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Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > Issue Eight – Feb/Mar '17 > ‘GAMES ARE A MIRROR OF OUR TIME’


Perhaps the most influential and certainly the most prolific designer of our time, Reiner Knizia sounds off about telling stories on the tabletop, the importance of authorship and why he will never describe any of his games as the best he’s ever made

You've been making board games for more than 30 years. During that time, what are the biggest design changes you've seen?

The most important statement here is that the games are a mirror of our time. They reflect our time. Anything which happens in our world will often be in our games. That means, of course, a lot of the topics have changed because today very different themes are relevant than they were 20, 40, 50 years ago.

The dynamics of the games have changed a lot. If you look at the classic games like chess, chequers or Go, dynamics are very slow – you place a piece and then the other player takes a piece and it builds up. It's just not what we want today. Today we want to be in the middle of the action right away, and then with big highlights and climax we want the game to be over. So the various states of different games just come from different times. This is a big challenge and a big observation. Our times change radically, quickly, and that means our games need to keep up with it – or even be ahead of it, because we are working from future trends.

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