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Wil Wheaton's New Show: Tabletop 155

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-interns-were-harmed-(yet)-in-the-making-of-this-show dept.
xwwt writes "Wil Wheaton is working with Felicia Day on a new show called Tabletop, which will air on the YouTube Channel Geek and Sundry. The show will be about board games and gaming in general. This is how he describes it: 'My ulterior motive with Tabletop is to show by example how much fun it is to play boardgames. I want to show that Gamers aren't all a bunch of weirdoes who can't make eye contact when they talk to you, and that getting together for a game night is just as social and awesome as getting together to watch Sportsball, or to play poker, or for a LAN party, or whatever non-gamers do with their friends. I want to inspire people to try hobby games, and I want to remove the stigma associated with gaming and gamers.' The first show airs April 2nd."
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Wil Wheaton's New Show: Tabletop

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  • Ummm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday March 19, 2012 @05:45PM (#39407607) Journal

    ...I want to show that Gamers aren't all a bunch of weirdoes...

    If you're hosting it, Wil, that's already one goal shot straight to hell.

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)
      Don't know why this is modded Flaimbait. After the last season of STNG I was pretty sure Wil was about to start showing up on the news as a homeless guy with a tricorder. He is hosting a show on a YouTube channel called Geek and Sundry that is watched primarily by the group he is trying to portray as normal and this doesn't strike him as PRECISELY why "normal" ( I prefer the term "less intellectually focused" ) people can't relate? Face it...people in general do not CARE about the things geeks do and that i
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by flyneye (84093)

      Kind of like Don Knotts finishing up his brilliant career on Hollywood Squares and Three's Company.
      He's had his 15 min., this is his way to grab another minute or two.

      I've had celebrity recycling on my mind lately. Hollywood is just littered with the " previously popular". Left unrecycled, they turn into junkies/criminals/prostitutes/drunks/politicians and become a drag on society. Leif Garret, Todd Bridges,Ronald Reagun etc.

      There needs to be a program to repurpose these people and Hollywood needs to clean

    • I can't help imaging this as a competitor to "Fun with flags". They really should be on the same time-slot
      :-)
      Wheeeetooonnnnn!!!!
  • by Misanthrope (49269) on Monday March 19, 2012 @05:48PM (#39407623)

    Getting to hang out with Felicia Day...

  • I'm a gamer, and there is flat-out no way this stigma will be removed in my lifetime. When you get right down to it, we're playing pretend. Unless it's couched in layers of indirection, that's just not going to be socially acceptable until the average person has a lot more leisure time.

    • by zlives (2009072) on Monday March 19, 2012 @05:51PM (#39407647)
      I always wondered why FB and other social pretend sites were so successful.
    • by Entropius (188861) on Monday March 19, 2012 @05:58PM (#39407713)

      There's no stigma against people who watch or make movies, is there? Or who read fiction?

    • by Belial6 (794905) on Monday March 19, 2012 @06:03PM (#39407761)
      And people getting together to watch 'sportsball' are also playing pretend. How often have you heard "WE won"? They frequently even like to play dress up when they do it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by EdIII (1114411)

      Yes.... but this is Will fucking Wheaton.

      If anybody has a chance at reversing the polarity of the tachyon beams and calibrating the EPS conduits to dissipate that intensely strong anti-vagina field stuck to tabletop gaming and changing the rate at which some neckbeards get laid, it's Will Wheaton.

      I look forward to the results of this experiment. albeit, with some skepticism.... and hope. Mostly skepticism.

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        Not sure what sort of board gaming places you're going to, but my board game nights are a total clam-fest.

        At the very least we're a 50/50 split along gender lines.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          my board game nights are a total clam-fest.

          And I'm sure all those lucky ladeez are all over you, you silver-tongued bastard.

          • by jo_ham (604554)

            That was my girl's turn of phrase actually, when I was discussing this /. article with her.

      • nah, just another will weaton sausage fest...

