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'Real boom' for board games in Belgium
In the age of smartphones, tablets and Xboxes, traditional board games are enjoying a resurgence in Belgium, according to retailers.
"It's a real boom," said Tanguy Gréban, manager of Case Départ games store in Louvain-la-Neuve for the past 11 years. "My turnover grew by 15% last year," he told RTBF.
Aurélie Vandendijck, who opened Fol' en Jeux in Verviers in 2004, said the surge in popularity began around 2010. Since then, annual revenue at her store is up 67%.
"The board game has become a real trend again," added Sarah Max Dermine, who works at Dédale games store in Etterbeek. "Every day we're seeing more people."
Further evidence can be found in the success of the Brussels Games Festival. From modest beginnings in a hotel lobby four years ago, the event has grown to take over a large part of the Cinquantenaire park over a summer weekend, last year attracting 13,000 visitors.
Nadine Seul, curator of next month's 32nd International Games Festival in Cannes, told RTBF: "Belgium is the second most-represented country at our trade show, after France. Playing games is no longer seen as something only for children. Communities are being created around certain games."