Video of my reading from PAX Prime: Triple Word Score

While browsing Reddit during my morning coffee, I came across this:

I remember how much I liked writing this story for LA Daily, but until GenCon, I'd never read it in public. Both times I've read it, though, it's gone over very well, so I'll probably add it – at least temporarily – to my performance setlist.

72 thoughts on “Video of my reading from PAX Prime: Triple Word Score”

  1. With that reading, I am officially an “Anne Fan”. That was just what I needed to hear this morning. My husband is an Applied Math/Computer Science guy and I can relate to this story. He does not like Scrabble either. He takes on a whole new, evil personality when we play Monopoly. He does not Play For Fun, he must Strategize. Yay for sweet Scrabble goodness! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Heh! That is so our house – only reversed. My husband is the vix-er. I actually have my grandmothers scrabble board locked away where it shall no longer vex anyone.

  3. LOVED this reading! I smiled so much my face hurt. While I love words in every language, I am pretty vux at Scrabble myself. (Did I use that term correctly?)
    I love stories about you and your wife. You seem so genuinely suited for one another and you actually enjoy your marriage and the time you spend together. It’s so rare to hear of a couple with such respect and admiration for each other, so your stories are very uplifting.
    Thanks as always for sharing this window into your life. :)

  4. Great reading!
    FYI The art for the Gaming Monkey Geek Fight card should be coming in tonight. The artist is providing two versions, and I would like your opinion.

  5. You not only write well but you perform it well, too, which is something not every writer can do. I guess being an actor helps in that regard.
    Is it my memory going haywire or have you talked about this story in one of your Radio Free Burritos, too?

  6. Ah, the tales we tell about gaming. In my family, at least, they take the place of vacation stories and sports stories. My eldest daughter is sitting this Labor Day morning regaling her college friends with D&D stories from games past. Good stuff.

  7. I probably talked about it or something like it on an RFB at some point, though I'm not sure if I actually read it.
    Sigh. I wish I had time and creative energy to cook up a new Burrito.

  8. Yay! Thanks for linking my video, and for helping to explain the surge in views over night. And also thank you for officially releasing under CC. It makes it far less difficult to decide if something is OK to post. I loved your panel, and I think the live D&D panel is vying for my favorite PAX experience of all time. Hope you had fun continuing to be a person at this PAX. Now enjoy your time with your wife! :-)
    (Oh, and I’m the woman who was wearing “The Wesley Crushers” t-shirt, BTW.)

  9. The best part about what you write, is when you read the stories. Your facial expressions and improv really shows the love with you and your family. I’m wiping away tears of laughter and also from the obvious love in your life. Thanks again, Wil!

  10. That was beautiful Wil, really had me grinning.
    Burrito yeah :) I think it is kind of understandable given your insane schedule though.
    I would hope so to the RFB fans at least.
    PS: Totally stealing the cold wizard line and banking it for work.

  11. My family is a lot like your wife in that we rock the scrabble board, and we are very non-competitive about it. The main rule is: awesomer word wins out. If I take a spot you need for an awesome word (like juxtapose), and mine’s kind of lame (like hat), I will absolutely find another place to play. Sometimes we’ll even trade tiles or turns to get someone to replay elsewhere. My wife is also not very competitive, but she is SUPER concerned about “fairness” and playing by the “rules,” so none of this flies with her at all. Ah well, there’s always Battleship for us. By the way, there’s nothing like 6-player scrabble (three two-person teams) to get some awesome words. Having two brains on one set of tiles really helps out, and it’s a lot more fun for someone who isn’t quite as wordy.

  12. That was hilarious! You’re such a good speaker. All your stories are always extremely enjoyable. Btw, I also make frequent gamer references (usually about needing to replenish HP). The best though was when I was hanging out with a friend and fellow gamer at Applebees. I was telling him a story that involved me listening to a podcast (I think it was Nerdist) while playing an online game. He told me I had achieved a new level of nerd, to which I replied, “I leveled up my character!” I’m sure we must have looked odd sitting at the booth laughing so hard, but it was a lot of fun for us all the same.

  13. I really wish that I could have been there. I’m pretty much in the same boat. My wife likes the simpler games. I like mashing it up with a good sword in hand, slicing bad guys in two as they approach; yet somehow we’ve managed to stay happily married for 17 years.
    I think she’s an alien, actually. No human female could deal with me this long.

  14. That was just as fun and funny as when you read it at GenCon, last month. I think it was one of my favorite stories you read, not just because it shows your great relationship with your wife, but also because my husband sat in the audience with me when you read it. He came along with me to your panel with some reluctance, since he wasn’t as familiar with your writing as much as I (and, also, because he usually puts up with my admiration and slight crush on you as a writer and actor with a slight bit of eye-rolling). However, he truly enjoyed himself at your GenCon panel, which made me very happy, and I think this particular story helped with its basis being about a loving couple, which is totally us.

  15. You know, if seeing you on Eureka and other cool shows means no Burrito for a while, that’s fine by me. :)
    Also, having watched last night’s Leverage episode directed by Frakes, have you two talked about collaborating at some point, should your schedules allow it? Does a director on a TV show have influence on the casting?

  16. Frakes and I keep hoping that our Leverage episodes will coordinate, but we've missed each other by one episode both times. If there's Chaos next year, we'll try again!