      • by Thing 1 (178996)

        vagina field stuck to tabletop

        Yes, that's what I saw. Now I'm at work designing it. (What was that about getting laid?)

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Geordi? Is that you? (Thinking of the episode where Spock's dad's illness makes everyone crazy-pissed off)

    • by narcc (412956)

      When you get right down to it, we're playing pretend.

      Wow. That's the most concise and objective self-assessment I've ever seen. Bravo.

      I'm not a game player myself, but I've always thought that story-telling games deserved a bit more respect than they've had in the past. While I agree that the social stigma isn't going to be reduced as a result of a YouTube show, I sincerely hope that it encourages new developments and innovations in the form. I would really like to see a few "casual" type story-telling games designed for a general audience.

      • by Artifakt (700173) on Monday March 19, 2012 @07:33PM (#39408625)

        For a few years now, Wizards of the Coast has been running ads with variations of the idea that D&D is 'way more normal' than MMORPGS and such. The way they put it is something like "If you're sitting in your parent's basement and pretending to be an elf, you should at least invite a few friends over and order pizza!".
                    Really, in a world where people commonly sit in total physical isolation from other humans while getting their jollies from a PC screen for hours and hours, doesn't throwing a party for a few firends and fixing some refreshments sound more and more like what everyone else does. Hey, you might even use tabletop games as an excuse to clean up the place a bit!

    • Oh really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday March 19, 2012 @06:46PM (#39408273)

      For video gamers it happened. When I started gaming, about 27 years ago, it was something only geeks did. Me and my friends were weird for wanting to play videogames. We were the outcast nerds. Now? Fucking everyone plays videogames. Frat bros love them some Call of Duty, the Sims is popular across all demographics but particularly with women, World of Warcraft had over 12 million active subscribers at one time.

      Videogames are mainstream and it is just an assumption that most people under about 25 play them, and the age is growing all the time.

      Could very well happen for table top games too. When you get down to it, they are just more complex and involved board games.

      • For video gamers it happened. When I started gaming, about 27 years ago, it was something only geeks did.

        Well, I started playing home console video games (Atari 2600 baby!) 30 years ago this year, and coin op games before that. They were not just for geeks! Rich(er) kids had them first, but not geeks exclusively at all. Hell, I remember when owning a Commodore VIC 20 was not only socially acceptable, but was bragged about on the football practice fields. High scores in Space Invaders, Asteroids, and OMG yes Galaga were held by the tough guys that had criminal records and hung out selling dope and getting in f

      • by jdavidb (449077)

        I guess I'm just out of it. When I was a boy I'd go to Toys R Us and see an entire aisle of board games, for all ages. Everybody had a closet full, and everybody played them with their family and friends.

        Am I to understand that this behavior is not actually mainstream? Monopoly, Risk, Parcheesi, these aren't mainstream? Or is there some class of board games here that are not mainstream? I'll admit not everyone knows about Settlers of Catan and such.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          I guess I'm just out of it. When I was a boy I'd go to Toys R Us and see an entire aisle of board games, for all ages. Everybody had a closet full, and everybody played them with their family and friends.

          Am I to understand that this behavior is not actually mainstream? Monopoly, Risk, Parcheesi, these aren't mainstream? Or is there some class of board games here that are not mainstream? I'll admit not everyone knows about Settlers of Catan and such.

          The games you quote are mainstream board games, by big name

      • by giorgist (1208992)
        Chill ... nobody is playing them, you simply hang out with like minded people.
        • What are you high? It's a multi-billion dollar industry. Note my thing about WoW having had 12 million active subscribers. That means they had 12 million people who had all paid to play the game in the last month (some monthly subscriptions, some pay per hour). Every month 12 million people were willing to pay to be able to play. They've lots players to other MMOs now, but the still have about 9-10 million players.

          Some other game sales out there:

          Call of Duty: Black Ops, over 25 million copies sold, over $1

    • by isorox (205688)

      I'm a gamer, and there is flat-out no way this stigma will be removed in my lifetime. When you get right down to it, we're playing pretend. Unless it's couched in layers of indirection, that's just not going to be socially acceptable until the average person has a lot more leisure time.

