Space. The ever-expanding void outside our planet’s atmosphere where stars, moons, comets and other planets exist. For members of the Star Wars X-Wing league, it’s a place to be conquered.
The league meets in the back of Game Night Games, a board game and hobby store located in a strip mall on 2030 S. 900 East, every Thursday night to battle against one another with miniature Star Wars space ships on cloth mats that resemble outer space.
Bowen Jacobs, a 34-year-old Salt Lake City resident, has been coming to Game Night Games to run the Star Wars X-Wing league for almost a year.
“It’s a very casual environment and you get to play with a great group of guys,” Jacobs said.
Game Night Games caters to many gamers. The store is full of games ranging from board games like Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons or hobby war games like Star Wars X-Wing and Warhammer 40K.
Board and hobby games have become more popular, and the growth of the market increased around 20 percent in 2015, according to ICv2, an online trade magazine that covers comic books and gaming for retailers.
“I saw a trend for a new wave of board games that I thought was becoming more popular,” said Tim Hall, the owner of Game Night Games. “I knew that this was a new level of board game design, and so that’s when I decided to open a store.”
As the owner of Game Night Games, Hall said he’s been aware of the increase of enthusiasm for playing board games since opening the store back in 2004, when he saw a new genre of board games called Eurogames become popular.
Eurogames are a classification of tabletop games that were originally developed in Germany and have simple rules—no player elimination and a varying degree of player interaction, according to Board Game Geek.
According to Board Game Geek, some well known Eurogames include Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Puerto Rico and Carcassonne.
“People who haven’t played games for 20 years and their last game was Risk or Monopoly, they play one of the well-designed Eurogames and it’s a breath of fresh air,” Hall said.
Game Night Games has been part of the Sugar House area for 12 years and stays true to its name by holding a gaming event at the store every night.
“I love games and I love being around games,” Hall said. “People are looking for an alternative to video games and television, and board gaming tends to be a bit more of a social and intimate experience.”