Victory Point | Board Games Community
April 8, 2019, 8:34 p.m.
What is Victory Point? We jump right in.
"Victory point is a common terminology in board gaming representing points to win a game", Kuldeep enlightens us.
"It is the name of the board games community that we friends created. The primary purpose of this community is to achieve a growth of board gaming in Bangalore and India and provide a platform for board game enthusiasts to meet and play their favorite games, as well as introduce them to new ones. Also, I wanted victory point to be a community or place of gathering or point of victory for people." Kuldeep says with a sense of purpose. How did the community come to exist, we are curious.
"I realized there was a huge gap," Kuldeep says a little disappointed.
"I was introduced to board gaming when I lived in the US. On returning to India, I was looking for a forum in Bangalore to meet people and play board games. I found a smaller community in Koramangala that played regularly where we also co-hosted. However, in order to realize a vision to grow board gaming in Bangalore and bring more people into the fraternity, I teamed up with a couple more like-minded people with a similar vision in Nishanth and Janardhan and Victory Point was born in Feb 2018," Kuldeep says reminiscing about the same day exactly a year ago. Why did you choose Bangalore, we ask as an attempt to understand the milieu.
"Bangalore is one of the best cosmopolitan cities in India and has a very diverse crowd. Board gaming is a passion, and the fact that it is still burgeoning in Bangalore, along with working with others who had started smaller communities earlier, was an inspiration to establish such a community in Bangalore." Kuldeep shares his observations having born and raised in Bangalore.
"Also a lot of people whether they are board gamers or just people who come for work, but there is huge population here in Bangalore," Janardhan adds his point of view.
"It's important in an urban setting to have spaces that allow people to breathe both in a literal and metaphorical sense" Janardhan resonates with us.
"Dialogues has really become one of those spaces which is very simple and easy and in this urban landscape allows us to breathe, which is why we love partnering with Dialogues. " Janardhan who met us first during our inception days says.
"Interestingly, Dialogues was where I attended the first board gaming meetup on my return to Bangalore (conducted by Sundeep who had formed the previous smaller board gaming community and was an inspiration in part for Victory Point). And having liked the setup at Dialogues, and the ambiance, it struck me as one of the venues to host our meetups when we started out. " Kuldeep adds, why he prefers Dialogues. What were the challenges you faced/face to form this community
"Some of the challenges we faced were getting more people to help with arranging a regular meetup and ensuring regular availability of all admins including myself for arranging the meetups. Also, initially another challenge was to get more people interested in making this a regular weekend hobby/passion; but once more people got introduced, it became much easier." How has this community changed since the first few meetups? We ask having first hand witnessed the growth.
"Definitely the response has been becoming better and better. From individuals like us buying single board games to now the community together having managed to pool in a variety of Board games, we have come a long way.
We have conducted a national-level tournament as well since, and we have more people volunteering and helping to keep the community growing and delivering a diverse set of board games for each meetup."
"The unique thing about this community is the balance we have achieved between providing great board gaming content, bringing in a large number of people together regularly, and keeping the social interaction going", Kuldeep adds.
How do you think it is relevant in today's "virtual" world, we ask probing them to provide us information on the larger picture.
"We find that people find it hard to find places to connect and meet with people. They want to but are unable to. Board games are a great way to bring people together. We feel this community is a great space not just for hardcore board gamers but also people who are new to the city, or who are expats or even young people who don't know what to do. All these people come together and become part of this vibrant community, have a great Saturday, and experience a whole new activity. It is a great way to move beyond "normal" ways of meeting new people or new places." Janardhan speaks up inspiring us to join them for a game.
"There are apps online where you can play some of these games, but it lacks the connect. Besides everyone is in front of the computer throughout the week why spend your Saturday doing the same?" Kuldeep insinuates.
"Unfortunately all youngsters today want to go out partying, but this is way cheaper and 10 times fun", Janardhan and Kuldeep talk among themselves. What gives you a sense of satisfaction doing this?
"I like to see people learn new games. It personally makes me very happy. "
"When you look at their eyes and they look at all the new games, their eyes light up and they learn these games and then hit all the right notes and win or just enjoy playing the games, it gives us a great sense of satisfaction." Janardhan and Kuldeep tell us as their eyes light up.
What does the future for Victory Point look like?
"Really just to make board gaming an alternative to other forms of entertainment. Hopefully in the future when people think of other forms of activities to do they will think of Board games. Janardhan says with great grit.
"Definitely we want the community to grow. It will only grow if each person propagates this so this community can sustain. We hope more and more young kids develop a keen interest in this activity as the adult community grows. " Kuldeep adds almost immediately.
"Also, Board Games Libraries. A facility where there can be accessibility to more and more number of board games where people can check out, play and return the board games. " Kuldeep says borrowing from the idea of hobby cafes in the US.
More Victory Points to the community, and with that let the games begin! Image Credits - Dialogues