[Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the author’s 2022 Masters of Education thesis titled Das Brettspiel als narratives Medium. Translated from the German by Evan Torner.]
Media, as Marie-Laure Ryan has described it, are like a piping bag: stories are a kind of formless mental construct or, in our metaphor, icing. The piping bag is the medium. Only through the use of the medium does a concrete narrative emerge, pressed out in a decorative form that invites our consumption. Different media can tell the same story, and yet their differing structures will produce different forms.
If one’s idea of board games begins with Hey, Don’t Get Angry (Mensch ärgere dich nicht), then one can hardly imagine how they, as an independent medium, can convey something on a narrative level. And yet stories and/or storyworlds from board games have been used in other media, and vice versa.
On the one hand, the TV show Batman: The Animated Series (1992) received a whole series of board games, as did the Hellboy (1993-) comic series, as well as the computer game This War of Mine (2014), to name but a few examples. On the other hand, many board games get computer-game versions made, and the storyworlds created for them are continued in books.
It is thus not controversial that the board game serves as a legitimate medium for media transfer and/or that it can be seen as a legitimate medium for telling and expanding upon a story. But how did it come about that board games apparently became one of Ryan’s piping bags?
Board Games: History and Development
The oldest board games date back to 5000 BC. Numerous other sources indicate that board games were known and popular throughout antiquity and the Middle Ages, across all social classes. They were mostly games of chance or strategy in which figures/tokens were drawn according to given rules until a clear goal was achieved; the opponents had the same starting conditions with the same figures. This type of board game is called the “classic” board game.
In modern times, from the end of the 18th century, so-called “war games” were introduced. Although they primarily served as military training and exercise for Prussian officers, they also served as entertainment and can therefore be viewed as the predecessors of modern wargames, i.e. board games that depict a military, often-historical conflict in which the player’s strategic performance is decisive for victory. However, after two world wars, war-themed games in war-weary Europe were reduced to a small niche. In the following post-war period, i.e., when both time and opportunities were again available for play, board games were increasingly viewed as a legitimate and relaxing leisure activity. Games such as Cluedo and Scrabble, still widely played today, were ascendent in Europe in the 1950s and 1960s. In America, however, wargames enjoyed increasing popularity among the civilian population, especially thanks to Tactics in 1954.
Wargames helped bring about two fundamental changes to board games: First off, the fighting parties were no longer fundamentally identical in set up. Second, complex military aspects of a military operation were (and are) reduced to simplified numbers – range of movement of different types of troops, combat strength depending on troop strength, effects of terrain on movement speed, as well as offensive or defensive combat actions and much more, depending on the complexity of the game, with the probabilities now being simulated with dice rolls. Even today’s digital strategy games still often rely on this principle. An illustrative example from The Battle of the Five Armies, a comparatively simple, modern wargame:
During an attack, one of the following applies: the more troops attack, the more dice the attacker has at his disposal. The basic rule here is 5+, which means that the defender has to accept losses for every die that is five or higher. However, this can be modified in many ways. If, for example, an attack takes place over a ford or up a mountain, the first round of combat is 6+, because the attackers have a much more difficult time storming the defender’s lines due to the terrain. If there are any defenses, the 6+ applies until all defenses have been destroyed.
The success of the wargames led to an increase in the diversity of the conflicts discussed, including wars and battles from the Middle Ages. Chainmail, published in the 1970s, stood out in particular because it was the first board game to add optional rules for creating conflicts from the literary worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien or Robert E. Howard, in addition to being able to design one’s own battles. Such fictional scenarios were an absolute novelty: before that, wargames were based on historical or fictional conflicts.
The consequence of this was revolutionary for the hobby games industry, because the ability to express various attributes and/or properties in numbers and to be able to integrate them into a fantasy world enabled a shift in perspective from playing as the commander of countless troops to playing only one or a few individuals, also shifting one’s capacity to tell a story in a playful way.