      Yeah, who wants to pretend? Now I've got to go feed my farmville.

      The average person thinks of "Monopoly" and "Game of life" when they think of games. They don't think of Ticket to Ride, Settlers, etc.

    • Re:Good Fucking Luck (Score:4, Interesting)

      by eht (8912) on Monday March 19, 2012 @07:01PM (#39408399)

      This is mostly only a problem in the US. In Essen Germany there is a yearly games trade fair/convention called Spiel [wikipedia.org] that attracts over 150,000 people a year. Semi comparable conventions in the US get 14k for Origins [wikipedia.org] or 37k for GenCon [wikipedia.org]. Spiel is much more of a marketplace compared to people actually playing games at Gencon or Origins. Just another number to throw in, PAX attracts about 70k gamers. [wikipedia.org]

      Spiel is a family event and the games being marketed there are definitely not your average superstore games shelf fodder like Monopoly, Hi Ho! Cherry-O, or Jersey Shore trivia game. Though some have have gotten better about this and now carry others like Catan, Carcassonne and Race for the Galaxy.

      • The German company Elastolin once produced an assortment of wonderful vacuformed plastic castles, scaled for use with figures from 25mm to larger. Elastolin castles were based on German castles. A hobby shop in New Jersey, used to supply these and as i understood it, they were especially desirable. Especially fascinated with the Elastolin Castle used with rules "for the Siege of Bodenburg," I would like to see these products reformed and re-released.

    • I'm a gamer, and there is flat-out no way this stigma will be removed in my lifetime. When you get right down to it, we're playing pretend. Unless it's couched in layers of indirection, that's just not going to be socially acceptable until the average person has a lot more leisure time.

      Fantasy football is playing pretend, too.

    • As others have said - watching football or soccer or baseball is pretend. Fantasy baseball and fantasy football, which are wildly popular, are pretend. First person shooter games, fighting games like Mortal Kombat, adventure games like Zelda or of course computer roleplaying games like Fallout and World of Warcraft are pretend. Farmville and Mafia Wars are pretend. Risk and Monopoly are pretend.

      Hell, buying a Corvette convertible when you're a fat fifty year old with a receding hairline and hair gro
  • Board game night (Score:4, Interesting)

    by HeyBob! (111243) on Monday March 19, 2012 @05:51PM (#39407651)

    I just hosted a board game night for a a bunch of 20-30 somethings - it was a huge hit! I started each game off with giving players more than the standard loot, to get it going faster, and had an end after 1.5hrs so that they could all get 3 different games in in one night. We played, Masterpiece, Movie Maker, King Oil (all with 4 people) and then had a couple 2 person games for people who showed up late: Xomax and Polarity. We're looking forward to doing it again.

    • by EdIII (1114411)

      ATTN: HeyBob!

      RE: Inquiry into further data regarding board game experiment.

      Hi Bob,

      Interesting experiment. Could you tell me how many females (other than mothers) were present? What was the night on the Sausage Fest Scale?

      Also, to your knowledge, how many males claimed to get laid, and of those how many were verifiable (to any extent)?

      • by Tuidjy (321055)

        Speaking for myself, my boardgame nights' male/female ratio is very close to 50/50. Usually it's three or four couples, and two or three singles. We play Settlers of Catan, Diplomacy, and sometime, when it's at my place, we break out my sister's and my own Warhammer Armies, and play some four way battles with simplified home rules.

        There's one girl who clearly does not like boardgames as much of the rest of us, but she tries very hard to please her guy. We recently found out she actually enjoys Munchkins,

        • by FleaPlus (6935)

          Speaking for myself, my boardgame nights' male/female ratio is very close to 50/50.

