Beginning production on Tabletop Season 2.5

Last year, we shot the entire season of Tabletop in 10 straight days. I think we maybe took two days off in there somewhere, but my memory is a haze of rolling dice (badly), having all kinds of fun with awesome people, and losing games. Oh, the losing games.

This season, we had to split production into two different weeks, and in three hours, we’ll start production on the back half of season two. To prepare, I’ve spent tons of time in the last month or so playing the games we’re featuring, so I not only know them well enough to guide players who are new to them, but maybe have a chance at just winning one fucking game on my show. Just one, Gaming Gods, that’s all I’m asking for.  IS THAT SO WRONG?!

Um. Sorry. Lots of coffee at the moment.

So last night I set my alarm for 7am, managed to fall asleep around midnight even though I felt like a little kid on Christmas Eve … and then woke up at 5:45 because I’m so damn excited to get into production. It’s going to hurt my brain around the time we wrap tonight, I’m sure, but the excitement and joy of playing games I love with awesome people is going to keep me going all day, like it does during every day of production.

I’m sure I’ll be posting pictures and maybe a few stupid cell phone videos from the set on Twitter, so if you want to see them, I’m @wilw.

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.

 

123 thoughts on “Beginning production on Tabletop Season 2.5”

  1. I worked at a tabletop game store while season one airing. Once the first episode came out we started to see an amazing response. Tons of parents with their kids, tons of young couples, tons of new people coming into our store to find games. All these people had discovered the joy of gaming thanks to tabletop. Even better they would buy one game, then come back a week or two later for a new one. I heard stories about how couples had saved their marriage due to Tabletop and finding games. I heard stories about how parents had reconnected to their kids. it was amazing. Thank you tabletop crew, Wil and Felicia, and all of Geek & Sundry! Keep gaming!

  2. thanks to Tabletop my kids’ new favorite game is Tsuro (possibly because i haven’t yet opened up the zombie dice). first annual tabletop day happened during spring break, so we went to visit friends and drove to ft. lauderdale for the closest tabletop event. all six kids had fun playing zombie dice and between the two of us adults we went home with at least six new games (and one that friend’s son won!). i am portioning them out over the summer to help ease the whines of “i’m bored and it’s too hot to go outside (love those florida summers),” and it seems to be helping.

  3. My 6 year old son LOVES Tabletop! He re-watches Munchkin at least 3 times a week, has decided to create a LEGO version of Pandemic and has now begun designing his own game. He decided it will be on Tabletop, and that Wil, Anne Wheaton, Felicia Day and Colin Ferguson will play it (you’re his favorites!). Thanks for the excellent work and thanks for getting a six year old excited about game design!

  4. My wife and I have started a monthly(ish) Game Night at our house, largely due to watching Tabletop and seeing so many games that have caught our eye while being thoroughly entertained. We’ve changed non-gamer friends and family from saying “You mean board games like Monopoly?” to asking when they get to play Pandemic, Catan, or Small World next. Our next Game Night is tomorrow actually (the 4th one since April), and I’ve added Once Upon a Time and Star Fluxx to the lineup for the night.

    Thanks for coming up with Tabletop and constructing such a great style and formula for it. My wife rolls her eyes at most other gaming videos but loves when new episodes of Tabletop appear in our queue. Even better is when she tells me to order a game immediately after watching you guys play it ;)

    You’re helping this nerdy husband and father get his gaming fix one Saturday at a time.

    Thank you, sir (and crew)!

  5. My brother introduced me to TableTop, and it introduced me to SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO many games I didn’t know existed. It’s pretty hard to find people to play board games in Singapore (not really a board game culture), but when i went out to buy some of the board games from the show, i beggggged, emotionally blackmailed, my friends and family to play them with me. And now, THEY are the ones asking when we can play it again!! it really is creating good memories for all of us, esp in the midst of a busy city life. :)

  6. Thank you so much for making Table Top. It switched my lovely nerd laser focus at least partially from video games to Table Top games. It has improved my relationship with my daughter which was getting a little rocky. She is my wife’s biological child and I adopted her when we got married. Things were great initially but started getting really rocky during the preteen years. Playing games has allowed us to build a bridge again and things are going much better. It has also allowed me to have something in common with my mother and sister in law so things have gotten better there as well. My wife would also like to thank you because she is an avid table top gamer and has always been a little sad that I wasn’t. We now have a mostly regular family game night and even play other days of the week when time allows. I also hosted a Table Top Day event at my Church this year and introduced some of these great games to other people. I feel my life has truly gotten better thanks to your show. Keep up the awesome work and I really mean this when I say that I am a little more happy each week that I know a new Table Top episode is coming out. I hope someday you are near Central Iowa for a con so I can stop by and personally thank you and maybe get a game board signed :).

  7. While maybe not a “touching” story, Tabletop did help to connect me and two of my co-managers through gaming during stressful times at work last year.

    Also, your love of gaming showed through so much that it inspired my kids and I to make a video for the Geek Dad – Tabletop Father’s Day contest last year and get selected as a top 5.

    It also set us on a personal quest to have you over for a weekend gaming convention here in beautiful Victoria B.C., as a player, not a signing guest.

