What ? Who? Wha.....? Huh....?
K Wil Wheaton shot to fame when he played Wesley Crusher in Star Trek The Next Generation. He was also a well known figure in the Celebrity poker scene. Subsequently he gained a cult-geek stardom and is now widely seen as THE celebrity geek in a lot of areas. He is also an avid gamer too and plays a variety of games including table top games (i.e. boardgames etc).
Table Top is a new webisode where each episode, Wil will host celebrities to play boardgames. Think of it like Celebrity poker meets boardgames.
In the first episode, Wil, (in case Wil is watching this, HI WIL! BIG FAN! :P ) along with a host of other celebrities (I unfortunately only recognised Grant from Mythbusters) played Small World (one of the earliest games I owned I think but have since sold it since I now have the iPad version :P). Now the production value and all is very top notch. Even the table they are playing on (http://geekchichq.com/) is very nice, very droolable and super expensive! Cheapest I saw was about USD2k or so. So essentially, Wil and his friends (as they do know each other!) play a game and along the way, explain how the game is played. It is essentially inviting the viewer to sit down and watch a group of friends playing boardgames together. Wil is very entertaining as the host, making all sorts of sounds and special effects and helps to make the whole session engaging and fun to watch. There are snippets of interviews of the players during the game play and after to capture their thought processes as well as how they feel throughout the game. All in all, a very top notch production and I can't wait to see what other games they have played. Seems they have already shot 20 episodes but Small World maybe their more complex games. Hmmm..... next up is Settlers... so lets see....
This brings to mind an important point when I boardgame and why, as of now, boardgaming for me is so fun. Its the people. The people make all the difference. Sure the boardgame itself does play a part but the people will make the entire experience bearable or downright fun! The banter, the laughter, the ribbing and the negotiations will all add to the gaming experience. For example, Colosseum for me when I had it was a meh game. But that was quite early on in my boardgaming "life" when I had it. Recently though when I played it with my regular friday gaming group which can be rather cut throat most of the time, I had a blast! The way we negotiated with each other and then back stabbed, it was truly an experience to remember. For me though, I often feed off the energies of others. Thus while I have enough energy and "oddness" myself to create laughter and fun in the sessions I host, I do depend on the feedback and back-and-forth. Sometimes though it can be tiring to be always hosting and you just want to sit back and play the game. Still, its the people that makes the boardgame sessions enjoyable and having a good boardgame will definitely be the icing on the cake! :)
You can find the first episode here