Board Game Wars: Which Games Cause the Most Arguments? | Poggers
We surveyed board game players to find out which games led to the most arguments and who is most likely to start a fight over a game.
It’s no secret that board games can be a source of tension and frustration among families. We wanted to find out just how common arguments over board games were, who are the sorest losers, and which games cause the most arguments.
The board games market has seen a resurgence in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic forcing people indoors and needing ways to entertain themselves. Many are also looking for ways to reduce their screen time and do activities away from their phones or TV. The Board Games market is expected to reach a market volume of $4.84 billion by 2027, a 65% increase from 2022. 
In our survey, 57.3% of people said that they had argued with someone over a board game.
The game that causes the most arguments is Monopoly with 37.4% of people reporting a screaming match over this game, followed by Chess with 30.3% of people.
31.1% of adults have argued with a child over a board game, and 17.1% say they haven’t but they would argue with their own kid or someone else’s if they had to.
30% of people even say they have damaged or destroyed a game because they lost or became frustrated while playing.
Half of people (50%) would get the ick from their partner if they cheated while playing a board game.
Younger people are more likely than older people to argue about a board game with 65.9% of 18-24s admitting to an argument over a game, compared to 39.5% of over 65s.
Men are more likely to argue over games with 63.3% of men admitting to an argument compared to 52.8% of women.
Monopoly Leads to More Arguments Than All Other Board Games
So which games, in particular, got our gamers riled up the most? We asked players to select the games that they had argued over at least once.
The most common game that causes arguments, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Monopoly with 37.4% of people saying this was a game that had led to angry outbursts. Monopoly does have a reputation for causing drama, maybe even making players flip the board and storm off in frustration. It’s also one of the world’s most popular board games with over 275 million units sold and countless versions based on movies, sports, and more. 
The next most common rage-inducing game was Chess with 30.3% of people admitting to arguing during a match. Chess competitions do get serious, and even the most calm and collected players can lose their cool sometimes. Chess is the most popular board game of all time, introduced around the year 1,200 and selling more than 3 million units per year in the U.S. 
Playing Board Games With Children
It’s no secret that children can sometimes find it difficult to process not getting what they want, or losing at a game or sport, but do people think it’s ok to argue with children or let them win a game?
Most people (78.8%) say they have let a child win at a board game at least once, and 61.4% think it’s ok to let children win to stop them from getting upset. However, 38.6% think that it’s wrong to let children win and that it’s more important for them to learn how to lose gracefully.
Do Adults Argue With Children Over Games?
Playing games with children can be frustrating, especially if they don’t understand the rules or they get upset because they aren’t winning. But would grown-ups really ever argue with children about a game?
More than half (51.8%) of the people we asked said they would never argue with a child over a board game. However, 31.1% say they have argued with a child over a game in the past. A further 17.1% say they haven’t yet but they wouldn’t hesitate to argue with their child or someone else's child if they felt it necessary.
Arguing, Cheating, And Letting Others Win
Playing board games isn’t always a positive experience as sometimes people don’t play fairly. Making up words in Scrabble, hiding cash in Monopoly, or making up some lies for trade deals in Catan might cause tension in a game. We looked into just how many people have descended into arguments and fallen out with family and friends over games.
57% Have Argued During Board Games
Of all of the players we surveyed, 57.3% said that they had argued with their partner, friends, family, or someone else while playing a board game. But it’s not just shouting matches people got into over games, some got seriously aggressive and 30% of people even said that they had destroyed or damaged a board game because they lost or became frustrated.
Over half (54.4%) of people report that they have lost a game on purpose to avoid an argument on at least one occasion.
Who Is Most Likely To Argue About Board Games?
We looked into which groups of people had the most arguments when playing games.
Board Game Arguments By Age
Different age groups vary in how likely they were to have descended into a rage-induced outburst during a board game.
People aged 18-24 were the most likely to have had an argument over a game with 65.9% of people in this group reporting at least one argument, followed by 25-34s at 62%. Older people aged 65 and above were the least likely to have had an argument (39.5%). Perhaps more experienced board gamers are better at knowing when to drop an argument.
Board Game Arguments By Gender
As well as there being variation between age groups, there is a difference between genders when it comes to who gets the angriest when playing games.
We found that men were most likely to start arguments over board games, with 63.3% of men admitting to arguing during a game compared to 52.8% of women. Our data on non-binary people had too small of a sample to take any meaningful insight.
Who Do People Argue With The Most About Games?
We wanted to know who players fought with the most when playing a game, and the results showed that no one’s safe when it comes to board-game-related spats.
Arguments over board games most commonly happen between family members with 58.4% of people saying that they had argued with family. This was followed by friends at 50.4%, and a romantic partner at 42.7%.
As well as this, 10.1% of people even said they had argued about a board game with someone they don’t know.
The Reason For The Argument
The most common reason that people argued during a board game was that someone was cheating, with 54% citing this as a reason for an argument. Other reasons for arguments being started included a player taking too long (42.7%) and a player becoming frustrated because they were losing the game (32.7%).
Board Game Arguments And Relationships
We asked board game fans a series of questions relating to their relationships with others when it came to board game cheating and arguments.
People Get The Ick If Their Partner Cheats At A Board Game
Just over half (50.4%) of people said they would find it off-putting if their partner or potential partner cheated during a board game. Another 50% said that their relationship with their partner, family, friend, or coworker had even felt strained because of playing a board game, with the most common being a relationship with a friend (16.5%).
A quarter (24.7%) of people said an argument over a board game would affect their relationship with someone.