    Enjoy your day of gaming and filming.

  8. My boyfriend and I have always been game board geeks. From minature games like Warhammer 40k, to card collectables back in the day like Jyhad. Not to mention the endless stream of 80’s trivia and pop culture stuff. We had a few themed games like Last Night on Earth, Zombies etc… as well. But, the fact was we’d had a falling out with our board game collection. Either just bored with the selection or not making enough time to spend together… whatever the case was we had hit a wall. A BIG BRICK WALL!! We used to game at least once a week, we would talk about stuff over the game as well and it seemed like not only had gaming stopped but so had communication. He’d sit in front of his computer, me in front of mine and we could go all day without really a word to one another :( Then…. Small World Table Top happened. I watched and then passed it on through email (despite him being in the next room) and he watched. We both agreed it looked like fun, and the show was hilarious too! We were hooked on table top the show and trying new games after that! Every Saturday we play board games and watch a movie together. It is OUR day for us and we try to stick to it. Communication & Gaming is at an all time High and after 18 years together things couldn’t be better and I thank Table Top for that :D Keep up the great job… it truly can make a difference even to just one couple here in London, Ont.

  9. Ok, I’d also like to tell you guys this:
    After a very good friend of mine and I saw “Settlers of Catan” on TableTop, which we played for years allready, we decided to have a “every-week-play-day” which usualy took place on saturdaynights. Well this keeps on goin till today. We play a lot of different games since. There is just one small problem: Not all of the games shown on TableTop are available in germany or hard to understand, as the manuals are in english… How ever…. Since my friends son turned 6 in winter, we involved him in playin Settlers and he’s also into TableTop-Show, as we all try – as good as we can – to introduce him into the english languange, so he enjoys “his wil” more and more! (ain’t that cute?) Ok, just wanted to tell You guys. Have fun and play more games!!!

  10. Thanks to you and Tabletop, I’m back playing board games and loving it. I’ve bought several of the games featured in the first season, and introduced my wife to gaming by means of Gamewright’s Forbidden Island. She now loves it too. We’ve started having regular games evenings with our friends, and it’s such a great way of enjoying the company of friends, the friendly competition, and the fun of co-operative gaming. Much, much better than sitting around watching a DVD or some other passive activity.

    For someone who has been a geek since he was 8 (I’m 40 now), and has often struggled with other peoples’ characterisations, the fact that my wife and friends are embracing gaming makes me feel more confident about letting other aspects of my geeky personality show through.

    So thanks to you, Wil, and all your team at Tabletop. My inner geek is reborn, and I’ve a lot of lost time to make up for :)

  11. Thank you for making tabletop games popular again! We’ve bought just about every game you’ve had on your show, as well as some others. The whole family has really enjoyed watching the show and then trying out the games for ourselves. Now if we could just get a Geek Chic table, we’d be set. Keep on filming and we’ll keep on watching- great job so far!!!

  12. Congratulations, Wheaton, you get a three-fold response.

    First, through the excellence of your presentation and the cornucopia of games you’ve played for us, you’ve given me a roster of both gateway games and “low level” games to assail my friends and family with. My parents now love Apples to Apples, my in-laws will play Say Anything or Wits and Wagers, and my circle of friends gets together once a month for all kinds of board gaming (and drinks) that include Castle Panic, Pandemic, and Dominion in spades.

    But bigger than that, is that I’m a martial arts instructor that runs day camps with my kids, ages 5 to 12. With the roster of games I’ve had excuse to play, I’ve been able to introduce these kids to Forbidden Island, Zombie Dice, and Resistance just to name a few. And it makes my day when parents come to me “complaining” that their tv or video game addled kids have suddenly turned a bend and they have family game nights where the whole gang sit around the table playing a thrilling game of Forbidden Island, and they “blame” me, which I then turn around and blame you and your awesome crew.

    Third, the whole process has reinvigorated me to continue work on my own game which I hope will someday be featured on your show (shameless attempt at flattery and foot-in-door). I’m constantly barraging my friends, my students, and now even my family with playtest after playtest, and all the while I’m working at executing a game presentation that matches yours.

    Thanks, Tabletop. I’ve got a horde of friends, family, students, and parents who have been enriched by playing games, inspired through your awesomeness. Keep up the good work, and play more games!

  13. Had a lot of fun teaching Mage Knight the board game to a group of random people at my local game store. They started off confused, but as we worked through the turns, I saw the gears turn and the lights come on, and by the time we had to stop for the night (at the end of Day 1) they all wanted to keep playing! It’s not a simple game, but I’m glad they were getting into it!

  14. I follow you on Facebook and you posted something about playing Pandemic. That’s how I found out about Tabletop. :D My husband and his family love board games. He and his sister probably own 1000 games between them, dating back to childhood and every year we go to GenCon because we absolutely need a dozen more.

