monthly tome of all things board games has much more than board games. Every month they dedicate at least 5 pages to various cosplay models. Sections are also dedicated to consumer electronics and video games. There’s even a serial-novel section in the magazine. It’s also 20 plus pages longer than the average dedicated video game magazine.

It’s unknown right now what the future of Board Games is like, particularly with the decline of board game cafes in Shanghai.

The cover of Board Games is usually a woman in cosplay.

The table of contents breaks down the sections. This is only part one of the table.

Last month’s centrefold often makes the front pages of this month’s issue in the form of an interview. This month the model to grace page six happens to just be a popular idol in China.

The “Knowledge” section is mostly just interesting things happening everywhere around the world.

“Previews” shows off the newest board games/card games to come out in China.

The cover model is usually the centrefold as well.

A quick look at the science behind some of geek culture’s biggest names; this month it’s Resident Evil and Crysis.


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