I started my idea to develop the electronic version of boardgames late in 2000.
I was not yet a boardgame author, so I was trying to approach the boardgame world using my software development knowledge.
I live in Padua that is only 30 minutes far from Venice where I knew Venice Connection have his office. So I send an email trying to approach VC team with the idea to develop freely a game they published. I was answered by Leo Colovini who invite me to meet him.
We talked a bit about this (rather new for me) world.
Internet for online games were still not so popular in 2000, but I already had the chance to play Quake and Unreal online using a flat internet connection. I also discovered the Microsoft Zone portal and played a lot to Backgammon (this game also gave me some idea to desing my Fantasy Pub).
I explained to Leo my idea of an online portal where to play boardgame, following the same model made by Microsoft Zone.
He instead had a different view of the boardgame on the computer: he like the idea to play against an artificial player moved by the computer. He show me his Cartagena, but I had no more time and interest in that project.... even if the idea still remained in my mind...
At the moment there are several online portals where you can play boardgames.
These are mainly grouped in two categories: Play By Mail (PBM) and Play in real time.
The most famous for playing in real time is surely Brettspielwelt where a lot of good boardgames are implemented. Days of Wonder has also several games they have published that can be played online. There are some interesting sites where you can play chess as at 64squar.
There are also several portals where you can play by mail, like for instance the one implemented by my friend MaBi MaBiWeb . Another is Boardgamegeek where there you can play Euprhat & Tigris and some other games. Another one is Yucata , but there are many others..