Boardgames To Go

Mark Johnson's occasional and opinionated podcast, Boardgames To Go, now has its own blog on Boardgamegeek.
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BGTG #132 - GameNight! (with Scott Alden and Lincoln Damerst)

Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!

Have you seen the latest video project on BGG? It's called GameNight!, literally hosted (i.e. in their home) by Lincoln Damerst & Nikki Pontius, as well digitally hosted by Scott Alden on BoardgameGeek's YouTube channel. On this podcast I got to talk with both Scott and Lincoln about GameNight!. At the time of recording they'd put out one show, but by now there are three episodes up.thumbsup

But first, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to ask them about BGG.con. In one of my previous episodes you heard glowing praise from Greg Pettit about the entire event and the new venue (as well as his impressions about the games he played there). It was nice to hear that Scott was very pleased with the way BGG.con is developing, too, particularly this year's enhancements. It really sounds like a fantastic time, and I dearly hope I'll make it back there. I'm pretty sure I will at some point.

Then it's time to talk about GameNight! in detail. To be honest, it kind of slipped my mind that BGG already had its own webshow, All Things Geek. The guys explain how that project has been sidetracked while its host Jess got the chance to live & work overseas for a while. She's young, and everyone should be able to understand you've got to take those opportunities while you can! (I wish I'd had the chance to live & work in another country in my earlier days. Maybe it could still happen for me later.)

Lincoln & Nikki use some of that spiffy video equipment BGG purchased for annual Essen coverage, and they're putting it to good use during the rest of the year. It sounds like Lincoln saw the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: put up some video content on BGG and regain his own game group night. How? By recording the game session, simple as that!

Ok, it's not that simple. Lincoln has to set up all of the video recording equipment, play the game with friends on-camera, and then edit the multi-camera footage into a file that can be uploaded to YouTube. Nikki also plays the games with friends and she does graphics & other editing. It sounds like a lot of work to me (of course it does--I don't do much podcast editing!), but Lincoln assures me that he's getting this down to a routine.

In the inaugural episode, Lincoln & Nikki have Dave Arnott (who you've heard on this podcast) and Aaron over to play Richard Garfield's King of Tokyo. I think this is a good one to start with, because it's short & fun, crossing over different boardgamer interests. (For my part, I think it combines refined/elegant push-your-luck dice mechanics with an exciting/funny theme about giant movie monsters destroying Tokyo).

There are a lot of videocasts out there about boardgames, and the obvious one to bring up in comparison is TableTop, the professional webshow hosted by writer/actor Wil Wheaton on one of YouTube's new professional channels, Geek & Sundry. (It was also professionally funded. Check out this Forbes article where G&S is one of the channels that split $100 million to get started. Wow! Good for them!) The comparisons between GameNight! and TableTop are unavoidable. Both feature friends playing these games we love. However, TableTop uses more video production (titling, acceleration) and semi-gamer guests to focus on introducing & describing games to potential new gamers. I really like how Scott said he wants GameNight! to demonstrate a game night with your friends even more than the game itself. I can't remember if I left it in the edited podcast or not, but Scott said he thought TableTop has done a ton of good for our hobby, and he can see the effects directly on BGG. Besides TableTop, we talk a little bit about some of the other videocasts like Undead Viking's videos and the amazing WatchItPlayed show.

BoardgameGeek TV channel on YouTube
All Things Geek

Geek & Sundry

UndeadViking's videos

And no blog entry about videocasts feels right without a link to Boardgames With Scott.


P.S. I think my next podcast will be my 2012 year-end retrospective.


Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames
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