Tabletop was one of those randomly pleasant discoveries I stumbled across. I wasn’t even searching for anything on YouTube–it was in some sort of automated playlist, and my first thought was “Wtf did you do, YouTube??” But after about 5 minutes into Star Fluxx and I was hooked. And then I apologized for scolding YouTube. Sorry, buddy.
It‘s basically a ~30 minute show where Wil Wheaton invites some guests and friends to play board games with him. The rules are easily explained and you get to observe the fun that ensues.
Here’s Five reasons You Need to watch this wonderful show:
1. Tabletop gaming needs to be revived
In this day and age of tech addiction, board games harken back to a time when…you know, we actually talked to people. Face to face, Without our cell phones or tablets in our hands. We need to encourage this kind of socializing. We CAN have fun by emphasizing social interactions and putting less emphasis on getting wasted (not that you can’t have bourbon too). This socializing is especially true for people with family or who interact regularly with younger people. They can learn storytelling, problem solving, how to cooperate, how to not be a poor loser, etc. Shoot, many adults need to learn those too. Seriously, step away from your tech gear for a night and see what happens.
I admit I was only a very casual tabletop player–I had only played the very popular games like Monopoly, Scrabble, etc. I mean, I loved playing them when I was a kid, and when I go visit my family we have Scramble tourneys, but I had never thought of having a regular “Family Game Night.” What do I look like, a back to school special? The games I used to play were small potatoes though…and Tabletop showed me how simple yet complex and challenging and fun and different tabletop gaming could be. Seriously, this show can be really laugh out loud funny and entertaining. And if it doesn’t make you want to go out and buy a game, you’re more tech addicted than I thought. All the fun they’re having? You can have it too! Now, not every game will appeal to you, but Tabletop will eventually get you intrigued by at least ONE with all the variety it showcases. Long games, short games, strategy, cards, creative, you name it. I’m also still a little sheepish about RPG’s, but if anything convinced me of wanting to try it, it was this show. It was so fun to watch.
3. The Guests
I am not familiar with the majority of guests on this show. But there are writers and game makers and actors and geeks and non-geeks…it’s wonderful. When a guest intrigues me, I Wiki them, and find out what they’ve done. More often then not, I’ve looked into their work and became an instant fan. Hannah Hart (of My Drunk Kitchen), Sam Witwer (of Being Human), and Mike Phirman (of Hard and Phirm) are just a few of the great careers I’ve began to follow now. And I NEVER would have discovered them without Tabletop. It’s also fun to see guests I know–the great incestuous geek and YouTube family, what can you say. The chemistry is real, folks.
4. Will Wheaton
I don’t know, but Will is just kind of a reason by himself. I had seen him on The Guild and other things, but I had never really seen him outside of scripted work. Granted, his introductions are scripted, but for the rest of it, you get an idea of how funny and geeky and charming he is. He seems like the kind of guy you’d want to have a beer with or something. He’s the face of the show, and he’s still one of the reasons I tune in. Plus, you know, it’s fun to see if Will will ever really win. Silly Will, the Winner’s Wall is just for kids!
5. The Gaming Community
I did not know there was such a huge gaming community out there, but I did a Google search and they exist. And they are SO nice (at least, the ones I talked to). They’re welcoming and, I think, truly invested in keeping tabletop gaming alive. They are not all hardcore RPG players, though you can find those people too. Their passion for gaming is just as contagious as Wil’s, and you can tell that this hobby is special for a lot of people. Although I have yet to splurge on all the games I want, I have definitely joined the community as an advocate.
As Wil says… Play more games!
Food for thought:
1. How does a mother, whose second language is English, manage to kick my ass, every time, at Scrabble? Seriously.
2. What’s your favorite board or card game or RPG?
3. When will they have a Dr. Hannah sequel? Pleeeease.