Sunday, July 8, 2012

Tabletop - Gaming, Pop Culture and WHEATON, Oh My!

I wanted to take a little bit of time to talk about Tabletop. No this isn't miniatures gaming, it's Wil Wheaton and 3 celebrities playing various board games and having a good time doing it.  It's on Youtube every other Friday, with the next episode airing on 7/13.  You can find it here, or just search on Youtube for Tabletop.
Wil Wheaton. You may know
him from Star Trek TNG, Eureka,
The Big Bang Theory, or other things.

So that's where to find the show, but what exactly is it?  Well, that's a good question.  Essentially, the show is Wil and 3 celebrities getting together and playing a game.  They explain the rules, show highlights of game play, and most importantly, they show people having a good time with the game.  Most of the time the players have never played the game, or only played a couple of times, so they are by no means experts.  This isn't a show for great strategy, but you get to see people learn a game and talk about it.

The next thing you're probably wondering is, what games do they play?  Well, they're most introductory games or gateway games.  So far they've played Small World, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Get Bit, Zombie Dice, Tsuro, Munchkin, Castle Panic, and Gloom.  Most of these are good games, and they are all good for conversation and good moments.  They aren't all gamer's games, but this show is directed to the masses.

That brings us to the audience.  The show is on the Geek and Sundry channel, which is Felicia Day's Youtube network.  As such, you're targeting a lot of people that already have "geeky" inclinations, such as WoW players, D&D players, and other people in those areas.  Figure you typical person who hangs out in the local Comic Book shop.  I think there's a built in appeal for people to get together and play something based on this, so it's a great target audience.  Plus, since it's on youtube, the person searching for random videos might come across an episode and enjoy it, then go pick up the game.

Tabletop presents every game they play in a positive light.  They try to talk about who might enjoy it, and most importantly, they have fun playing it.  I think that attitude goes a long way.  It doesn't really matter what you're playing, so long as you're having fun.  I've played most of the games on Tabletop.  The ones I haven't played, I'm interested in.  I went out and bought Tsuro after seeing them play 1 game.  I want to acquire Get Bit soon.  I have Zombie Dice on my phone, so no need to buy the cardboard version.  Castle Panic looks fun, I'd certainly play it, I just don't think I need to own it.  Gloom has me on the fence.  I think the theme is fun, it appeals to my dark side, but I don't know who else I could get to play it.

In the future, I'd love to see Tabletop play some of the following games

  • Dixit (great party game, great story telling game, should be in Wil's wheelhouse)
  • Pandemic/Forbidden Island (Another good co-op, easy to play, fun to watch what happens)
  • 7 Wonders (Civ building in 30-50 minutes, not the easiest game to teach, but fun to see it progress)
  • Incan Gold (Push your luck adventuring into a temple and trying to get treasure)
  • For Sale (Probably good in another short game episode like Get Bit/Zombie Dice/Tsuro)
  • Star Fluxx (Wil can parody himself parodying himself)


  1. Hah! Wil should TOTALLY play Star Fluxx! That's a brilliant idea!

    1. Word on the street has it that Star Fluxx is indeed going to be an episode.