    The game he loves most is Pandemic. He craves beating it the way generals crave winning a war. Unfortunately, the couple times the family tried it, we lost so miserably to rampant, horrible outbreaks and mass death that his sister has refused to play it ever since. He begged, bribed, threatened. No way, no how would she play that game. But then I found the Tabletop video and said to my husband, “Look! Wil Wheaton and his friends lost too! We aren’t the only ones who suck!” So naturally we showed the episode to the entire family on our big TV and my sister-in-law was so impressed with your loss she figured we certainly could do better (did I mention this family is competitive?) and agreed to play again! My husband ran for his game and we played on the spot. Not only that, we were inspired to play for the first time on Expert level, despite my dire warning that we had yet to win decisively on Wuss level. Now I will say we did learn a thing or two from your loss, especially how to properly use a Dispatcher and, even better, how to not take the game too seriously even though the world being overrun by diseases is a pretty dismal scenario. We had a rousing game that was down to the wire with three cures in our hands, but alas… the world was done in by a Zombie Apocalypse. :( Funny thing, though, we totally had fun! And sis has agreed she’ll play the game again. So, at least for this family, Tabletop restored Pandemic to the weekly rotation. And sure enough, watching Tabletop has now become a family activity! We’ve played most of the games and have a ton of fun sitting around the TV and watching you guys sink or swim the same way we do. Oh, and we’re finding out about some new games, too. We’re fans!

  15. Primarily, I watch Tabletop for the pure joy.

    There are few things I look forward to more than playing fun games with people I love, and who love games.
    Watching Tabletop hits on many of the fine points of that experience.
    It is a joy to see people having fun around a table, interacting with each other, laughing, poking fun, all of it.
    I watch Tabletop and wish I was there… and it reminds me to go send out an invite to my friends for another game night.

    When I watch the show, it doesn’t feel like a “production”. It feels like a snapshot of a great night of gaming.
    I don’t ever recall laughing out loud at the show, but it’s hard to watch without smiling.

    Also, Tabletop proves that a mediocre game can be absolutely fabulous with the right people and a great game can be even greater.

    Which leads to another reason I watch:
    To make purchasing decisions.

    Games are expensive. Reviews are… well… reviews.
    But watching game lovers play games… just because they love them, helps me see how a game might fit in my various game groups.
    Tabletop likely saves me money and helps me feel confident about a game purchase… and occasionally introduces me to a game I’ve never heard of.

    Lastly, watching Wil lose, especially when dice are involved, brings a joy to my soul that cannot truly be expressed in words.

    If someone asked me to list the life-changing entities in my life, I don’t know that Tabletop would come to mind.

    But the truth is, there are games on my shelf because of this show.
    Games that led to days and nights of playing games with people I like being with and specific experiences I would have missed witout those games.
    And there are few times that I find myself on youtube that I don’t double-check to make sure I haven’t missed an episode of your show.

    And because of some of those experiences, the circle of people I play games with is growing as well.

    So please keep doing what you do. It makes a difference that spreads beyond those who watch the show.
    And if you’re having half as much fun as it looks, it’s making a difference for you too.

    Thank you.

    Mike Mitrovich
    http://www.legacyoffun.com

  16. Hey Wil!
    My daughter turns 14 today, and like many 14 year olds, she doesn’t think that her dad is cool enough to hang out with anymore. This usually makes me sad, but I know I’ll get her back once the crazy teens wear off.
    Usually she’ll glance over at my monitor when I watch Tabletop, make some comment about whatever you all are playing and/or geeking out over and move on. When a new game that I saw on the show comes in, however, she gets excited. So far, we’ve played Tsuro, (Both land and sea.) Castle Panic, (her favorite) Munchkin (My favorite) and we just got Forbidden Island in! We’ll be playing that this coming week. Thank you Wil and everyone who works to make Tabletop so awesome! You really are making a difference in my family’s lives and bringing the people I love together!

  17. As a painfully introverted, shy person who somewhat recently moved to a new area with no friends, I have a hard time finding things to do and ways to meet new people. I found a board game club on meetup.com, but didn’t have the nerve to join for awhile. After I started watching TableTop, the interactions between everyone made me decide to give it a try, it just looks so fun on the show. I already have a good amount of the games played on the show, but never anyone to play them with. Last Night on Earth, and Settlers of Catan are two of my favorite games, and now that I have joined the group, I can finally play them. I also like watching episodes of games I have never played so that I can tell if I would like them and should buy them. I’d like to suggest you guys play Dominion sometime, that is another of my favorite games!

  18. After seeing Castle Panic on TT, I thought it’d be a good game to play with my 13yr old son, and 5yr old daughter. Just as something to pick up on a sunday afternoon when we could pry them both off their tablets.
    Daughter absolutely loved it, and Son would chuckle along too. Picked up Forbidden Island on the recommendation of a friend shortly after, which my Daughter loved even more (Think it was the sound effects we made compulsory!)
    Then… then I watched King of Tokyo, and picked it up for a group I game with once a month. My Daughter insisted we playtest it first! She wanted to be the big Lizard (Her words) but then changed her mind to the big dragon. I got to be the bunny… We played it through, and I managed to romp through at the end, destroying both her, my son, and my OH. As my counter moved up to 20 Points, tears began to flow. I was on the verge of telling her I’d made a mistake when my OH stepped in. King of Tokyo is how we’re teaching my Daughter its ok not to win every time, and that sometimes its fun to shake your fist and yell “I’ll get you next time!”

