Opinion: In times of anxiety, I turn to board games and puzzles – Rachel Lowe

As ToyNews readies to celebrate the explosively exciting and ever-innovative board games and puzzles scene in its April issue – available to read online now – we give the floor to Rachel Lowe, MBE, as she delves into the reasons why in a time of global crisis, there’s a lot of comfort to be had in the tabletop hobby.

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to consume our nation, we are all trying to say in doors as much as possible to prevent the virus from spreading even further.

We are confined to our homes, only going out for essential trips to a shop or daily exercise. We need activities to keep us busy and entertained and our minds stimulated. Books, films, music are all wonderful ways to keep us distracted but for me, board games and puzzles offer us an escape into another world and allow us to relax while keeping the mind active.

Board games and puzzles have been undergoing a renaissance for nearly a decade now with broadening appeal amongst the general public and increased sales. It is estimated that the board games market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nine per cent between 2016 and 2022, whereas the global puzzles market looks set to increase at a CAGR of 15.1 per cent from 2018 to 2025.

With the country lockdown in place for the foreseeable future, people will turn to board games and puzzles to fill their time. They are a great way for us to escape these uncertain times and relax our minds and bodies. I have used board games and puzzles throughout my life as a way of coping with stress or anxiety, which I know many people will be feeling at this time.

Both board games and puzzles are an activity that keep us engaged and they are one of few activities which spans generations. Everyone in the household can get around a board game and get involved or contribute to a 1,000-piece puzzle. Games get our competitive juices flowing and when that last puzzle piece is finally put in place, the sense of achievement can be monumental. There is a game or a puzzle for everyone.

Having been in the board game industry since 2002, I believe board games and puzzles will help us through this crisis, keep us occupied and ensure our mental health is looked after. So, if you want to send your grandparents something new for them to try or you’re stuck for something to do with your child who is off school, turn to a puzzle or a game and get playing.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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