Timeless Boardgames Day – Accessible Boardgaming
I went to a boardgame day yesterday, one that I hadn’t been to before, and of course, if I’m compelled to write about it, it must’ve been pretty great, right? Spoiler: Yes!
Mission, vision, etc
Firstly, Timeless Boardgames is a relatively new online shop in SA. I got in touch with them a while ago when I first heard of them, marketing an interesting concept of renting boardgames instead of selling them. It was an interesting concept with the goal of making boardgames more accessible to everyone – buying a big box of components is a big investment usually, and renting before buying would lower that barrier to entry for newcomers to the hobby who don’t necessarily do a ton of research online before purchasing, or know exactly what they may like or don’t like.
Unfortunately the rental model never took off, I’m sure with good reason. However, the heart of their mission: Making boardgames more accessible, lives on in these Timeless Boardgame Days.
Try before you buy. Heck, just have fun.
This is the point of their boardgame days, and that makes quite a subtle but very interesting difference.
The typical boardgame days we find around are a hobbyist’s gathering. The message is usually: “Everyone bring games, anyone can play anyone else’s game!”. With the secondary message “Don’t have games? Don’t worry! We all love to share our games, just come!”. While the boardgame community is very welcoming, newcomers don’t understand that, and are often daunted by the thought of “I shouldn’t go if I don’t bring games”.
Timeless Boardgame Days flip that on its head – the message is specifically “Come play if you don’t have games!” – they have a huge selection of open games (almost the largest single-ownership collection I’ve ever seen) for you to play, and every month they open new games based on a voting system – you can vote on which game you want to see in the next Timeless Boardgame Day if you’re at the event, which is very fun.
A day out
This focus accessibility has made these day events very successful in a short time. There is a cover charge of R60, but that’s really nothing for a day’s entertainment.
The venue is spacious, clean, with nice sturdy chairs. So often cheap plastic chairs get destroyed (granted the laughs those generate when it happens are great, but I’d much rather not see potential injuries)
You get free tea, coffee, juice, biscuits, brownies, etc etc. The desserts are a really nice touch, and lunch can be bought at a reasonable price. It was a boerewors roll, and you’re free to top it up with a selection of salsa, which is also a nice touch, and doesn’t remind me of the usual convention food standards.
Great company is to be had as everyone is super friendly and there are always staff on hand to explain or run the open games. Non staff are also more than happy to play with too.
Overall, Timeless Boardgame Days is yet another great addition to the growing list of places to play boardgames in Joburg!
I’ve put the details in my Ultimate Joburg Boardgaming Guide