This led to the rapid rise in tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs), such as Dungeons and Dragons in 1974, as well as game books, which in turn influenced the first digital adventure games, most of which were similar to Tolkien’s world and the Dungeons and Dragons interpretation of it. In TTRPGs, the game master (GM) verbally guides the other players through an adventure. Typical for these types of games is the fact that they have few physical components and usually only consist of a minimal predetermined narrative framework, if any at all. The stories played are primarily created and designed by the GMs and players themselves, with almost no restrictions on narrative possibilities whatsoever, as long as the flow of the game follows the rules of the story world. This is why Germans label these types of games with the Anglicism “pen and paper RPGs,” because they basically require nothing more than pen and paper to play. As for the heroes played by the other players, they have individual properties and attributes, which are usually determined randomly at the beginning of the game by rolling the dice. The players themselves usually first have to create a suitable backstory for their hero: for example, a particularly intelligent hero could have grown up in a monastery and been taught by monks. This principle is similar to that of wargames; the complexity, characteristics and properties of a military unit were reduced to a few numbers; in TTRPGs the same applies to the skills and abilities of individual fictional characters.
For example, if the goal is to talk your way out of a tricky situation, a hero with a high charisma value will have a significantly higher chance of success, because the higher an attribute is, the higher the probability of success. As a rule in such situations, which are usually referred to as a “test”, the value of the tested attribute plus a random dice roll is added together. If the result reaches a certain value specifically required for this sample, the sample is passed. In the example in question, the hero would have successfully talked his way out of the sticky situation. If the result fails, there would be (usually negative) consequences, for example the hero could be arrested. Typical of a TTRPG is that the player playing the hero would have to tell the other players how exactly the hero is trying to talk his way out of this situation. It is also typical that the heroes go through several adventures and improve themselves, learning new skills and abilities, improving those they have already learned, etc. in order to be able to win even more difficult tests and achieve even greater heroic deeds.
Game books, on the other hand, are also known as “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” and are still used today. They are books with multiple endings, during which the reader accompanies the protagonist on his adventures and can determine the further plot at certain points, possibly preventing the protagonist from dying prematurely. The complexity can vary between a fairly simple procedure according to the scheme “if the protagonist is to carry out action a, read on to page x; if he is supposed to do b instead, read on to page y” (often referring to passages instead of pages) and more complex decisions that have a more or less strong influence on the plot of the following chapters or books. The latter usually have a character sheet in which the protagonist’s health, equipment, skills, attributes, etc. must be kept up to date during the course of reading.
More complex game books are therefore not too dissimilar to TTRPGs in terms of gameplay. The main difference between TTRPGs and game books is the interaction and the narrative: in TTRPGs, in principle, everything is possible in terms of interaction, but they often have no predetermined narrative (just a story world with ludic rules), whereas game books have a given narrative with certain options for action at certain points. Neither TTRPGs nor game books are board games in the true sense, but they were still very formative for them, because they demonstrated that stories could also be told in a playful way. Both enabled and influenced narrative board games even decades later, with the aforementioned mechanics of tests and passages being just two particularly prominent features. The most commonly used narrative ––– heroes with certain skills, strengths and weaknesses master an adventure and become stronger as it progresses ––– has also been adopted in many board games that tell a story. Such board games are therefore similar to the literary Arthurian epics as well as Bildungsromane, because without “further education” in the form of improvement and becoming stronger, the later challenges would generally not be possible at all.
Until the 1980s, small breaks with the classic conventions of previous board games had contributed to their popularity. Another defining break came in 1987 with Arkham Horror. Before that title, board games were played competitively. or semi-cooperatively. Arkham Horror was one of the first and most influential purely cooperative board games in which all players played against the game itself, meaning that for the first time all players could win or lose together. In the early 1990s, the popularity of board games slowed down, among other things, because of the rapidly increasing popularity of digital games, but only temporarily: on the one hand, the Eurogames breakthrough came in 1995 with The Settlers of Catan and, on the other hand, interest in narrative games outside of the digital world gradually grew. In turn, this led to board games with concrete, predetermined stories that could be experienced in a playful way being published since the turn of the millennium, which were particularly successful. This can be seen above all in their many supplements, such as for Mice and Mystics (5 supplements within 3 years) or Star Wars: Imperial Assault (48 supplements since the release of the base game in 2014). To put it simply using a book metaphor, these supplements or expansions corresponded to a new volume or a new chapter, with new volumes not necessarily about the same heroes, but about the same world.