How Do People Feel About Arguing Over Games?
More than two-thirds (67.9%) of people say that they think it’s reasonable for adults to argue over board games at least sometimes.
Of those who had argued over a game in the past, 25% said they regretted it and wouldn’t do it again. Interestingly, a third (33.2%) said they regretted having an argument over a game but that they would do it again in the future.
18.1% said they had no regrets about having an argument and they wouldn’t hesitate to do it again
Which Family Members Are The Most Argumentative?
We asked people when it comes to board games, which of their family members would be most likely to start an argument?
The most common person people chose was a partner with a quarter (24.4%) saying their partner was most likely to have an argument about a game. Coming second on the list was a child (19.3%), followed by a sibling (18.8%).
Family members least likely to cause arguments were grandparents with only 1.8% of people saying their Grandad, and 1.5% of people saying their Grandma.
How Often Do People Play Board Games?
The amount of time our gamers said they played board games varied with some playing only every few months (16.5%) and some playing weekly (37.2%). Keen board gamers who play daily made up 15.5% of the group.
Just over a third (35.8%) of people say that they go to local venues to play board games with other game fans.
The Types Of Board Games People Like To Play
There are many different categories of board games, from simple family games to complex role-play and trivia quizzes. The most popular types of board games people enjoy playing are word games like Scrabble and Boggle (47.2%), with the next most popular being strategy games such as Monopoly and Risk, chosen by 43.4% of people.
Gamers we surveyed were able to choose up to three types of board games that they enjoyed playing the most. Other popular choices were abstract games like Chess (37.4%), dice games (31.3%), and trivia games (29.3%).
Most people said they usually play board games with their family (37.9%) or their friends (29.8%). The majority (78.9%) said that their board games typically last between 30 minutes and two hours.
What People Value Most When Playing Board Games
People play board games for different reasons, some want the thrill of beating their opponents, but for others, it’s more about spending time with family. We wanted to find out what was most important to people when it comes to playing games.
The one thing that people think is most important when playing a board game is having fun, with almost two-thirds (65.3%) of people saying this is what matters the most. It’s nice to know most people are playing board games for the right reasons. The next most important thing to people is winning the game at 16.8%, followed by learning new skills (12.5%).
How Do People Feel When They Win Or Lose?
Let’s face it, everyone loves to win, whether it’s your favorite sports team winning a game, or snatching a prize at a raffle. We asked people to rank how they feel when they win a board game from 1-5, with 1 being ‘guilty or unhappy’ and 5 being ‘very happy’.
Most people rated their feelings at a 5, with 44.7% saying they felt very happy when they won a game; only 0.4% said they felt guilty for winning.
We also wanted to find out how people would feel if they lost at a board game, using a scale of 1-5, with 1 being ‘very upset’ and 5 being ‘I don’t mind’. Just over a quarter (25.8%) rated their feelings as a 2, while 8.9% rated them at a 1, saying they would feel very upset at losing.
What Would Encourage People To Play More Board Games?
Most people (62.2%) said they want to play board games more often than they do at the moment. The most common reason people gave for not playing as much as they would like is that they don’t have enough time (42.9%), followed by the price of games being too high (33.6%). While new board games can be pricey, the replay value over many years can produce better value for money compared to other sources of entertainment like trips to the cinema or theater.
Things That Make Board Games More Appealing
The most common thing people said would appeal to them about a board game is the style of game (56.4%), with the next most common being the visual design (40.3%).
Other things people said would encourage them to buy a game included recommendations from friends (38.3%) and online reviews (27%), while 15.6% said they like to try games that are based on books or movies that they like. A proportion of people (29.4%) said that they would be happy to try any game.
We surveyed 1,158 Americans in June 2023 about topics relating to board games, and whether they had ever argued with a partner, friend, or family member over a board game. 663 of those we asked said that they had argued with someone over a board game, and went on to answer follow-up questions about their argument(s).
The breakdown of the people we surveyed was as follows:
18-24 - 7.6%
25-34 - 38%
35-44 - 27.7%
45-54 - 16.5%
55-64 - 6.9%
65+ - 3.3%
Female - 56.9%
Male - 42.3%
Non-binary - 0.4%
Preferred not to say - 0.3%
 Board Game Market Size
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How common are arguments over board games?+
In a recent survey, 57.3% of participants admitted to having arguments over board games, often due to issues like cheating, game length, or frustration from losing.
Which board games cause the most arguments?+
Monopoly leads the list, with 37.4% of respondents reporting arguments over it, followed by Chess at 30.3%. These games tend to evoke intense emotions during play.
What are the common reasons for arguments during board games?+
Arguments often stem from cheating (54%), lengthy turns (42.7%), and players becoming frustrated over losing (32.7%). These issues can lead to heated discussions and even damaged games.
Who is more likely to argue over board games?+
Men (63.3%) are more prone to arguing during games compared to women (52.8%). Younger players aged 18-24 (65.9%) are more likely to argue than those aged 65 and above (39.5%).
Do adults argue with children over board games?+
Yes, 31.1% of adults have argued with a child over a board game, while 17.1% would argue with a child if necessary. Some adults believe it's essential for children to learn how to lose gracefully.
How do people feel when they win or lose after playing a board game?+
Most feel very happy (44.7%) when they win, while 25.8% feel very upset when they lose. Emotions are often heightened due to the competitive nature of games.
How does cheating in a board game impact relationships?+
Around 50% of respondents feel that their relationships with friends, family, or partners have been strained due to board game arguments. Cheating can lead to "the ick," with half admitting they'd feel put off if their partner cheated during a game.