By Victoria McNally // SWNS


One in five people have banned a board game for causing problems on Game Night, new research suggests. 

And out of those who’ve brought down the banhammer, it’s Monopoly that stands out as the most debated — and most forbidden — board game of all time. 

In a recent survey of 2,000 U.S. residents, 20% say that their game nights with friends or family members are often or always disrupted by competitive or unfriendly behavior.

Commonly cited antics included someone quitting because they were losing (46%), someone accusing another player of cheating (44%), and two or more players getting into an argument (44%).

Thankfully, according to data reported by OnePoll on behalf of Z-Man Games, only 11% of respondents said they’ve witnessed a physical fight break out.

Still, these occurrences have consequences; not only have 22% banned certain games, but another 22% have had to ban a particular player from their game night.,

Thirteen percent even confessed that they themselves are the problem player “every time” or “most of the time.”

Age may have an impact, as boomers aged 57 and older were far more likely to say they’re “never” the problem (71%) compared to Gen Xers aged 41 to 56 (57%), Millennials aged 25-40 (38%), and Gen Zers aged 18-24 (24%).

On the other hand, younger gamers were more likely to report having banned a player in the past — 32% of Gen Z and 24% of millennials compared to 11% of Gen X and 5% of Boomers.

This may be in part because Gen Z respondents were also more likely to prefer games where they work with a team against other teams (38%), particularly compared to Boomers, who prefer to compete on their own against other players (48%). 

“Competition brings out the best in some people but the worst in others,” said Justin Kemppainen, Director of Brand Management at Z-Man Games. “This can manifest in small ways, like low-level grumping and sulking while playing, but it can blow up into shouting and strife, which can ruin a gaming experience. Looking beyond just competitive games could be better for your gaming group to avoid conflict.”

Despite the rise of social distancing, many game enthusiasts are finding creative ways to get together remotely, leading to only a 13% decrease in game nights last year compared to the previous average.

While many respondents agreed that in-person games are much more “intense” (52%) and “competitive” (42%) than remote ones, four in ten describe remote games as more “relaxed.”

In fact, half (50%) said that remote games are either just as or more fun than in-person ones.

And although winning is an important reason for playing games for 41% of respondents, only 29% are actively concerned with “beating everyone else.”

Being on the same team and battling against a common foe in a cooperative game can create a sense of shared triumph during a victory or shared mourning in defeat,” Kemppainen added. “Better yet, any negative emotions get directed toward inanimate cardboard instead of people!”

But for three-fourths (75%) of people, winning isn’t nearly as important as the No. 1 reason for playing games: having fun. 



  1. Board games (i.e. Monopoly) – 86%
  2. Card games (i.e. Poker) – 80%
  3. Dice games (i.e. Yahtzee) – 58%
  4. Party games (i.e. Charades) – 51%
  5. Knowledge or pub quiz (i.e. Trivial Pursuit) – 47%
  6. Strategy games (i.e. Settlers of Catan)  – 35%
  7. Tile games (i.e. Mah-jong) – 33%
  8. Role-playing games (i.e. Dungeons and Dragons) – 29%
  9. Pen and paper games (i.e. Hangman) – 28%
  10. Miniature games (i.e. Warhammer) – 15%


  1. Monopoly – 44%
  2. Uno – 37%
  3. Sorry! – 27%
  4. Scrabble – 25%
  5. Jenga – 24%


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