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November 11, 2016

Hygge: of board games and snuggly socks

We’ve grown to like the idea of Hygge, the Danish concept of relaxed cosiness.

Especially at this very Danish-like time of year. A comforting fire; some snuggly socks; a carefree evening spent pottering, or chatting with nothing particular to say… ‘hygge’ is one of those concepts seems to be quite difficult to precisely define, but works in a ‘you know it when you see it’ way.

Nice things around you (not necessarily expensive, or sought after, or ‘designer’, but nice). An antidote to the hectic world. Warmth, in every sense of the word. We feel all hyggey just thinking about it.

Oddly, we’d never particularly made the connection with board games, until we were mooching around on Twitter the other day and stumbled upon a recommendation from a hygge-lover for our very own LOGO.

(Incidentally, the same conversation also led us to livinghygge.co.uk, who have had the great idea of providing ‘hygge in a box’ gifts by postal subscription – well worth checking out if you have a friend who could do with a bit of hygge-type love for Christmas. Random nice stuff that just arrives periodically – what’s not to like?)

When we design our products, we do often focus on the more – erm – ‘rowdy’ elements of the gameplay. The frantic gabbling as the Articulate! timer runs down… the good-natured yet outraged ding-dongs with your own team, as you point and guffaw at their hopeless Rapidough attempts; the scrabbling for the squeaker in Stoopido…

Our whole ‘not-so-quiet night in’ concept might be thought of as not particularly hygge-worthy. After all, this blog has often majored on those games nights that deteriorate into gluttony and possibly breakages. The anti-hygge, almost.

And yet, of course, board games are about bringing people together to have uncomplicated fun, to relax in each others’ company, and to have that ‘glow’ that comes from sharing a good time with our fellow human beings.

Back to the LOGO board game: perhaps that is one of our more traditionally hyggey products. Games such as LOGO and Best of British aren’t merely about questions and answers… they’re about the interaction; the follow-up conversations, memories and debates that each card prompts; heart-to-hearts that can go on long into the night.

And what is Absolute Balderdash but getting to know your friends over a chat?

So we’re going to dig out those snuggly socks, get hold of some candles and light a fire. (On reflection, we’ll probably hold off until we’re home from the office). And invite you to join us for some Drumond Park-style Hygge.

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