10 Board Games That Where Important In Film and Television

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Whether you’re a fan of Monopoly, Clue, or Candyland, there’s no doubt that board games have been featured in some of your favourite films and television shows. Board games have been around for centuries and show no signs of disappearing anytime soon. Here are 10 board games that appear on the big and small screens.

The history of board games

is a long and varied one. Some believe the first board game was created over 7,000 years ago in China. The game, called Go, is still popular today. Board games have come a long way since ancient times, and there are now thousands of different games to choose from.

In the early days of film and television, board games were often used as props. This was especially true in detective shows and movies, where characters would often be gathered around a table playing Clue or Monopoly. As time went on, however, board games began to play a more significant role in film and television. In some cases, they even became the focus of the story.

Board games in film and television

Board games in film and television can advance the plot, add to the atmosphere of a scene, or provide a bit of comic relief. They can also be used to symbolize something larger than the game itself. For example, in the movie The Hunger Games, the characters are forced to compete in a deadly contest. The board game they played during their training symbolizes the violence and oppression they will face in the arena.

In the film, board games are used for a variety of reasons. They can be used as a prop to represent a character’s mental state, be part of the plot, or just for comic relief. Regardless of their purpose in the film, these board games always manage to entertain. Here are 20 of the best board games featured in film and television.

Top 10 appearances of board games in TV and Movies

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (2001)

The first Harry Potter film, released in 2001, features a scene where Harry and Ron are playing Wizard’s Chess. The game is used to advance the plot, as it helps the two characters figure out how to get past the giant chess pieces blocking their way.

What is Wizard’s Chess?

Wizard’s Chess is a game mentioned in the Harry Potter series. It is a magical game played with chess pieces that come to life and fight each other. The game is the same as chess, where each player must try to checkmate the other’s king. Each player has 16 pieces: 8 pawns, two rooks, two knights, two bishops, a queen, and a king.

Wizard’s Chess is a crucial difference from regular chess, where the pieces move independently and destroy one another. Each chess piece comes to life in animation when they physically destroy the other chess pieces they have taken.

The game is mentioned several times throughout the series and is seen being played in the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Ron Weasley plays against Harry Potter during their first year at Hogwarts and nearly wins before Harry gets lucky.


In the movie, Harry Ron, and Hermione are playing Wizard’s Chess to try and get past a giant chess set blocking their way to get the Philosopher’s Stone. Ron is forced to sacrifice himself to the knight in order for Harry to get a checkmate. He does this by putting his own knight in danger and forcing the opponent to take the knight. This allows them to win the game.

Stranger Things (2016)

The popular Netflix show Stranger Things features several scenes involving the board game Dungeons & Dragons. The game shows how the characters are trying to escape from Upside Down and help them bond with each other.

What is Dungeons and Dragons?

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules, Inc. (TSR). The game is played by two or more players who create characters that go on adventures in a fictional world.

Players control their characters through a system of dice rolls and choices. The game can be played with miniatures, on a grid map, or without any physical components. D&D is one of the most popular RPGs in the world and has been adapted into many films, television shows, and video games.

The Demogorgon

In the show, the characters use Dungeons & Dragons to defeat the Demogorgon. The Demogorgon is a powerful creature from Upside Down trying to kill them. They use their knowledge of the game to create a strategy to defeat it.

Beautiful Mind (2001)

The 2001 film A Beautiful Mind features a scene where the main character John Nash (played by Russell Crowe), plays the game Go outdoors. This establishes Nash’s genius and shows how he can think strategically and many moves ahead.

What is the board game Go?

Go is a two-player board game originating in ancient China. It is played on a 19×19 grid of black and white stones. Players place stones on the board to surround more territory than the opponent. The game is simple to learn but challenging to master.

The game Go is played by two players who take turns placing black or white stones on a board. The board is divided into a 19×19 grid of squares. The player who surrounds more territory than the opponent wins the game.

The game is thought to have originated in China over 2,500 years ago. It is still popular today, with a significant competitive scene in countries like South Korea and Japan.

In the film, Nash can see patterns others cannot and uses this to his advantage. He quickly realizes that Alicia is trying to trap him and uses a different strategy to win the game.

Cuban Fury (2014)

The 2014 film Cuban Fury features a scene where the main character Bruce (played by Nick Frost) plays the game Brain Strain. The game shows how Bruce can think strategically and devise a plan to win.

What is the board game Brain Strain?

Brain Strain is a two-player board game in which players compete to move a single counter to the other side of the board. The counter starts on the middle intersection of the grid marked on the board, and players can only move it in cardinal directions (north, east, south, west). The first player to move the counter to the other side of the board wins.

A team makes an attempted move of the counter by placing it in the middle of one of the squares ahead of the intersection where the counter is at that point.

A card with an ‘IQ-test’ question is at the end of that row. If the question is answered correctly within the allowed time, the counter makes its way to the diagonally opposite intersection.

Big Bang Theory (2007)

The 2007 television show The Big Bang Theory features a scene where the characters Sheldon (played by Jim Parsons) and Raj (played by Kunal Nayyar) play the game Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock. Many other games are played in the Big Bang Theory, including Dungeons and Dragons, Settlers of Catan, Race for the Galaxy, Jenga, and 3D chess.