          Similar results here. I occasionally host board game nights, mostly made up of PhD students at a well-known tech school, and my most recent one had 5 women and 3 men. Of course most of our gamers are also dancers, which explains part of the gender ratio. ;)

          • by mcgrew (92797) *

            I occasionally host board game nights

            Not me. When I write "bored games" it's neither a typo nor a misspelling.

      • by FleaPlus (6935)

        Also, to your knowledge, how many males claimed to get laid, and of those how many were verifiable (to any extent)?

        Hint: The fact that you're asking this question is possibly a part of the explanation for why women tend to not attend your board game events.

      • by HeyBob! (111243)

        It was 50/50 (as any good party is!) - all friends or couples so no hookups out of the ordinary.

    • by dr_canak (593415)

      Have you been here:

      http://www.boardgamegeek.com/ [boardgamegeek.com]

      Might give you some other ideas for good games that are out there if you're looking to do more of this.

      Best of luck,
      jeff

  • Wave of the future (Score:1, Insightful)

    by doston (2372830)
    Board gaming with friends is nothing like your WoW addiction. One is interactive with in-person friends and requires you to have some, the other probably is social retardation to a degree. Personally, I'd have more fun going the WoW route, but don't dare. Frankly, I think Will would make more money if he'd just break down and do the gay pron.
  • RSS feed? (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by vlm (69642)

    how do I get a RSS feed of the video files so it just integrates with my existing shows? I'd like a high res RSS feed for mythnettv to eat, and/or a low res "youtube quality" feed for my doggcatcher android phone to eat.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 19, 2012 @06:01PM (#39407739)

    You are my nemesis.

    • You are my nemesis.

      Wil, I think it would be hilarious if you had Jim Parsons (a.k.a. Dr Sheldon Cooper) on your show. I don't know if he does any gaming in real life, but I always get a kick out of the games of Mystic Warlords of Ka'a on the Big Bang Theory.

  • by ravenscar (1662985) on Monday March 19, 2012 @06:04PM (#39407767)

    Right, because the best way to break into the mainstream is to fire up a show on a YouTube Channel entitled 'Geek and Sundry'.

    I don't think enough people realize how awesome sport bikes can be. I'm going to start a column in a sports bike magazine in the hope that it will help a new audience catch the fever.

    Please, no replies about how Geek and Sundry was created by the producers of The Guild. The Guild is not mainstream.

  • by hal2814 (725639) on Monday March 19, 2012 @06:07PM (#39407805)
    A gamer also isn't necessarily someone who plays video games. I'm not personally much for video games these days, but I love a good game of Settlers of Cattan or Apples to Apples. I'm interested to see Wheaton's take on that forgotten group of "gamers" who preceded video gamers.
  • by ihaveamo (989662) on Monday March 19, 2012 @06:16PM (#39407947)

    On a date, I broke out the Space Hulk ... but bear with me - it's instant romance - with some good mood lighting, a candleabra dripping with wax, a few good bottles of red wine (in metal goblets of course), some good gregorian chants on the stereo. . (The candlelight is important, as it means that she can't see the terrible paint job I did on the little figurines. I'm told chicks dig artists.)

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      a few good bottles of red wine (in metal goblets of course)

      Presumably the metal goblet disguises the taste of the rohypnol?

  • by macraig (621737) <[mark.a.craig] [at] [gmail.com]> on Monday March 19, 2012 @06:17PM (#39407953)

    The Big Bang Theory has already been doing this, albeit with a bit of tongue in cheek. Considering that Wheaton has actually been a recurring guest on that show, guess where he got the idea?

  • by sconeu (64226) on Monday March 19, 2012 @06:26PM (#39408069) Homepage Journal

    Will Wil (no pun intended) be reviewing 'Mystic Warlords of Ka'a", and describing how he beat Sheldon?

  • by fantomas (94850) on Monday March 19, 2012 @06:33PM (#39408145)

    The problem with trying to make watching other people play board games is the excitement is all in their heads. Their imagination is what's making it such an exciting evening, as well as their in-crowd banter which is all about their own personal jokes. Hard to convey that to a watching non-participating audience.

