Monday, March 03, 2014

A Confession / TableTop Day

This week's post is ... a few days early.  For Reasons.

I have a confession to make, and it's potentially significant to some of you:

I don't regularly watch Wil Wheaton's TableTop.

It's not because it's a bad show.  It isn't - Wil does a great job of demoing games. Sure, he makes occasional mistakes in teaching, but every demo person does.

It's not because I think the show is in any way bad for the hobby, because that would be crazy. The show has brought non-gamers into game stores looking for games.

It's not because I don't care about the celebrities playing the games - I think that, if Wil can get the celebrities excited about games, then - again - it'll increase the visibility of gaming on the whole.

I think the show has been very good for the industry on the whole. I'm glad that Wil has been able to let his Geek Flag fly. And I'm more glad that he's been able to get other people - including a number of folks who had not previously looked at the Hobby Gaming market - excited about games.

In fact, I follow this geeklist pretty closely, to make sure I'm up-to-speed on the games he's done lately, because I know that on Wednesday at Game Night, someone's going to ask me about the game he demos. And because the show has had such a significant impact, of course.

But I just can't watch videos of game demos when I already know the game in question. I tend to turn into one of those "He missed that rule!" guys. And I hate those guys. Especially because I know all-too-well how difficult it is to demo games. Turning into one of those guys makes me a hypocrite.

So I just can't watch very often.  I've watched a few, and I've enjoyed what I've seen. But I'm also not paying much attention to the game when I watch - I'm paying attention to the interaction between the players.

Last year, they set up an event called TableTop Day, and it was a huge success. More than 3000 _events_ were held.  Some of them were quite large, and some of them weren't.  The Game Store I frequent - Phoenix Games in Muktilteo - reported that it was a significant success for them as far as getting new folks in the door.  Due to scheduling conflicts, I wasn't able to participate last year.

Well, they're doing it again.  April 5th is TableTop Day 2014. And they want to go bigger. More events. More people.  More games.

I was already excited about the event a few weeks ago when I got an e-mail from them.

Out of the blue.

I'm really really terrible at marketing my blog, so I'm always surprised when someone finds me. I don't publicize it nearly as much as I should, due to a crippling lack of confidence. But a few years ago, Wil shared one of my posts on Reddit. So I know he's at least peripherally aware of me. I don't know if he's a regular reader or not.

Apparently someone at TableTop Day has faith in my ability to write, though, because they asked me to write a post for their blog.  So I did.  I wrote about what I know: Being part of a demo team.

And it's live, now, along with a few of my photos.

Here's something that I didn't say in my post that went live today: Wil Wheaton is an excellent game demonstrator. He is enthusiastic. He loves the games. He's confident and knowledgeable. Yes, he makes mistakes, but he's never claimed to be perfect. But - most importantly - the people at his table are clearly enjoying themselves.

This year, my schedule is freer than last. I'll be going to at least one TableTop Day event - I am so very blessed to be living in the greater Seattle area, as we have a number of local TableTop Day events. I have a few games that I've been itching to get to the table, and an event like this is ideal for something like that.

I hope to see a few of you there.


  1. I'm really really terrible at marketing my blog

    Case in point: the headline wasn't, "I wrote a guest blog post for the International TableTop Day blog", and you didn't get around to telling us that fact until 70% of the way through your post about how you don't watch TableTop all that often. ERIC!

    1. See? Maybe I should find a PR person to start screening my posts.

  2. My feelings are pretty much the same. I think the show is great but I rarely watch it. I've never heard of most of the celebrities, I don't generally enjoy watching other people play games, and I tire of the humor quickly. It's just not for me.

    However, I love that it exists and am happy for its success.

    Congratulations on the opportunity.