Digitization therefore did not prove to be the death of the popularity of board games, but rather as its catalyst ––– a strong community quickly developed, crowdfunding was made possible, etc. Despite all the positive developments that board games owe to digitization, there was and is still a strong desire to remain in the analog scene: hybrid games, i.e., board games that work with digital support (e.g. an app as an opposing AI), have so far had little success. The latest break in traditional conventions was the so-called “legacy” genre, which began with Risk Evolution (2011). All games played, from the first to the last, are linked together in terms of game mechanics and narrative. If a city is destroyed in the fourth game, for example, it remains destroyed in the following games. The consequences are permanent, because legacy games only make each game playable once – materials are destroyed, stickers are stuck on, sealed envelopes are opened, etc. All of these things mean that the game can no longer be restored to its original state and thus the traditional one convention of replayability is broken. “Legacy” has established itself as a legitimate genre of board games, but restoration sets are now being sold for some legacy board games that allow the game to be restored to its original state.
It has been a very long journey for board games over the last 7,000 years, with many changes and developments, until they developed into a medium with which stories could be told. “Interestingly enough,” Arnaudo summarizes the development since the 1960s, “almost every step taken to transport the power of storytelling into board gaming has meant to shatter some of the traditional conventions of the hobby.” But if so many changes have taken place, what exactly remains of the classic idea of a board game? Or to put it another way, what is the definition of a modern board game?
No Board Game without a Game Board? Definition of “Board Game”
If a game consists only of cards, it is a card game, something completely different from a board game. If it only consists of dice, it is a dice game. However, as the condensed summary of the history of board games tried to show, many breaks with classic board game conventions have taken place, so that these classic categorizations have become difficult to adhere to. Even if a board is considered absolutely necessary for a board game, complications quickly arise: what if you want to play Nine Men’s Morris and make improvised use of stones and a playing field scratched into the earth? After all, there is no longer a game board, but everyone would still recognize it as the board game Nine Men’s Morris (as long as they are familiar with the game itself). What about games like Catan? This game has a modular game board. Also, what about games where the actual playing field consists only of interchangeable cards? The same dilemma exists with card games, by definition they only consist of cards, but games like Arkham Horror: The Card Game have other components in addition to cards, such as playing figures and markers. This game also creates a kind of playing field using cards on which the playing figures can move.
However, another well-known term, namely that of “board games”, would also not be applicable, as solo games are becoming increasingly popular and are by no means a novelty in themselves. Accordingly, there are no longer games that require company while playing.
In English, in addition to the term “board game”, there is also the term “tabletop”, which is also occasionally used in German-speaking countries. This means “any game that requires a tabletop for play.” Since the term “board game” nevertheless remains popular in the German-speaking world, but is essentially the equivalent of the English “tabletop”, and even in English a generic “board game” is used for all of the aforementioned categorizations, “board game” is used in this work. also means any game that needs a tabletop to play. The only category that is expressly not discussed further here is that of TTRPGs, because “roleplaying games” include a wide range of play styles from largely improvisational to story-in-a-box.” On the one hand, however, this is about the desideratum of narrative board games, which already tell a story themselves, not about the stories that the players largely (have to) invent themselves.
On the other hand, TTRPGs in particular have been comparatively more researched in the little research on board games, so this is merely a reference to that.
One thing has never changed in all these years when it comes to the reception of board games, however, namely that it always consists of two levels: the level of the game itself and the meta level, i.e. the act of playing the game itself. Stuart Woods describes this meta-level, which is called “meta-game” or “metagame” in English-speaking research, as follows:
When a group of players sit down around a table to play a game, the social metagame begins. The very act of sitting together to engage in competitive play establishes a framework for social interaction that can never be entirely separated from the play of the game itself. If we sit with children or inexperienced players, this metagame may manifest in self-handicapping. With more experienced players we may manipulate, kibitz and plead in ways that bring the game to life. Alternatively, we may sit in silence and imagine that this game-above-the-game is not occurring. Nevertheless, […] this does nothing to alter the situation […]
Alluding to Paul Watzlawick’s famous quote (“You can’t not communicate”), Woods also speaks of “never not playing.” This meta-level is therefore more than a fixed framework between the beginning and end of the game, it is a social construct in which “[Players] work together to create the game world and enforce its separation from the social context,” which is why they appear gameplay and meta levels should be kept as separate as possible. He was also able to prove this empirically when, among other things, his study came to the conclusion that, for board gamers, engaging with the processes of gameplay is much more important than the outcome. Therefore, the game is played “worse” when playing against inexperienced players or house rules are introduced, even if this improves the gaming experience. Cheating to win is downright hated, as is bringing activities from the meta level into the game level, e.g. when a married couple doesn’t play against each other because they don’t want to argue or when there is a threat of consequences in the real world. Yet these levels merely appear to be separate.