    Physical sports are exciting for a lot of people because there's a lot of fast visual action, people rushing around and crashing into each other, scoring goals, carrying out very visual actions. But games based on mind play? well... they are all in the mind. I don't see how games like chess, or bridge, or the like can be exciting spectator sports, unless you're really into that game yourself so a fan already? Occasionally I've seen poker on tv - incredibly boring for me because I don't understand the game, don't want to learn about it, and don't find the people particularly entertaining. I think tv board game coverage might be the same: fine if you're already a fan of scrabble, or monopoly, or dungeons and dragons... but otherwise? nothing to see, none of the visual pyrotechnics of car racing, top league basketball/football/downhill skiing (etc).

    • by gmuslera (3436) *

      Its still all in your head, even for physical sports. Oh, you can say "if all those people gets fun because the the game in their head and i join them, i must get fun too". But that would could happen with board games (ok, chess audience is not the same as ping pong ones, nor tennis ones, nor football ones, nor soccer ones, to put it in orders of magnitude, but stilll... is all in your head).

      But to put another example of all in your head where are very few players with not a lot of visuals nor special effe

    • Physical sports are exciting for a lot of people because there's a lot of fast visual action, people rushing around and crashing into each other, scoring goals, carrying out very visual actions.

      I think that 98% of baseball is doing math to calculate an ERA while you are waiting for something exciting to happen on the field. And this is the most popular sport in America.

  • A show like this has a promising premise, would be interesting to people who know who Wil Wheaton is, and builds off Felicia Day's experience/audience/appeal. Its a smart move. Plus Wil is a genuinely nice guy whose interactions with fans are hilarious and warm (http://thebloggess.com/2012/03/wil-wheatons-house-i-am-in-you/). I hope this succeeds.
  • It seems like Star Trek and teen movies were his last steady job. I know he worked for Lightwave and had some bit parts, but nothing really steady.
    • Hey, if he's got the cash, why not retire? I would. Like a shot. Oh sure, do some guest starring roles here and there, perhaps do a Star Trek convention (as long as Grandma isn't dying). But if I've got a nice cottage on a private lake, with high speed internet, and a float plane, why not?
      • Hey, if he's got the cash, why not retire? I would. Like a shot. Oh sure, do some guest starring roles here and there, perhaps do a Star Trek convention (as long as Grandma isn't dying). But if I've got a nice cottage on a private lake, with high speed internet, and a float plane, why not?

        Not your MeeMaw!

  • I know it's just YouTube, but I still can't make eye contact.

  • by dilvish_the_damned (167205) on Monday March 19, 2012 @08:39PM (#39409087) Journal

    Why didn't he just ask her out?

  • by lexsird (1208192) on Monday March 19, 2012 @08:54PM (#39409157)

    Where was this show when I opened my game shop in my small home town.

    We got railed against by all the "good Christian people" who murmured nothing but evil rumors about us, and did their best to cause us any trouble they could. We had a church on one side of us, and a bar on the other side close, and BOTH tried causing us trouble. The bar complained if anyone stood outside our building, and the church was mental, crazy and looking for a way to burn us at the stake.

    We had a cop come into the shop looking for a missing child because he heard that we played D&D there and that involved sacrificing of children to the devil.

    We didn't sacrifice kids, though we threatened to if they misbehaved. It was a running joke in the shop.

    I was one of those kids who grew up playing these kinds of games with my friends. I thought I was rather lucky. The crowd was very bright, a collection of some of the best minds in our school. We became a pretty tight nit social group and had a blast over the years growing up together.

    It was the best social mix of people as well, we had jocks and geeks, welfare kids and rich kids, troublemakers and saints all working together and having a BLAST.

    I can remember my dickheaded Dad finding my D&D books, and flipping out over the artwork. He accused me of being into Satanism and banned any of the books or anything related to it from the house and forbid me from ever having anything to do with it. Of course I just ignored him and kept playing, I just covered my tracks and didn't leave anything around for him to find.

