Which Board Games Have We Been Playing During Lockdown?

Using Google data, Betway Online reveal the board games that each country has been searching most as they pass the time at home. People have been looking for ways to pass the time over the last few months with more people than ever working and spending time at home like never before.

According to Google Trends data, the term ‘board game’ was searched more often on Google in March 2020 than in any other month since records began in 2004, excluding the occasional run-up to Christmas, when we are all usually rushing to buy some form of gift for friends and family.That spike in search volume in March is almost double what it was in February, before most countries went into lockdown.

Which Game Has Increased in Popularity the Most?

The board game Pandemic, which requires players to eliminate diseases that have broken out in different parts of the world (sound familiar?), has experienced the biggest surge in popularity. Google Keyword Data reveals that the search term ‘Pandemic board game’ received 246,000 searches worldwide in March, which is more than twice as much as ‘Risk board game’, which was had just 90,000.

The only time that Pandemic (the board game) has received even a third of that number of searches was in 2009, during the Swine Flu pandemic. Thus, it seems that we like relatable topics and nostalgic board games all at the same time.

Which Board Games Are The Most Popular?

While Pandemic has experienced the biggest spike in searches, it is old favourites such as ScrabbleMonopoly and Ludo that have remained the most popular board games during lockdown, as we seek distractions from the world around us. Although there are always seasonal spikes when it comes to Google Search Data for everything from industry-specific financial regulation updates, to local dentistry (more information) Christmas gifts and even specific betting odds during Word Cup games, surges for board games have been somewhat unprecedented.

Google Trends data reveals that Scrabble is the most searched-for game, and is particularly popular in French-speaking countries. Per capita, French-speaking islands Martinique and Reunion searched it the most, followed by France, Senegal and Canada.

Old-favourite Ludo, meanwhile, was the third-most popular of the three leading games worldwide. The game originates from Pachisi, an Indian game which has routes in the sixth century, so it makes sense that, per capita, 16 of the 17 cities that searched for it the most are in Asia, including 15 in India.

According to Keyword Planner, searches for Ludo board game rose from 1,300 to 6,600 in India from February to March, a rise of more than 400 per cent.

How Do Board Games Compare to Other Forms of Entertainment?

Board games are proving so popular during lockdown that, in certain countries, more people are searching for them on Google than Xbox or PS4 games.

When combining Google searches for Scrabble and the FIFA video game series on Trends in March, the board game received 80 per cent of them in Canada and 79 per cent of them in France and USA. It was a similar story with Ludo in certain parts of Asia.

Sixty-eight per cent of the combined Google searches for Ludo and FIFA in March were for the board game in India, with 59 per cent of them going the same way in Pakistan.

As restrictions ease around the world, it’s probable that the surge in popularity for board games will slow. But it’s clear that in difficult times, people all around the world have found comfort in the charms of these traditional forms of entertainment.

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