Discussing Catan on NPR

There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that the pandemic — which is causing many more people to stay at home much more often — has led to increased sales of board games and jigsaw puzzles. In this report from NPR, reporter Rob Schmitz looks specifically at the modern classic Catan (aka Settlers of Catan).

Rob talked to me for the story and some of my comments are included. When he asked about the impact Catan has had on boardgaming, I gushed (if my recollection is correct) even a little more than is included in the final report.

It’s difficult to overestimate, in my view, the influence Catan has had on the design of modern board games. You can’t draw a straight line from every game back to Catan, of course, but that’s also part of its influence. It broke the mold, and was wildly successful doing so. That helped inspire other designers and publishers to take more risks, to be more creative.

We’re all treated to a much richer selection of tabletop games today because of Catan.

You can listen to Rob’s story below, or on NPR’s website (where a transcript is also available).