The Hustle

Board games are starting to look a lot like video games

The board games will stream you now.


September 10, 2020

Once upon a time, you had to nag a nearby nerd to play a board game like Dungeons & Dragons with you in person.

Now it’s as easy as asking someone from the game’s 2m+-member subreddit or its 1k+ Discord servers to stream the game with you online. 

Last year, that ease of connectivity meant that D&D had its biggest sales year since its launch in 1974.

You thought Fortnite streams were popular? 

Then look at board games. Even chess has become a livestreaming hit

On Twitch, chess streaming has close to doubled every month this year — and everyone from The Mountain from Game of Thrones (164k+ followers) to pros like Hikaru Nakamura (528k+) have amassed huge audiences. 

Welcome to the digital board-game boom 

Many of these games are played in person, then streamed out to a wider audience. But a bunch of startups are trying to make remote gameplay seamless: 

It’s about time that being a nerd paid off.

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