How do you play Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock?

Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock is an expansion of the game Rock-Paper-Scissors. It is played with two players. Each player chooses one of five possible moves: rock, paper, scissors, lizard, or Spock. The rules of Rock-Paper-Scissors determine the winner.

Rock crushes scissors.

Scissors cuts paper.

Paper covers rock.

Rock crushes lizard.

Lizard poisons Spock.

Spock smashes scissors.

Scissors decapitates the lizard.

Lizard eats paper.

Paper disproves Spock.

Spock vaporizes rock.

How do you play 3D chess?

3D chess is a variation of the game chess played on a three-dimensional board. The game is played with two players, and the same rules as regular chess apply. However, more possible moves and strategies exist due to the additional dimension.

There are many variations of 3D chess, but the Star Trek 3D chess set is the most popular. This set is based on the chess set from the television show Star Trek: The Next Generation. It features a three-dimensional board with 24 squares in each dimension. The pieces are designed to look like they are from the Star Trek universe and include Federation and Klingon ships.

Riverdale (2017)

The 2017 television show Riverdale features a scene where the character Ben (played by Moses Thiessen) and Dilton (played by Major Curda) play the game Griffins and Gargoyles, which is a fiction game in only in the series people will be happy to know with poison being involved in the game!

What is Griffins and Gargoyles?

Griffins and Gargoyles is a fictitious board game in the Netflix series Riverdale.

The game consists of dice and quests that the players must complete. Players can earn points by completing quests, and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

The players in the game of Griffins and Gargoyles can pick any character they want to play as. The characters have unique abilities that can help players during the game. To complete the quests, the players must listen to the game master and follow his instructions. Sometimes, the players must dress up in costumes to match their characters.

The game has similar traits to Dungeons and Dragons, with players using their imagination to create their characters and story.

The game is dangerous, as it involves poison. In the show, Ethel drinks the second of two chalices and ends up in the hospital due to playing the game. Thankfully the game is not real, and we are sure it never will unless made a little friendly for its players!

Knives Out (2019)

The 2019 film Knives Out features a scene where the characters Halan (played by Toni Collette) and Marta (played by Ana de Armas) play the game Go. As previously mentioned is a Chinese board game where the aim is to surround more territory than your opponent.

Hunter x hunter (2011)

The adventure anime television show Hunter x Hunter features a scene where the characters Gon (played by Mariya Ise) and Killua (played by Megumi Han) play the game Gungi. The game is a two-player board game that uses a 9×9 grid gameboard. The competition aims to checkmate your opponent’s King piece.

What is Gungi?

Gungi is a two-player board game with a 9×9 grid game that aims to checkmate your opponent’s King piece.

The game is unique because pieces can be stacked on top of each other. Players can make stacks of up to three parts, and stacked parts are more complex since players can only take the opponent’s pieces if their stack number is the same or less. Additionally, each piece’s move set changes depending on the number of stacks, enabling them to expand their movement range.

The game has similarities to Chess and Shogi (Japanese Chess), but the stacking system is what makes Gungi unique, providing strategic depth.

Avatar The Last Airbender (2005)

The animated show Avatar The Last Airbender features a scene where the characters Aang (played by Zach Tyler Eisen) and Katara (played by Mae Whitman) play the game Pai Sho. Pai Sho is a fictional tile-based game to form patterns using tiles.

What is Pai Sho?

Pai Sho is a fictional tile-based game to form patterns using tiles. The game is played with white and black tiles; each player has a set of tiles. Players take turns placing their tiles on the board, and the first player to form a specific pattern wins the game.

Pai sho is played on a large, circular board split into as many as twelve sections and divided into a grid of coloured squares. This grid can be limited to 10×10 squares or have as many as 18×18. Round tiles are used as pieces, with each tile having a different image. Players receive a certain number of tiles placed and moved around the board. Depending on the rules, a player has as many as sixty tiles, which can be placed on over two hundred spots on the board.

There are various tiles in Pai Sho, each with its image. The most well-known tiles are the White Lotus and the Blue Lotus. However, the game board and pieces can vary depending on the culture it is being played in.

There are many iterations of the rules, as many are all fan based, so you can find various rules online or make up your own. You can purchase boards or make your own out of wood if handy.

The game is first seen in the show being played by two older women, and later Aang and Katara play a match. The game is used as a metaphor for the relationship between Aang and Katara, with Aang being the White Lotus and Katara being the Blue Lotus.

Counterpart (2017)

The show Counterpart features a scene where the characters Howard Silk (played by J.K. Simmons) and Peter Quayle (played by Harry Lloyd) play the game Go. As previously mentioned, Go is a Chinese board game aiming to surround more territory than your opponent.

Go appears a lot in series and movies, as seen from this list. It’s a classic game that has stood the test of time. If you want something new to watch, why not try one of these shows or movies or grab the board games in them?

Final Thoughts

Board games are a staple of many homes around the world. They provide a great way to spend time with family and friends and can be a learning tool. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out some examples above.

From classic games like Monopoly to more modern ones like Settlers of Catan, there’s sure to be a board game for everyone. Thanks for reading!

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