Today, we’re going to talk about board games, but instead of trying to trace their histories, which we’ve already covered a bit of in ep2 on ancient games, we’re going to look really closely at just two board games - Monopoly and The Settlers of Catan. These two games have been played by millions, and we’ll talk about why they’re so popular (and controversial), but more importantly these two games have helped define two approaches to board game design: the American style board game and the European style board game. Now these two different “styles” of board games are mostly just over-generalizations about board game mechanics and there’s a ton of overlap, but with the recent resurgence in board game popularity they help us more clearly define two discrete time periods in board game popularity and discuss how these approaches have been defined by the times.

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