On the one hand, there are board games that actively bring the meta level into the game level, and on the other hand, immersion in analog games is created by the fact that the boundaries between the two are blurred and the players are mentally in both levels virtually simultaneously, just as the reader is “immersed” when reading is located in that interstitial area between the fictional diegesis and the reader’s “real” world. But this requires that all players submit to the rules and the dice rolls, and in accordance with the willful suspension of disbelief, surrender to the illusion of playing in another world and reach the state of “flow”. Flow, first defined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, summarizes Arnaudo as “a deeply pleasurable state of increased focus on a challenging activity,” i.e., a positively perceived feeling of being completely absorbed in an action or fictional world while the demands for action and your own abilities are in balance. The previously mentioned examples of cheating, among other things, destroy this illusion because they break the rules of the game and inevitably draw attention back to the here and now, thus abruptly interrupting both the flow and the immersion for everyone involved in the game.
Regarding immersion, the following should be said: Just as reading is more than just looking at writing, playing board games is more than just moving pieces. With regard to reading, there is a lot of research on various situation models – but the principle is the same; when reading, a mental image of what you have read is created, which is then modified or supplemented in the course of reading. However, this only works when one’s reading ability has reached a certain level. According to the models of Wolfgang Lenhard as well as Cornelia Rosebrock and Daniel Nix, various high-hierarchy (e.g., global coherence formation) and low-hierarchy processes (e.g., recoding letters and decoding words) must be automated as far as possible so that the cognitive power for the mental image is available. Only an experienced reader can muster the cognitive power to immerse themselves in what they are reading. Only then can this person find joy in reading and history. Accordingly, when it comes to board games, only those who do not focus on individual rule sequences, the meaning of individual markers, etc. can find joy in the story told through the board game and have the cognitive power to delve into the events of the game and experience immersion. They must concentrate. To put it simply: in contrast to an experienced reader, an inexperienced reader cannot easily enjoy the story being told. The same applies when the medium changes to board games. Experienced board gamers therefore find it easier to have more cognitive capacity for mental models, as they are no stranger to complex rules and procedures, just as rhetorical devices or idioms are to experienced readers.
Therefore, learning a board game itself can become its own “hero’s journey” at the meta-level, where the player himself optimizes his moves and tactics and thus becomes a “stronger” and more experienced player as the game progresses. One should remember Johan Huizinga’s “homo ludens”, cited in most research on games. In the words of Stefan Derpmann, in brief: “[…] [Huizinga] shows that the person who plays develops through the game and thereby unfolds.” Regarding the game level, Roger Caillois categorized all games in a scheme still discussed in game studies. In this scheme, there are four categories –– “agon” (competition), “alea” (coincidence), “mimicry” (disguise) and “ilinx” (vertigo) –– each of which lies between the poles “paidia” (joy) and ” “ludus” (rules of the game). Although this scheme dates back to the 1960s and applies to all games from sports to crossword puzzles to children’s dress-up, the scheme can also be applied to modern board games: agon corresponds to the competitive aspect, alea to the chance-based aspect, mimicry, to a certain extent, like putting yourself in the shoes of fictional board game characters, and ilinx corresponds to the game’s flow. Depending on the board game, the categories have different degrees of strength. paidia originally corresponds to spontaneous playing with toys, without a goal, simply for the joy of playing. Although the motivation when playing board games is in principle intrinsic in nature, the course of the game is usually associated with many coincidences. Furthermore, components and rules should be “[p]lacative, simple, easy to understand, pragmatic […] – appropriate to the medium.” But since even the simplest board games have clear rules about victory and defeat, as well as rules for the game itself, and since these rules must be strictly adhered to so that the board game can function at all, all board games can be assigned to the area of ludus. However, depending on the complexity of the game or its rules, the ludus aspect varies in intensity.