  19. Wil,

    I have enjoyed Tabletop immensely, and have been a gaming geek since childhood, helped in no little measure by two older brothers (+5 and +10 years) who helped their brother get into D&D, Paranoia, Car Wars, Boot Hill, Gamma World, et al. Of course, classic gaming included Risk, Axis & Allies and other board games.

    I have two wonderful kids now, a girl who is 9 and a boy who is 6. We enjoy playing some family board games on the weekends, but these always leave me a little bored. We got Catan Junior for our girl for her birthday and have now worked it into our rotation, our little girl loves it and I’ve selected a few Tabletop shows for her to watch with me that I think would interest her, like Zombie Dice.

    Can’t wait to see what is in store for Season 2.5 and I hope you finally get that trophy. See you at next year’s PHX Comicon, we’re probably going to complete the W00tstock Cosplay group. My friend Chis was the Wil at the con. :-)

    Thanks for the fun and roll well!

    -Greg

  20. My two sons are big video game players, and sometimes we’ll find a good multi-player console game to play together, but more often than not it’s a solo affair. After showing them episodes of Tabletop they started showing a ton of interest in trying out some of the games you’ve played on the show. During last season it got to the point where they were spending their own allowance and savings on Ticket to Ride because they wanted to play a family game together!

    The personal side to this story is that I’m a divorced dad, and as many people unfortunately know, divorce is really tough on kids. The past few years were hard as my kids learned to adapt to a new situation, and sometimes it just felt easier to let them veg alone on screen-time. The opportunity to get them interested in a family activity where we all sit around the kitchen table and pray we don’t draw a “Draw 3 more monsters” tile, or even simply tempting fate with just… one… more… roll for brains only to get shotgun’d, has been priceless. Now that I’m engaged to get married again, these games have been an excellent way to get my future wife (who loves tabletop games) involved with our family in a real and meaningful way. Watching Tabletop is definitely a family affair.

    Thanks to everyone on the crew who works hard, for the wonderful hours of entertainment, and helping to bring families closer together!

  21. Our group usually does a local charity event to raise money for cancer research (last 5 years) but we were unable to do that this year for various reasons. We decided we still wanted to do something for charity and picked our local children’s hospital to donate to. Instead of our usual walk-a-thon we are doing an all night table top gaming session which will broadcast to friends and family online as it happens on June22-23 and we hope to raise at least 500 bucks for the hospital. I have gotten at least 3 other folks addicted to the ‘Tabletop’ show and I have purchased the following games after seeing them on the show: Dixit, Fluxx, King of Tokyo, and Elder Sign (already had Settlers, Gloom and Munchkin). Thanks for reviving our love of games!

  22. My friends and I started a weekly Tuesday board game night after watching Table Top, while this has not necessarily lasted the entire time thanks to this show we have purchased, Small World, Munchkin, Ticket to Ride and some more Settler’s expansion packs. Love the show, love the guests and especially love the setup there.

    Thanks,

    Ben Richardson.

  23. My husband and I have always loved playing games together, but usually we played the more typical family board games (Monopoly, Risk, etc). Being fans of Felicia and Wil, we jumped on the Geek and Sundry bandwagon right away. Tabletop quickly became one of our favorite shows, and we’ve watched many episodes multiple times both for the entertainment value and to gain a better understanding of the games featured. Our first “Tabletop” endorsed game was Ticket to Ride, and our game nights with my brother-in-law and his girlfriend have never been the same. I now have an Amazon wishlist full of games that I direct family and friends to during the holiday season when they rack their brains about what to get us, and we visit our local gaming store on a semi-regular basis (as well as spending more time in the game area of our local Barnes and Noble). My husband and his brother (both artists) have even started a game design competition between the two of them to see who can come up with a better game. Thanks to Wil and the Tabletop crew for giving us a fun, entertaining way to learn about games!

  24. We bought Tsuro as a result of watching the show. We introduced our then-5 year old daughter to it, and she dubbed it “the dragon game.” At the beginning, we would play semi-cooperatively; we would all show our tiles and think aloud through each move. As a result, our daughter has gained some strategy skills.

    We may also be Bad Parents in that, while sometimes we make gentler choices during play, we never just let her win. Losing–and doing so graciously–is a skill we should all have. As you know.

    Anyhow, we pull out Tsuro at every birthday party, BBQ, picnic, church potluck … and have won many converts to it. Ditto Zombie Dice.

    Thanks for your show, your work, your joy.

  25. Hello! Audrey here, Wil I met you this past weekend at Denver Comic Con. I was telling you about my anxiety and I was slightly panicky to meet you and how Tabletop has been good for both my anxiety and depression. You see I have a hard time meeting friends, as a Military wife I move often and always have to start from the beginning on meeting friends nearly every year. On top of that my anxiety makes it hard. Well Tabletop has helped me reach out in a much easier way, finding people online with similar interests and getting together to play the games we love. I feel at home with these people and at ease. I know that wherever I go in this world I will be able to find Tabletop friends. I was scared at first to reach out, but I quickly learned that Tabletop friends have one similar interest as me, making it easier and pretty much eliminating any social anxiety I have during that time of gaming, making it much easier to make friends! Thank you Tabletop!

