WORTHINGTON, Ohio — George Sauer, one of four co-founders of the Columbus Area Boardgaming Society (CABS), never expected it to last 30 years.

“Every time someone says 30 years I say ‘oh my God, I’m getting too old to be playing games,’” Sauer said.

What You Need To Know

  • Columbus Area Boardgaming Society was established 30 years ago

  • There are currently 200 members who use a library of 1,300 games

  • Membership to the society is $70, but only $50 to join in June

  • The society meets every Saturday in Worthington 

The Circleville native’s leadership and marketing of the organization are a few of the reasons the society is celebrating 30 years. 

“We would start traveling between each other’s houses, playing games together,” Sauer said. “Then when we do that we start talking about the other friends and we find out that our circles kind of intermingle.”

The Columbus Area Boardgaming Society has 200 members, a number that continues to rebound after the pandemic. 

Members of all ages and skill levels meet around 50 times a year and have access to a library of 1,300 games. Visitors can check out games and bring them home to play.

Sauer says that personal interaction was missed during the pandemic shutdown. 

“It’s hard not to be around people, you know,” Sauer said. “These games are available online and a lot of us play sometimes with a lot of friends online, but there’s nothing like sitting around the table with your friends, talking about and crushing you and making you cry.”

Sauer also says one highlight for him is new seeing families and game designers visit.

“My friends and I played a lot until we all had kids and once they were old enough to get away from the house again,” said Westerville resident Erin Gillogly. “We started just playing again, and we found CABS and it’s been a really great place for us to come and meet people who also play games.”

“Without people like him, and without organizations like this, we wouldn’t be in a golden age of gaming,” said game developer Jerry May, a Gahanna resident. “It’s got an opportunity to reach out to people who don’t have all these games to come here, to spend time with other people and hopefully grow and get back together and play together.”

Although one of the original founders has since passed away and two of Sauer’s other friends are no longer involved in CABS, he says he will continue to carry the torch. 

The long-time General Manager of the Buckeye Premier Youth Soccer league says he is even looking to expand the operation to a larger facility so gamers can enjoy the in-person experience for generations to come. 

“We all have those moments with our friends and that’s what it’s about, building friendships forever,” says Sauer. 

CABS costs $70 a year to join, but only $50 to join in June. Those funds go to operating costs, including rent. 

The club meets every Saturday in Worthington.