Daily Illuminator

August 10, 2012: A High-Five To TableTop

TableTop TrophyWil Wheaton's YouTube show, TableTop, is now most of the way through its first season, and continues to be Big Fun. Since it's on that Interweb thing, it's free to watch. All you're spending is your time, and you get a big payoff.

I enjoyed my appearance on the Munchkin episode -- and if you have not yet watched it, no, I'm not telling you who won. I will say that everyone played well. Also that Felicia has raised "Look innocent while holding good cards" to a high art, and if you ever get into a game with her, watch out. Wil is clearly having an utter and complete ball being the host of a show about a hobby he loves. But then, Wil could find the fun in a show about the mating rituals of the Pacific hagfish. No offense to you hagfish fans. I see you guys there, all two of you. Get Wil to do a show and I bet you'll easily triple your numbers. Now go away, you scary people, and no, do not show me your vacation photos. No, not even the costume ones. Especially not the costume ones.

But I digress.

There's a new TableTop every other Friday. The most recent episode featured Fiasco. They've also done Gloom, Castle Panic, Ticket to Ride, this little thing called Zombie Dice, Tsuro, Settlers . . . some games you know well, some you might not have seen. They also have interviews and bonus material and more, treating the gaming hobby as a real phenomenon, looking seriously both at the art of creating games and the art of playing them well . . . but never forgetting to have fun.

Not only has Geek & Sundry created a good show here, but people are watching it. I know this because I get mail about my appearance. I know this because I see tweets. I know this because we had a definite bump in Zombie Dice sales after that episode first aired. It's harder to track Munchkin because it sells a lot more and keeps hitting new markets, but we saw a TableTop bump there too. And praising the show because it generated sales does not make me feel all dirty and commercial. Au contraire. I think the nicest thing that I can say about a show, right after "I liked it," is "Other people liked it too. They liked it enough to spend money to have the same fun they just watched. And I can prove it with numbers."

They haven't announced a second season yet, but if there is any tiniest bit of justice or beauty left in the world, That Will Happen.

Oh, and if you did watch the Munchkin ep, you'll understand what's in the photo and why it now lives inside the flap of my computer case, where it can make me smile at least twice a day. I might frame it someday, but this is more fun.

-- Steve Jackson

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