  26. Your show has been a fun way to showcase that the games are a̶ ̶g̶o̶o̶d̶ THE BEST(!) social catalyst. The trash talking, the puns, the alliances, the rivalries … it’s been good to know that me, my family and my gaming group are not the only people who engage in this wonderful form of goofiness. The show has also been an incredibly approachable way to showcase this sometimes bewildering hobby of ours. Please keep up the great work.

  27. Hey Wil,
    Thanks to TableTop, my friends and I have been playing various boardgames almost every Friday since September. We have played Settlers and Munchkin most recently. My favorite episode is Say Anything (which I now own a copy of!) because its not really a strategy game and more of who-knows-your-friend-the-best game.
    Thank you for both being entertaining and informative about various games.
    Sincerely,
    Emma Ming

  28. I got my love of Tabletop games from my dad. We played everything from the classics like monopoly and checkers to less tradional games like Talisman and Dungeon! One of our favorite games, though, was Rail Baron. When my wife and I moved in together, I moved about two hours away from my dad. We don’t get to see much of each other any more because of money, live and other things taking priority.

    I started watching tabletop because I missed playing games. My wife and I play a few games, but usually it’s just the two of us, and games like Catan are no fun with only two. When the episode for Ticket to Ride went up, I knew I had to play the game with my dad. I hemmed and hawed over spending the money to buy a box game that would sit, unused 90% of the time on the house.

    And then, Steam happened.

    Days of Wonder released a PC version of Ticket to Ride on Steam. As my dad and I are both also video gamers, I immediately purchased a copy of the game for both of us. Now we have a “Virtual Tabletop” night at least once a week. I can only hope that both my dad and I can pass on our love of tabletop games to my daughter, so that we can all play a game as a family.

    Thanks, folks at G&S, for making such a great game. I’ve been introduced to so many fantastic games that I want to play, and hopefully will one day. If any of you come out to Western MA, make sure to bring a game or two along, and send me a message. A place at our table will always be open.

  29. So this is actually a story I meant to relate to you at Denver Comic Con and forgot, because I was so excited that you geeked out at my kid’s cosplay that I made them. ;) My son is autistic (he was dressed as Wreck It Ralph), and he has a pretty hard time with 2 things. Social Interaction (outside of with his sister), and writing and telling a story. I was always on the lookout for games that would be fun for us as a family to play together that weren’t the same old same old. Tabletop was awesome because not only did it show off some games I had already managed to find, it helped me find even more! The games that have been the most awesome for helping my son work on things he has trouble with were both games I first heard about from you, though only one is a Tabletop game. Happy Birthday Robot not only got my son being creative, he also was super excited to *write* his part of the story and he hates having to hand write anything with a passion. Once Upon a Time was also awesome because it gave him parameters to help him out in telling a story. I ended up donating both of these games to the special ed department of his elementary school, which he just finished at this year, and they have been using them to great effect! Thanks Wil and Tabletop for helping me find not just games that are fun, but that help my kids learn and grow. :)

  30. I teach 7th grade math in a public school, so i feel as if I hit the trifecta of all that kids hate about school (with only a few students as exceptions). We have two lunch periods during the day. When one group is at lunch, the other group has “activity time”. While it should be used for tutoring, i kept one day set aside for games and Tsuro was one that the boys really got into! Another game that has been growing (albeit s.l.o.w.l.y) in popularity is very similar to Qwirkle (which I LOVE) called Sumoku. I (somewhat humbly, yet very proudly) received the “Best Math Teacher From A Galaxy Far, Far Away” award this year! GO TABLETOP!!

  31. After watching the Get Bit! episode, my kids, 9 and 6, couldn’t wait for us to order it. So we did a ghetto version with the rules that you explained, playing cards, Lego men and a Playmobil shark.

    Cue hours of “NOMNOMOM… SPIT!” laughs and larks. They learned that family time can be real fun time, that rules can be more like guidelines (we play to Last Swimmer Floating rather than the stock rules) and that making do with what you have can be as rewarding as spending on something new.

    We did then buy the boxed set though, because Mayday Games fully deserve to be rewarded for bringing such an elegant concept to life. And we’re now onto Forbidden Island, although my daughter insists on playing as the pilot so that she can escape with some of the loot even if the rest of us go to a watery grave. Might need to work on that one…

  32. You inspired my husband to get me (us) a copy of Ticket to Ride for Mother’s Day. We also got my son his first game, which we submitted to SeenOnTableTop tumblr.

    Enjoy filming. May your dice roll well. Good luck!

  33. I started watching TableTop whilst searching for all things related to Dragon Age and Felicia Day (my ultimate idol!) and came across the episode with Chris Hardwick, Kevin and the other one (oops forgot his name!!!! :/ sorry). Watching this it became apparent that the show was so freaking awesome! As a thirteen year old I find it so difficult to accept things, especially with a sister who tells you to get a life, and I found, after multiple episodes such as ‘Gloom’, ‘Forbidden Island’ and such, that being a geek is so much more awesome than I previously thought! Finally, a place where I’m welcome to obsess over silly things and where we have the authority to tell haters ‘It’s our place; GET OUT!’. Thank you, TableTop!

