Thursday, March 22, 2012

Going Cardboard: A Documentary Micro Review

Boardgamegeek is down for maintenance as I write this, thus you get my random musings for a bit.

Let me start by saying that I am not a film critic, nor am I very good with documentaries, but this one begs for the BoBG audience.

I recently received Going Cardboard, a boardgame documentary.  I watched it last night and rather enjoyed it.   Lorien Green conceived the idea and over the course of a few years, many hours of film, and a lot of interviews, she had a full fledged documentary.  This documentary focuses a fair bit on game design with input from Donald X. Vaccarino of Dominion fame, Alan R. Moon best known for Ticket to Ride and Incan Gold, as well as Reiner Knizia who has published many, many games.  Each designer speaks of their experiences getting published, learning the market, and running things as a businessman.  Jay Tummleson, the President of Rio Grande Games, talks a lot about the production aspect of the game industry.  I personally enjoyed the bit about naming his company, and then what he looks for in bringing a game over from Germany, as well as other game designs.

Another fun aspect of the documentary was different people talking about their game collections.  It's scary to think that 200-500 games is considered a modest collection. For the record, mine hovers around 80 games not counting expansions.  It was fun to see just a bit of the largest recorded game collection which was 11,000-11,500 when filmed, and over 12,000 before the final copy was made.  I know that I don't have the space nor money for that, but it's fun to dream.

I think the best part of Going Cardboard is having something that I can show to people who might not love games yet, or know very little about them.  Perhaps all the crazies might be a bad idea, I'm looking specifically at Friedemann Friese and his green spiked hair.  The film also captures that gamers are normal people.  We get together and socialize, we don't all live in basements, and we like having a good time.  We all have other things we do, though some of my friends don't believe that I do.

Going Cardboard captures the imagination.  It gives board gamers a film to call their own.  Is it a perfect documentary? Not really.  I personally thought it focused too much on the designers and a few specific games without giving emphasis to the players or why people play.  Perhaps a sequel Lorien Green?  I still consider this an hour+ well spent in my life.  The DVD is loaded with extras that I've barely started on.  Those provide great info about a specific aspect. For instance, I watched one about 3M games back in I believe the 70's.  It was a good bit, all of 5 minutes long, but it gave me some knowledge that wouldn't have fit into the film, but worked very well as a snippit.

If you'd like to learn more, visit and perhaps by a copy for yourself.  It is a little pricey, but I promise that it is well worth the cost.  Also helps to go in it with a friend or game group and split the costs.

If you're near me and you'd like to check it out, let me know, I'd be happy to show it to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment