In this fresh new age of Nintendo and Xbox and Wii, a normal board game seems, well, a bit boring. A pity, really, since board games involve groups in a social activity, rather than a couple of droolers shouting at a screen and tiring out their fingers.
Meet the board game that can change your mind (and makes a great hostess or kid present). The Settlers of Catan is sort of a primitive Monopoly, in which you and others must colonize an imaginary island, Catan. You must gather resources, build roads, and create a viable infrastructure before everyone else. It's relatively fast-moving (remember those endless Monopoly games?), and is based more on competing with the vagaries of the board set-up than ruining one another (anyone remember Risk?).
The Settlers of Catan has won every major award a board game can win (it's a German game, and the Germans take strategic games very seriously). It's available at www.amazon.com. Gift it and encourage some old-fashioned family fun.