According to Clara Fernández-Vara, (digital) games should be viewed more as texts in research, which is why, on the game level, a comparison with the literary division into histoire and discourse is useful. Game studies has dealt very intensively with such parallelisms and divided games (in this case digital games, later generalized to all games) into their narrative and ludic aspects, narratology and ludology, whereby both pairs of terms mean essentially the same thing. Narratology is similar to literary histoire -–– “what is being told?” is its main focus, but it also determines the “how it is being told” of the discourse as long as it has absolutely no playful relevance. Ludology deals with all playful aspects, correspondingly, albeit greatly simplified: “what and how is it played?”
This division led to an academic debate sometimes referred to as a “blood feud.” On the one hand, there were the ludologists who viewed the (digital) game primarily as a game in itself and viewed potential narratives, if at all, only as a means to an end. Opposite them were the narratologists who saw the stories at the center of the (digital) game, in which ludic aspects only served to tell this story. In the meantime, there are still preferred forms of this narrative, but there is also relative consensus that ludic and narrative elements influence each other and that games cannot therefore be classified in one of these extremes, but rather a mixed form, or in Stefan Schubert’s words “partly narrative, part game, part cultural artifact.” This also applies to board games. There, the gameplay can also be divided into narrative and ludic levels. When it comes to board games, too, they influence each other and therefore cannot be categorized as one of the extremes. This narrative level is the crucial point why, in my opinion, board games should be viewed as a narrative medium.
Board Games as Narrative Media
A text can be viewed as “narrative” as soon as there is at least one actor, when different points in time can be determined and, during these, a causal transformation process from initial state x to final state y takes place, whereby all of this is only a minimal definition. These minimum conditions also apply to transmedia. According to Werner Wolf, narratives arise on a mental level, with the medium itself only providing the triggers that are cognitively decoded, which is why even pictures and sculptures have the potential to become narratives. Using these minimal definitions, all board games would have to be narrative, because they all have a clear starting position and a different state at the end, with various situational changes occurring on the playing field in between. If one assumes Wolf’s theses on narratives, every illustrated component of a board game would have to have its own narrative – every standee, every miniature, every illustrated card, the game board itself, etc.
While all of this may be true, however, such board games would not necessarily be able to tell stories on their own. Since the same could be said about argumentative or descriptive texts, Wolf suggested the following addition to the minimal definition of narrative:
[…] the representation of at least rudiments of a world that can be imagined and experienced, in which at least two different actions or states are centered on the same anthropomorphic figures and are related to each other in a potentially meaningful but not necessary way through more than mere chronology. “
But if you consider that a variant of the Tarot game was already popular in the 15th century, in which the players used the cards to invent short stories (not re-tell them), this definition is not sufficient for board games. This definition would also apply to various wargames in which, in a war scenario, the actions in the world of the game are centered on the units (of whatever size) and the actions in more than just one chronological connection (but also tactically, usually it is also known what both sides want to achieve and why). Nonetheless, it would be difficult to argue that wargames fundamentally tell stories. In his analysis, Arnaudo combined ludic and narrative elements in his definition of narrative board games and summarized them in a total of thirteen features that at least largely occur for a board game to be considered narrative. In his opinion, in a condensed, partly summarized form, the following applies:
A board game must have content and be able to represent it, as well as appropriate components, rules and mechanics (1-3). Events depicted are not only thematic but also causal (5). All of this helps to create and complement the fictional world depicted in the game (4). Players control individual characters that enable identification (6). These characters are significantly different from each other, have their own goals, and change throughout the game, which in turn promotes player interest (7–11). The strategies players use correspond to the strategies and possibilities of what their individual characters might use in their fictional world (12). Finally, the ludic design of a board game must have a progressive structure (13).
The emphasis here is that these characteristics at least “mostly occur” in a board game, because some games that clearly tell a story do not meet all criteria, which in turn makes comparisons and analyzes difficult. There are other attempts to categorize narrative games that have legitimate arguments, but these are either too narrow (focused on a specific area) or too broad (allowing too few distinctions between the games). “Eurogames” are an example. Their designers are often accused of focusing purely on the game mechanics when designing new games (ludic level) and only imposing an arbitrary theme on the product at the end. Admittedly, most Eurogames do not have a story in the actual sense, most only have a theme, such as Catan, with the settlement of an island, or Ticket to Ride, with the construction of railway lines. Accordingly, all components also correspond to this topic. However, a board game’s theme always belongs to the narrative level, because otherwise, as far as the ludic aspects are concerned, it would be irrelevant whether single-colored cards were simply drawn instead of cards with colored moves. Furthermore, a ludic discourse is also possible in Eurogames, as Booth demonstrated using three board games about the colonization of Mars: narrative elements repeatedly appeared, including capitalism, neoliberalism, technological progress etc. Sometimes the theme itself can be a message conveyed through the board game. For example, Junta is a political-satirical examination of the instability in banana republics. Even with thematic board games, the topic can be serious – The Grizzled deals critically with the psychological stress on soldiers in the First World War. All of this applies to all board games with a theme, not just the Eurogames. Furthermore, Stewart Woods’ empirical research on this revealed that although a story is not considered significant in Eurogames, a game’s thematic nature is viewed as at least somewhat important by the vast majority of players. However, such a distinction between topic and narrative is missing in the previously mentioned models.
