Are board games art? That may sound like a rhetorical question, but it's one that an independent print magazine in the UK seeks to discuss. First published in 2020, Senet covers, "the craft, creativity and community of board gaming," according to its website. Past issues have featured interviews with game designers, artists, and writers, as well as reviews and examinations of social themes within games. Each issue also features a puzzle from designer Ira Fay, CEO of Fay Games and Learning Game Designer in The Education Arcade at MIT.
As befits a magazine dedicated to the art of board gaming, Senet
is a beautiful, full-color publication that would not look out of place in a fancy bookstore or art museum gift shop. While those outside of the UK may have trouble finding it at their local FLGS, there are a few places
in the United States, Canada, and Europe where you can pick it up. You can also order issues of Senet
via their website, which is good news for those of us who enjoy independent print publications.
I have yet to order an issue of Senet myself, but it's something I've been meaning to do. I've long felt that games and gaming can be about more than just entertainment (though there's nothing wrong with fun!), and I know I would appreciate a deep dive into Senet's examination of gaming as an art form, muse, and vehicle for social change, among other subjects. It's a new way of looking at a pastime that's often considered mere child's play, and I think that's something that we can all appreciate.
-- Katie Duffy