War, the Most Common Word in a Boardgame Name

Based on data from BoardGameGeek, I did an analysis using natural language processing to identify trends within the board game industry.

What are the most common words used in board game names and descriptions – not accounting for stop words ?

The full analysis is available on Kaggle.

First, I cleaned the dataset by removing German and English stop words, removing expected words such as ‘game’ or ‘dice’ and removing HTML translations of unicode characters.

Below is the top 10 words you will find in board game names.

Top 10 Words in Board Game Names Count
war 1808
monopoly 1026
battle 951
world 606
quiz 598
race 481
star 445
trivia 410
space 372
football 355

It is interesting to note that the third most frequent word is battle which is also related to the ‘war’ theme.

One reason why there are so many war themed board games is that it’s easy to create a story around the war. It is a concept that we are all familiar with and can relate to. War is about battles, relationships, history, bluffing, etc. Most board game mechanics can be translated into war concepts.

I believe that this trend is going to decrease. There are more and more board game developers who are looking for more creative themes. It would be interesting to re-run this analysis in a few years.