Finding ways to entertain or pass the time with your 친구 (friends) and 가족 (family) in Korea isn’t very difficult, especially with the multitude of 방s (rooms) on every street that are there for just that purpose. A 노래방, or singing room, is a super popular choice of entertainment for everyone, it seems. Then there is of course the PC방, where you and yours can play PC games to your heart’s content for a small hourly fee. A DVD방 is smaller and more intimate than a 영화관 (movie theater), especially with a huge collection of movies to choose from and its private rooms that include couches, wide-screen TVs, and surround sound. Then there is the 보드 카페 or 보드 게임 카페 or 보드 카페 게임방… whatever you want to call it, it’s a board game cafe/room.
Although the 보드 카페 fad peaked 5-6 years ago, you can still find a good number of these cafes around town, especially in places where the nightlife is really hoppin’, usually around universities. In Seoul, these areas include 홍대, 강남, 명동, 신촌, 압구정…etc.
보드카페s allow you to spend as long as your money allows you to play your favorite board games. For just 1,000-2,000원 per person for an hour, you and your friends can choose an empty table, and then a waitress/waiter will come and bring you the menu of games! 4-6 people per table works the best, but you can choose from a ton of games, including Risk, Life, MadGab, Clue, UNO, Battleship, SORRY!,…the list seriously seems like it goes on forever. After the game is chosen, tell your waitress/waiter your choice and they will bring the game to your table. The 직원/종업원 (employees) are well versed on how to play all of the games, so if there are any questions of discrepancies in how a game is played, just call on your waiter/waitress and he/she will explain it to you. If you’re in the middle of a game and become bored or someone is getting too intense and frustrated (everyone has that kind of friend…), you can switch games. In fact, you can switch as many times as you’d like!
In addition to board games, you can also order 음료 (drinks) and 과자/스낵 (snacks) for purchase. After all, it is a cafe, so what good would it be if you couldn’t order coffee? Although, most 보드카페places are perfectly fine if you decide to bring your own refreshments.
Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that if someone loses, you get to use one of those squeaky giant plastic hammers to whack the loser on the head 😀
Korea’s 보드 카페; just one of the many ways to cure boredom and have some fun with your friends or family while you’re here.