  17. So sweet, and so hilarious! And may I say, solidarity, brother, I so feel your pain. I teach English, so everyone looks to me to rock the Scrabble, yet I find myself more often than not staring helplessly at the tiles that have landed in my little trough, thinking, is “sclome” a word?

  18. Gotta respect the man who loves his wife. Congratulations on having a loving and respectful life Wil.
    I suck at Scrabble. My partner kicks my butt every time.

  19. I remember hearing this at GenCon. It’s a really cool and sweet story. I am okay at Scrabble, but consistently lose to my sister because, despite having a larger vocabulary (Science will do that.) she plays words that are just long enough to make me miss the bonus boxes. Worse, is this other version of Scrabble on Facebook, (WordScrambler) that has a changing board and up to 5 Word/Letter score zones.
    And it’s also frustrating to have O, O, Z, Q, V, Y, X and not have a single E available on the board. Talk about vix-ing…

  20. Oh, this made me laugh. I, too, am nerd-adjacent and I charm (read: force) my husband into playing Scrabble with me because I love it and for him playing a game is better than playing no games.. He obliges my Scrabble lust regularly, which makes him a better partner than me. I’m more likely to be heard saying, “No matter how many times you say, ‘And then we can play Halo 3 together…’ It won’t make that actually happen.”

  21. I don’t know whether you watch the IT Crowd, but you would do well to subscribe to the Maurice Moss school of wordsmithery.
    I long for the chance to unleash ‘TNETENNBA’ on an unsuspecting opponent.

  22. I suffer from that problem too. Most games I can aim to be competitive in, and pull back a bit on my strategising, but stick me in front of a Monopoly board and that all goes out the window. Evil Twirrim comes into play and any mere mortal foolish enough to challenge me will live to regret it.. or something like that anyway. Yet to pull a Meemaa card or “break up the couple” but there is still ample time yet for that.

  23. Of course we should recall that the Vux were also a race in Star Control (the guys in the D-7 like ship with the big laser and those annoying limpet mines.)
    I’m no expert, and I suspect that its not tournament legal, but it IS a word.
    Sorta. :)

  24. I have a B.A. in English.
    I teach English in a secondary school.
    I read voraciously, if somewhat slowly.
    I am a writer of persistent, if not published, pomposity.
    Yet.. I also suck at Scrabble.
    My only saving grace is that I don’t have a wife that forces me to vux her, so I can avoid the vixing altogether.
    That said, I do have a 4 year old daughter who consistently owns me in Uno.
    It’s important to remember two things: 1)Games and family is fun, and 2) all your base are belong to us.

  25. That was great! I missed your panel due to a serious need to be in the 4th row a the concerts (so while you were speaking, I was having a picnic in the Benaroya line), but I’m glad I got to see that! My husband, the gamer, is the scrabble nut in our house, and we play that when he’s sick of me beating him in other tabletop strategy games (I’m a cutthroat Munchkin player). Anyway, you and Anne are awesome.
    Girls Are Geeks

  26. I am so familiar with this phenomenon, but the game is Gin Rummy not Scrabble. I can play a multitude of complex and challenging card games, but she knocks the stuffing out of me every time when we play Gin Rummy. Either she is some sort of savant or I have a blind spot in my brain when it comes to that particular game.

  27. Hey Wil, awesome reading!
    I’m the guy that made the “His Name Was Aeofel” wristbands and distributed them for donations to Child’s Play (through the Cookie Brigade). Since it would appear that they need to be updated, I wanted to get your permission to do another batch for PAX East, but this time with the “Aeofel Lives!” logo on them. (same thing, to be distributed for donations to Child’s Play) I had a lot of fun doing it last time, and people really liked them, but if you’d rather I didn’t, that’s no problem. Either way, can’t wait for PAX East!

  28. O.M.G. I made the huge mistake of watching this at work and had to bite my lip to keep from laughing out loud. Not only is the story so funny, but your reading of it makes it that much funnier. You definitely rolled a +20 to your comedy stat that day.

  29. I’m so glad we stayed in that stifling line room to see you! I was going to be the next one at the panel to ask a question, but we ran out of time, so I’ll ask here: How’s Memories of the Future Vol 2 coming, or is it? I LOVED the first one, and am dying to read the rest of your recaps/memories.
    I’m chatting with @geekyclean via Twitter right now about your shout out to her at the panel. She is over the moon about that, by the way!
    Your Scrabble story made my husband and I choke up. We’re exactly the same way. And now, my obligatory link to my terrible PAX photos, starting with one of my husband and I waiting in the line ride for you, but really it just captures the essence of why we go to PAX, to be together doing something we love.

  30. Beautifully written, and wonderfully read. Thanks for sharing Wil. The last thing I played with the missus was 2 player reactor on android! Nice way to pass a few mins whilst waiting for a coffee/lunch 😉

  31. You and your wife sounds a lot like my husband and me lol…Though, I do play some video games and I do like Dr. Who and some Sci-Fi. That is so funny how you strategically play the games as you would normally play the video games. Too funny!

  32. Just wanted to say that your reading and Q&A were the best part of PAX for me.
    You struck a very deep chord when you talked about missing your wife. I’d only been apart from mine since leaving for the con on Thursday, and was definitely feeling the loss of the little things you talked about. I kept wanting to point out the things she would like in the con, and expected to feel her hand in mine to avoid getting separated when the crowds got particularly thick. It’s surreal attending something as big as Pax and not having her at my side.

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