Mid last month, I finally uploaded a video with my face in it to YouTube. It was for the TableTop Father’s Day contest. The prize was getting to be one of five videos compiled into one and introduced by Wil Wheaton. The challenge: to explain how gaming and your dad are tied together in 60 seconds or less. Here is my entry, which made top ten, but not top five.
TableTop is a YouTube show, the goal of which is to introduce awesome tabletop games (board, card, and dice games) to viewers. Each episode runs 25-30 minutes, during which Wil Wheaton first explains the rules of the game, then plays through it with a few other nerdy celebrities so you actually get a feel for the flow of the game. Finer points of the rules are explained in text as they arise. If the game runs longer than the show allows for, they do a cut which is neatly stitched together with fun music and an overview of the score. Each episode is a compact yet thorough introduction to the featured game, with bonus points for the players being entertaining to watch.
All of the games they’ve showcased so far look great. Given the cost and annoyance of getting board games shipped to Japan, the fact that I’m not in the best location for finding people to play them with, and the fact that I’ll have to do something with them when I return to the States, I’ve only ordered two so far. However, I would love to try almost every game I’ve seen on the show.
One thing that’s nice about the show is that since they choose generally entertaining people to play the demo games — typically actors, voice actors, and comedians — it’s still worth watching an episode even if you’re a veteran of the featured game. Playful banter abounds. Often the players are new to the game or have only limited experience, which means they make newbie mistakes or accidentally brilliant plays which add an extra element of fun.
In short, I highly recommend TableTop. If you don’t play a lot of board games because you’re accustomed to traditional American board games like Sorry that require little to no strategy, you’ll find that there are a lot of games out there which require a lot more thought. If you already love board games, you’ll either find some new one or enjoy watching other people play.
To wrap up, here’s the final Father’s Day video that TableTop published.