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Not board at all

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Six out of ten families will opt for board games over computer games this Christmas, a study found yesterday.

While gadgets, gizmos and games consoles will feature on many wish lists this year, millions of families will still find time to dig out old classics such as Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble.

Most of those who will opt for board games said they preferred them because they ‘brought the family together’, while others cited the fact they are ‘more fun’.

Tellingly, many parents said they found modern computer games ‘unsociable’.

The study also found families are most like to reach for a board game at 2.28pm – once the presents have been opened and dinner has been served.

The findings emerged from research carried out among 2,000 parents by Capital Shopping Centres.

Trevor Pereira, Commercial Director, said “In response to this we thought our Santas could do with brushing up on their board game skills.

”So we ran a ‘Father Xmas School’ with our Personal Shopper Angela Poplett, to help teach them ‘The Art of Board Game Play’. We hope the footage will give some handy tips for all the family”

Trevor Pereira also commented: “We have incredible technology at our fingertips these days but, while remarkable, it can sometimes be isolating.

”It’s refreshing to see that families still turn to the board game for quality time together when it counts on Christmas Day.

”We have definitely seen a rise in sales this year and hope our customers all find the game they want this Christmas”

A fifth of people said they don’t include video games as part of Christmas Day because they feel they’re too unsociable – while one in four think computer games are likely to divide the family into different rooms.

Less than a fifth of people play video games on Christmas Day, but more than half said they were more likely to play a traditional game on December 25th than on any other day of the year.

It also emerged a Christmas Day game lasts for 53 minutes on average, but is usually brought to an end by someone cheating – usually the children, or dad.

Monopoly emerged as the number one Christmas board game, followed by Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, Pictionary and Cluedo.

The chance to get everyone in the same room, get the grandparents involved and break away from electrical distractions were the biggest reasons for reaching for Pictionary or Monopoly

But most parents are soft when it comes to competing with their kids and 6 out of 10 admit to deliberately letting the little ones win.

A fifth of people are more ruthless, describing their playing style as ‘always going for the win’ but the vast majority said winning didn’t matter as long as everyone was having fun.

The study also found strategy and working in teams are also reasons the games are so loved, while one in five people were just happy not to have to stare at a screen.

And it seems Dads aren’t taking as much time to play as they used to – more than one in ten play less with their kids than they used to.

Trevor Pereira added: ‘’We often talk about getting that holiday feeling or finding the festive spirit, and the board game is playing a big part in finding that on Christmas Day.

“There’s always plenty to distract us from spending time together as a family on the day but something as small as playing a board game together for an hour can really make it memorable.”

Capital Shopping Centres (CSC*) – has interests in 14 UK shopping centres across the nation, including four of the country’s top six out-of-town centres such as Braehead, Glasgow; Lakeside, Thurrock; Metrocentre, Gateshead and Trafford Centre, Manchester


  1. Monopoly
  2. Trivial Pursuit
  3. Scrabble
  4. Cluedo
  5. Pictionary
  6. Charades
  7. Guess Who
  8. Snakes and Ladders
  9. Uno
  10. Connect4
  11. Kerplunk
  12. Hungry Hippos
  13. Jenga
  14. Buckaroo
  15. Operation
  16. Game of Life
  17. Mousetrap
  18. Frustration
  19. Battleships
  20. Ludo
YouTube video is here:

It’s refreshing to see that families still turn to the board game for quality time together when it counts on Christmas Day.

Trevor Pereira from Capital Shopping Centres

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