  34. I have two children, 6 and 10, who live with their mother about 1000 miles away. I only see them in the summer, over long school breaks, and during the off weekend where I can actually escape my own teaching schedule and head to Texas for a few days. So often, then, it seems like the time we have together is always do, do, do. Do a camp, do a recital, do a vacation, do a this and a that and, as if life depended on nothing else, DON’T stop moving. That cliche idea of “quality time” actually does have meaning here. Rarely do the kids and I grant ourselves permission to just sit and exist and soak in one another’s company without only trying to get through whatever we are on to get us to the next thing. Last summer, I discovered board games to be a place where we got to give ourselves that permission. Even for just an hour we would sit and play and laugh, to love the game and love each other. This is where Table Top comes into the story. I have enjoyed board games for as long as I can remember playing them, but never got more adventurous than games of Risk or Monopoly. My grandmother and I would play Scotland Yard when I was a kid, but that was about as exotic as it got. God, I still love that game. I began watching (and enjoying the hell out of) Table Top right at episode one, but had never even heard of Small World. At this point, I think I’ve only seen two episodes (Elder Signs and Say Anything) where I actually knew about the game before watching you play it. But that was fine because I went out and found a copy of the ones that looked fun and found someone to play them with me. Those someones became my little goblins. They had to play them with me at first, because I’m the Dad and what Dad says goes, right? Table Top, without exaggeration, has provided us with hundreds of hours of Good time together, finding that mythical place of “quality time” in a situation that sadly refuses to allow it as often as I would like. We play games like Ticket to Ride, Fluxx (the Wizard of Oz version, which is a blast), Castle Panic, and Zombie Dice pretty much any time we are in the same room together now. And I know soon, as they get older, we will find new games and more complex games that will provide more moments of sitting and laughing and loving. I assume Table Top will continue to show me more games that I don’t know but will be that next great thing that gives us that joy. I am grateful for this show and grateful for all of you who have joined in to play and let us peek in. It has been a gift so far. Thank you.

  35. You asked for it, so I want to share my story:

    I can´t remember exactly when I discovered your “Tabletop” show, I just remember that I found it because of watching you and Felicia Day in EUReKA and remembering her web show “The Guild”. I lost track of the Guild somewhere around season 3, so I did a little research in the Internet, which made me find Geek and Sundry…

    The very first thing I saw on the Geek and Sundry Youtube channel was “Tabletop – Elder Signs – Wil Wheaton”. I was like: “Whaaaat? Wheaton and boardgames? I have to watch that! NOW!”

    What can I say… the moment I finished that clip, I directly bought Elder Signs on Amazon. Shortly after it arrived, I invited some friends over to my house for a gaming night, everybody enjoyed it and since then, we try to meet once per month, and for this I added Fluxx, Munchkin and Supermunchkin to our gaming pool. Several other games of your show will follow!

    Your show even helped me to get back in contact with old friends which I didn´t see for years… In April 2012 I moved back to the street where I grew up and one of my new neighbours was one the said old friends. But since then, no opportunity offered itself to meet each other, except one time at a street festival in july, when we could talk a bit longer.

    It had to become New Year´s eve until we met again, but I told him about how fascinated I was about Tabletop, so he decided to join and even asked another old friend to join us.

    So, thank you Wil Wheaton, Felicia Day and everybody of your crew, for bringing lots of joy in our lives! Keep it up and until then… Play more games! ;-D

  36. I know that there will be an abundance of heartfelt, emotionally captivating stories from gamers for whom this show has helped in tough times, who have found solace in Tabletop and the games featured thereon during moments of need and adversity. I encourage and applaud those people who share those stories. I am thankful to say that I have not had to deal with a great many hardships or tribulations in my life so far, and so I have no stories of how Tabletop has impacted my life when I needed it. What I can say, however, is that the entire cast and crew behind Tabletop have crafted a well-produced, thoroughly entertaining piece of internet television that, in my opinion, is woefully underexposed. You guys have crafted a show that I make a point of watching religiously; something that mainstream television (HBO and AMC included) has not been able to make me do for years. Finally, you guys have crafted a show that has exposed me to a plethora of tabletop games that look exciting, engaging, and fun. Between my girlfriend and myself, we have gone out and bought several games featured on the show, and will surely buy more of them.

    Tabletop has been a very important thing to many gamers in their times of need, that is indisputable, and I am truly happy for that. As for myself, there is probably nothing I can recount that will move you to tears, and that’s fine by me. What I can say, though, is that Tabletop has been a huge factor in my getting together with friends, family, and loved ones, and having some fun, and for that, I thank all of you involved.

    And as for you, Wil, even if you never win a game on the show, the fact that your brain-baby has grown into this should afford you a permanent place on your Wall of Victory.

    1. I’ve been gaming since 1985, when a Friend loaned me the Original red basic boxed set of D&D. Since then I can boast of playing nearly everything possible…but that’s what happens when your home town has nothing to do but either drink or game……

      When I saw Table Top I was very excited because it would give me a chance to possibly get my 7 year old daughter hooked on games. When I saw the Munchkin episode, I knew that would be the game because of the great artwork and the humor of it.

      Sure enough, with 1 stilted run through of the game, figuring out rules and such, she was hooked. She of course has to have all the female themed cards and gear, but the math side of the game is hooking her. She has to have the highest totals regardless of the outcome of the game.

