What Tabletop (the show) Means To Me

Wil Wheaton, on his blog, asked readers to do the following:

I have this idea, and I need your help to make it happen: I’ve heard amazing stories from thousands of people over the last year about how Tabletop has touched their lives in a positive way. I would love to share some of those stories with my crew, so they know how much the show they’re working on matters to people they don’t even know. If you have one of those stories, would you please post it in a comment here? Every morning, I’ll print one or two out and read them to the crew before we start shooting.

This is what I wrote in response...

On April 2, 2012, a web show called Tabletop premiered on YouTube as part of the newly formed Geek & Sundry channel.

Little did I know how this show would impact me, my family and friends.

We are a family of gamers - mainly video games. We have a long history of playing MMOs, console games, computer games, etc. My husband and I are both big video gamers, and our kids have grown up exposed to games and love them as well.

We are also D&D/Pathfinder players and have had a standing monthly gaming group that has played for 13 years now, playing in a campaign world my husband created and has run games in for the last 30 years.

We played the usual board games when our kids were small - Chutes & Ladders, Candyland, Sorry, Battleship, etc. But there was a period of about three years (ages 7-10 for our kids) when the kids had mastered all of these board games and weren't old enough for games with a higher level of strategic thought.

Along comes Tabletop.

Most of the games in the first season were games I had never heard of. And the show makes every game look so fun and compelling, I had to go out and get nearly all of them.

From Season 1 there was Small World, Pandemic, Castle Panic, Star Fluxx, Last Night on Earth, Wits & Wagers, Dixit, Fiasco, Gloom, Munchkin, Ticket to Ride, Zombie Dice, Get Bit, Tsuro and Settlers of Catan (Dragon Age RPG, Chez Geek, Alhambra, Elder Sign, Say Anything are the only ones I haven't picked up… yet). From Season 2, I've gotten Forbidden Island, King of Tokyo, Formula D and Resistance.

We play games with our kids now. Fairly regularly. The kids ask to play games with us. It's delightful. My son has taken easily transportable games to school and introduced his friends to the fun of gaming. The gaming goodness is spreading.

Because we have an embarrassment of gaming riches now, we started hosting a Game Night for our friends every other month, playing various games for several hours and introducing them to all of the wonderful games that Tabletop has introduced to us. Many of our friends have started watching Tabletop as a result. Many of our friends who also have kids have started buying games they've enjoyed at our Game Nights to play with their families.

The sense of spreading community is really profound. Tabletop gaming is bringing families closer, friends closer, and introducing the joy of gaming to people who didn't know they were gamers inside.

Thank you for Tabletop.