    But years later, he opened a used book shop and got some D&D books in some boxes of books he purchased. He got to thumbing through them and became interested. After he gave it a look over, he did a 180 degree turn, thought it was something cool and NOT a demonic thing. He then started selling them new and was well on his way to being a game shop when he was burglarized for all of the D&D stuff and he didn't have insurance. (small shop, very poor...) Karma got him as well, because some snotty cunt I went to school with wrote a nasty article on his devil worshiping D&D store in the local paper. I got the immense pleasure of asking him, "how does it feel?"

    That's ok, he got even, I didn't get into Magic the Gather like he advise back when they weren't known by anyone and just starting. I missed vast pile of cash missing out on cards that became incredibly high priced. I didn't get in on it until Legends, but I still paid the bills with it and enough to take my card business into a full blown game shop. I just wish I had done it in a big college town where I would have more of a population and customer roll over as the students move along.

    As was, I saturated the market in a 75 mile radius, and my other shop, a gift shop was failing, and I had a spouse who had no discipline in spending. Couple that with a couple of damning business mistakes, some wrong investments, a town full of religious zealots hounding you, cops harassing your customers, it all adds up to a nervous breakdown, financial ruin, and at last divorce.

    You know what made it worth while? I started a gaming club, and the shop was open until ungodly hours on the weekend. I installed huge gaming tables, that we built ourselves. They weren't Vegas quality, but they were nice, clean and looked great and were HUGE and they were full of gamers. The D&D groups got so huge, I had to split them up. I wrote original content for it all and wrote material for the Dungeon Masters. We coordinated it all as one world and the groups would meet for some vast epic event. You have to break it down into smaller groups. I dungeon mastered groups of 20 plus, while they claimed to have loved it, the mechanics of it don't work out so well.

    Two examples; With dungeon design, you have a lot of 10ft wide coridors to explore. When you have 20 people, you pray everyone doesn't fire at once at something ahead. I let them figure this out the hard way of course. But as a DM,

    • by UncleRage (515550)

      Was it the 80's (the whole dad, D&D and the devil)? The 80's fucked me over, too. Geraldo, Oprah and that other one... Phil. Jesus, between D&D and Iron Maiden, I'm surprised a single child made it through the 80's without being sacrificed to the prince of darkness...

      • by lexsird (1208192) on Monday March 19, 2012 @11:37PM (#39410085)

        Oh indeed. It was around 79 to 81. Hey, you just missed KISS. Parents and churches flipped the fuck out over them. Kings In Satan's Service is what they said at church when they preached about it. (We keep electing some wacky people out of this brain cloud pool.) Forget going to see AC/DC, Jail Break was what it was to escape to get to one of their concerts.

        America: we have our own version of the Taliban.

  • by Hast (24833) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @07:55AM (#39411899)

    For anyone interested in this I recommend taking a look at Shut Up & Sit Down (http://www.shutupshow.com/). It's a pretty funny show where they review a couple of board games with a specific theme ever episode. Well worth watching and they tend to be pretty funny as well.

  • by RivenAleem (1590553) on Tuesday March 20, 2012 @11:17AM (#39413641)

    The premise of this show is slightly flawed. Tabletop & Boardgames have been very popular among the average person for generations. My family has played many a game of Scrabble, Monopoly & Game of Life.

    You can't compare D&D to Sports. You have to compare it to, say, cycling or cricket. There are mainstream boardgames that have no stigma associated with it, just as there are mainstream sports (Soccer or Baseball, Basketball, American Football). But if I was to bring up the subject of the Ireland vs. Oman match that took place this weekend (which we won) in the canteen at work, then I'll probably meet blank stares. The Ireland vs England Rugby match though...

    So, if he's going to try to attempt to remove the stigma of a niche hobby, by having it aired on a Geek youtube channel hosted by 2 well known geeks, then I wonder at the success.

    I will watch it, because I'm a geek, but I wonder if it will resemble This [youtube.com] at all...

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