      Of course, it might also have something to do with her favorite card, the “Bad A@@ed Bandana”. We watch what she reads and watches but when it comes to that 1 card, she will proclaim loudly that “I am putting on my Bad A@@ed Bandana now!”

      Thank you Wil and everyone at Table Top for helping me infect the next generation with the Gaming Bug, and providing many nights of family fun.

      (Also though…what is the name of the picture behind the Losers Lounge? “The last roll of the dice?” Any chance of it being copied for sale? I think it’s awesome..what I can see of it…LOL)

  37. Just last night my husband and I went to play Pathfinder (like D&D) with friends. We regularly have game nights, and have had multiple game DAYS since we started watching Tabletop. It has literally changed the way we hang out with our friends, in a much better way. We’ve bought games from the show, and branched out and tried others. We also celebrated Tabletop Day!

    When I was growing up we mostly played Parcheesi (still a family favorite) and I had never thought about branching past the “regular” games you used to see all the time…Life, Monopoly (gag me), etc. I also love the show because there are certain games (especially if they’re over $40) that I don’t want to buy without seeing other people play first. We’re supporting our local gaming stores and even bookstores, Powells, which really embraced the gaming trend (created by you guys! They also celebrated Tabletop Day). We are creating more face time with our friends and family.

    Thank you for playing games!

  38. I love the show and there are many games from the show i would love to play with my friends, but none of them are into tabletop games, they aren’t cool enough. Besides texas hold em the only game we play is a variation of uno with playing cards that must be referred to as “Shit On Your Mates”. So i’ve been trying to ease them into the idea of of tabletop games, i picked up Star Fluxx and we played it in the pub during F.A. Cup Final to give them something balance out the geek, despite initial ridicule and a surprisingly difficult time explaining the rules of “draw one card, play one card” it went down well, I’m not sure we’re quite ready to introduce something like Pandemic but i’m certain i get there with some more effort!

  39. I’m an avid gamer and introduced my husband to gaming. We brought our older child into the fold with Robo rally and Formula de when he was 5. We had been looking for something to start our 2nd child even earlier. We learned about Tsuro and Zombie Dice while watching the show, and started him on them after he turned 4. We also gave Get Bit to their cousins who LOVED it. Thanks for helping us find these great games!

  40. Sign of a good game-teacher: Being beat by someone you just taught to play the game.

    Seriously though. If you are teaching someone who is new to a game how to play, if they can beat you, or equal you in the play of that game, you’ve done a good (and fair) job at teaching it.

  41. I’ve already written about how Castle Panic was instrumental in teaching my 7 year old grand daughter that it’s ok to lose sometimes. The fun really is in the playing of the game. That was a great lesson (and a difficult one for many kids to learn) but discovering the game Castle Panic on TableTop was how we got through that difficult lesson because the shared victory or shared defeat took the sting out of losing.

    Now, my grand-daughter wants to have a weekly family game night and gets a bit upset if we’re all too tired for it. So far we’ve played Catan, Munchkin, Zombie Dice, Castle Panic, Carcassonne, and The Resistance. After playing The Resistance several times whenever we see each other she greets me with “you’re the spy!”

    TableTop has re-ignited my lost love for gaming. We’ve even played some Pathfinder together. My now 8 year old grand daughter is an elf fighter who somehow was able to get an AC of 23. You can’t hit her. I’ve constructed the print & play game Interspace and love playing this mini version of Twilight Imperium and now that we’ve been playing games together, these more complex games are much more accessible.

    So yes, TableTop has been a great inspiration for us and our family. Thank you for the wonderful show.

    P.S. When we play The Resistance we always have to say what the mission is. And it must end with “. . . Thereby Causing An International Incident!!”

    There are 13 people coming to the embassy dinner. We sneak in and steal one of the pudding cups for dessert. One person at the embassy dinner doesn’t get a pudding cup Thereby Causing An International Incident!!

    We sneak into the President’s palace and replace all the sparkling water with tap water Thereby Causing An International Incident!!

  42. Unfortunately I don’t have a group of friends who is into gaming anymore (need new friends I guess), but watching you all play these games allows me to live vicariously through you and I enjoy every moment. I want to thank you, Felicia and all of the players and the crew who have made such a wonderful thing happen.

  43. Love, love, love Tabletop. I came across it while looking for games to play while waiting in line at PAX East and it has set off an amazing chain reaction for our family. Not only did we find some amazing games to play that we had never, ever, heard of but it has also brought us much closer as a family. On a nightly basis after dinner we pull out a game to play with our girls (3 & 2) and after they go to bed most of the time now instead of just turning on the TV and vegging out we break out a game and actually interact with each other.

    Also thanks to Tabletop Day we found our local Comic Book store which led us to Free Comic Book day which opened up a whole nother world to us and to our girls. My oldest and is now *obsessed* with superheroes (particularly Hawkgirl) and loves reading comic books with me and looking at all the wonderful art in them and it’s all thanks to you guys there at Tabletop :)

    So thanks to you and keep the games coming.

