The future of tabletop

Illustrations: Lianne Hazendonk for Polygon

In 2011, during the 8th season of Dragons’ Den, the Canadian television show that gave rise to Shark Tank, Kevin O’Leary did something remarkable. Instead of investing in Daytrader, the board game he got pitched a few seasons earlier, he set it on fire, saying he was doing its creator a favor. Board games were simply a waste of time and talent, he said, and the world is better off without them. Today, everyone knows just how wrong Mr. Wonderful was, and continues to be, about one of the most interesting corners of pop culture.

The popularity of tabletop gaming has exploded over the last decade.
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