I have been lucky enough that my journey with board games has not only continued, but has grown exponentially with friendly gatherings and a group not content with the "same old same old". But the majority of people I know have no idea that there are more games out that beyond Sorry, Uno, Battleship, Game of Life, and anything published before 1985. Perhaps the reason for this is that it is difficult – without intentionally pursuit – to come across anything other than your average board games within your nationwide toy or department store. Because of this the only exposure people have to games are within the toy and child sections of said stores and thusly people feel that the only people who partake in this past-time have not yet reached puberty.
This is the main reason, I believe, why board games get a bad wrap. With their placement and lack of distribution by retailers they have been linked with adolescence and therefore abandoned once people reach their adulthood. There have been all too many times where I would invite friends over for "game night" and would be rejected, as they told me that they just weren't into board games. Board and card games need to find their place in mainstream adulthood.
But many people don't understand that there are many games available to the masses beyond what Mattel, Milton Bradley, and Parker Bros have released. Companies like Jackson Games, Twilight Creations, Paizo and Catan have kept tabletop games alive and flurishing for anyone who wishes to keep their creativity alive. And speaking of... Why must we give up our games once we reach adulthood? I love cribbage, spades, and chess just as much as the next geek and senior citizen, but why can't I intermingle that with killing zombies, taking over countries, wearing outragious armorments, exploring uncharted lands, and doing all while sitting around a table, drinking with a bunch of friends? I say we need more time away from our virtual realities and more time in our livign rooms.
I think that if we see Operation, Stratego, and Pictionary on the shelves of our local Wal-Mart, then we should also see games like Pandemic, Small World, Ticket to Ride, and Forbidden Island up there as well.