Another example is board games that tell a (usually very short) introductory story at the beginning, which is then played to the end in the game itself. Some even have an epilogue that is meant to be read after the game. This occurs primarily in board games designed for younger children, but not exclusively. Such games would also not fit in any of the models mentioned. However, since a topic can be assigned to the narrative level, as do introductory stories and epilogues to the games, Eurogames and children’s games cannot nevertheless simply be ignored in narrative models.
Non-Narrative, Thematic, and Narrative Board Games
For the reasons mentioned above, I therefore propose to carry out the following categorization inspired by the history of board games and to differentiate board games into non-narrative, thematic, and narrative board games, whereby the transition is fluid and the division depends on the ratio of the presence of the narrative to the ludic level. It is historically inspired because it reflects the development of board games to a certain extent. First of all, for thousands of years there were almost exclusively narrative-free board games, the “classic” board games. Since the post-war period at the latest, thematic board games (e.g. wargames) have increasingly gained a presence, which was also consolidated in other game genres (e.g. Eurogames) by the 1990s at the latest. A few years before that, the influence of TTRPGs and game books ensured the increasing presence of the narrative level in board games, so that by the 21st century, at the very latest, we could talk about narrative board games that tell their own stories, while the board game medium (and thus also elements of its own ludic level ) is in service of telling these stories. Applied to the model, the categories can be divided as follows: Board games without narrative are those that can be classified almost exclusively on the ludic level. This includes all abstract board games like Scrabble or classic board games like Hey, Don’t Get Angry, etc. Hnefatafl also clearly belongs to this category, but is closer to thematic board games because it has a theme, albeit a weak one (capture/escape of the kings), which, however, is not otherwise developed further in any way. The same applies to chess and its figures, whose historical development is, however, too complex to describe in detail here. Themed board games are those that, well, have a clearly identifiable theme. This can simultaneously be a message conveyed through the medium of board games. This category includes various Eurogames, wargames and the majority of children’s games. Board games with introductory stories or similar are closer to narrative games (e.g. Drunter & Drüber), those that place a particularly strong focus on ludic aspects, those without narrative (e.g. Azul or Monopoly, which has almost 3,000 different reskins. To put it simply, thematic board games are those that cannot be placed in any of the other extremes.
Narrative board games, in turn, are those that tell a story accompanying or during play (i.e. not just introductory and/or concluding), have individuals as protagonists, and the world narrated makes sense according to the Possible Worlds Theory. In all of this, however, the narrative level is clearly more dominant than the ludic one and it is not a ludic victory, but reaching the narrative end that is the real reward. One of the board games of this type mentioned so far is Mice and Mystics. Even if I do not further deal with TTRPGs, they would also be assigned to this category. In other words: we can only speak of narrative board games if their stories could also be told in an interesting way using other media.
Board games have had a long development, in the course of which they have increasingly evolved from narrative-free, abstract games into a medium that can communicate a message or tell entire stories. Since board games differ immensely from one another, however, it is difficult to make a clear distinction when categorizing them, so I have created a model with smooth transitions (non-narrative / thematic / narrative board games), which is based on the presence of the narrative level in relation to the ludic one. Even if not all board games are narrative, the board game itself can still be viewed as a narrative medium.
Featured image is “Ghost Stories Helcon 2008” by Sampo Sikiö CC-BY @ Flickr
Pawel Bornstedt was born in Bielsko-Biala in Poland and holds a Masters of Education (2022) from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany. He teaches German and History at Rhein Gymnasium in Sinzig, Germany.