  44. My family would never have gotten into board gaming if not for Tabletop. Now we own Tsuro and Ticket to Ride, and one of my daughters asked for Settlers of Catan for her eleventh birthday. We’ve also got a list of games we can’t wait to try! We also have had board game nights with another family, where we brought our two games and also played Apples to Apples and Ticket to Ride: Europe. At the end of Ticket to Ride, our girls always do the patented Anne Wheaton smash!

    As a parent, I am thrilled to have such a wonderful family activity for all of us to enjoy, and it has really brought our family closer together. I also love that it’s an activity for girls that draws on their creativity, strength, and intelligence, giving them confidence in themselves and their own value. Thank you so much for bringing board gaming into our lives.

  45. I’m an avid board gamer and a parent of a 4 year old. One of the things I find challenging is finding games that I find enjoyable that I can play with my daughter (there is only so much Candyland that one man can take). I’ve picked up Zombie Dice and Formula D based on seeing them on Tabletop and my daughter is a fan of both. She’s gotten really good at Zombie Dice. I can see the little gears of probabilty working in her head as she tries to decide if she should take just one more roll. As for Formula D, she is extremely fond of crashing her car half-way through the race. Keep up the great work and my fingers are crossed hoping that season 3 will just be a six-hour game of Twilight Imperium. Probably I’m the only person hoping for this :)

  46. I have a friend, who has 4 daughters, aged 10 years and down. The 10 year old has been kicking cancer’s butt. Her parents cannot get out much, because they are afraid to be away from St Jude’s just in case something happens. Since they can’t get out to do stuff very often, I have been taking games over to play with his family when possible. We have played Small World, Dixit, and Star Fluxx with him, but the best night was when I brought over Zombie Dice. I pulled it out and I showed my friend how to play it with a sample game. His girls watch us play that game, and the next round they all wanted to get in and play the game. They all understood it and all had a great time playing. The whole family and I played Zombie dice again and again that night, ignoring the other games I brought. They loved it so much I had to get a set of dice for them so they could play it when I was not there. I never would found that game otherwise as I felt the zombie genre was being beat to death, and I didn’t figure any of the games would be any fun. Thanks to Tabletop I found out it was a great game, and my friends family have a quick and fun game they can all play.

  47. I created this video on the one year anniversary of a sickness/disease that I’m still dealing with/recovering from. TableTop has been a huge part of the process and has helped my family and has helped me spend time with the very best of friends. Maybe you can play it while the crew sets up. I thank everyone involved and I mean it!

  48. It’s nothing profound, but I have loved board games since I was little (I was always the banker in monopoly, the keeper of the rules, the setter up/taker down of the games, etc) I’ve been working on infecting friends and family with Catan,Ticket to Ride and the like for years, and Tabletop has helped me get into some new games. I love being able to see how the rules work before trying to teach them to someone else while learning myself, and you guys just have SO MUCH FUN! My “Tabletop” list to play is getting a little unreasonable, and I just have to say, its all your fault! Thanks for the good times :)

  49. I’m in my 40s, married with two daughters, 12 and 9. I’ve been reading your blog for years, and even though I hadn’t really thought of myself as a gamer (despite a cupboard full of various games), I was excited to see Tabletop start. Since my girls enjoyed watching Eureka with me, I knew they’d get a kick out of watching the Ticket to Ride episode… and they really, really did. Around the same time, we learned that a local hobby/gaming shop was going out of business, as the owner was retiring. We’d spent hours in that store over the years and were pretty sad, so we went and bought a bunch of full retail price games from the owner to send him off right for his retirement. (Also, he did find a buyer for the business in the eleventh hour, so hooray for that!) Two of the games were the Macklin version of Ticket to Ride and Journeys edition of Dixit. My girls have loved both. My older daughter is the boss of the trains, and the younger daughter seems like she doesn’t understand the goal of subtlety in clue-giving but wins Dixit nearly every time we play. Since then, we’ve added more games to our game cupboard, including Munchkin, Settlers of Catan, Castle Panic and others that weren’t on the show. So, that’s the first part: I’ve enjoyed watching the show, playing the games with my family and supporting a local business a little more than before.
    The second part is more sentimental, but hopefully not too maudlin. My sister, Jacque, used to always try to get our family to play games (like Taboo, card games, Cranium, Pictionary) when we got together. We were usually so busy catching up that the night would get away from us before we’d play, and Jacque was often disappointed, thinking we just didn’t want to play. Before long, the game was to tease her every time she wanted to play games, pretending that we wouldn’t do it. It was in good fun, and we did play frequently. A couple years ago, my sister died of melanoma, and I’m just now getting to the point of being able to feel joyful more often than not when I think of her. This is important, not just for my own mental health, but also because her mantra was “Choose joy.” Tomorrow would have been her 39th birthday, so I’m hosting our family’s first annual (I hope) game day, with party games, board games, outdoor games and video games. This is how I’ll choose joy and honor my sister. It has been hard to get together with people who loved her, because it can feel like another funeral, just sad. But this time, I’ve invited lots of my old and new friends and family, Jacque’s three daughters and husband as well as his new wife and her kiddos, and my sister’s best friends as well. I know we’ll do a lot of talking, but damn it, we will play games, too. And we will choose joy.

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