Town proves it’s got games

MILFORD – If you like to jump your opponent and get kinged, or roll doubles to complete a backgammon, or think Miss Scarlet did it with the lead pipe in the conservatory, then Milford has something for you.

It’s Family Board Game Night, a monthly event at Town Hall where for a small fee, people can join together and remind themselves of the days when “playing a game” didn’t involve a computer or Playstation2.

“This is something a little different for people,” said Recreation Director Kevin Tyska.

The first Board Game Night, in November, drew a couple dozen people. Tyska said he thought it was hurt by competition from a PTO bingo night event, as well as the newness of the event.Still, he said, participants were enthusiastic – including a group that came from Greenville dressed as characters from the sleuthing game Clue.

“I’m hoping that it will grow as the word spreads,” he said.

Tyska said the idea for the event came during “brainstorming” sessions in Town Hall, when it was put forward by Executive Assistant Dawn Griska, a self-described fan of board games.

(Griska’s favorite, by the way, is Triominoes, a sort of three-sided version of dominoes.)

Tyska bought $300 worth of board games and reserved the banquet hall on the second Friday evening of each month.

The event includes bake sales, which are good opportunities for fund raising by volunteer groups.

To a certain extent the Milford event is going against the grain, because sales of board games have stagnated over the last 20 years due to increased competition from electronic counterparts. Annual board-game sales total only about $380 million in this country, compared to $6 billion in video-game sales, according to industry estimates.