If geeks had our own Mouth of Sauron (only less with the scary teeth and more with the overwhelming exuberance toward geeky topics) it would probably be Wil Wheaton. Not necessarily because he is a bigger, better geek than the rest of us. But maybe because he is very well spoken and pretty well known and because he’s willing to put himself out there, overwhelming exuberance and all, for the world to see.

So when Wil Wheaton says he wants to make a web series about board games and show us all how fun and interesting they can be, we stop and listen and give the show a peek because the Mouth of Sauron commands and we obey (or cower in fear, depending on the tone of voice he uses). Tabletop on the Geek & Sundry YouTube ‘network’ is more than just Wil Wheaton playing board games, however. It’s Wil Wheaton and friends hanging out, chatting, laughing, mocking, playing, and showcasing the great social interactions that come about while playing board games. Games are fun, see? They’re proving it right before our eyes!

As someone who enjoyed Monopoly (Star Wars version) and Life and Sorry(!) growing up but has found many newer games kind of confusing and complicated, watching gamers and non-gamers alike play through assorted games has proven to be more interesting than I thought it would be. I tuned in originally for the stars and as a fan of Felicia Day and Geek & Sundry. But I stayed because I enjoyed the whole set up. Watching the newbies and the experienced gamers play. Hearing the snarky comments from losers and winners. Feeling like a part of the experience (even though I was just watching through a computer screen instead of actually sitting at the game table). And I can’t have been the only one feeling that way, as Tabletop Season 3 just finished one of the most successful crowd-funding campaigns EVER.

Tabletop isn’t a show for everyone, but I’d challenge you to find ANY show on the web or traditional TV that can promise that kind of reach. Instead it’s a show that knows its audience and knows the purpose it wants to serve by airing each new episode. It won’t make gamers of everyone in the world, but for existing gamers and those (like me) that are more on the fence about the whole thing, Tabletop finds its mark. When the Mouth of Sauron (Mouth of Geekdom? No, too much of a mouthful) speaks, it is in our best interest to listen.

Rating: 4/5
GS Blogger: Wrytergrrrl

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