Cardboard Children: Change Or Die

By Robert Florence on May 21st, 2013 at 7:00 pm.


Hello youse.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I wrote last week – particularly that part about how we move new people into playing board games. It seems so fucking weird that I care. I’m trying to place myself in the shoes of someone who doesn’t give a shit about board games. They’re looking at me, I’m sure, thinking “Why can’t I just not like this crap? Can you please allow me to not like this childish crap?” But I’m getting weird about it. I think society needs more people playing games together at one table in one room. I think it might be a vital thing.

This week, I want to try to attack this thing head-on.

WHY IS BOARD GAMING UNCOOL?

And it IS uncool. And you could argue that cool doesn’t matter. But it does. Cool always matters. The definition of cool is the only thing that can be argued about. And even that’s a pointless argument, because “cool” is something you can feel. For young people, board gaming isn’t attractive. It has an image problem. A major image problem.

The most high profile public face of board gaming is probably Wil Wheaton, with his show Tabletop. He seems like a lovely guy, for sure. But he couldn’t be further from cool. He’s a nerdy guy playing to an audience of nerds and nerd-sympathisers. Outwith this weird circle that we (me and you) exist in, Wil Wheaton carries no weight. He is there, doing a thing he is comfortable doing, surrounded by people who are comfortable with him, embraced by an audience of comfortable people. And that’s fine. I’m not asking him to give all that up. He is doing it well.

The recent Tabletop Day thing that Wil did was a nice idea too, but it was also kinda fucking weird. I had a similar idea a while back – “HOST A GAMING DAY! INVITE STRANGERS!” – but that was fucking weird too. Look, I’m trying to challenge some thoughts here. Look at that website. Is it just me, or is there something a bit creepy about it? “Take a game to your community centre! Have a game day in your house!” All lovely stuff, but… Why? Why do we need to be so fucking culty and oddball about it? Why does board gaming often move down the same paths we expect Christian bake sales to take?

I’ve heard that Tabletop has broken some new people into board gaming. But are they the right people? I think that people who would find board games through watching a show like Tabletop, or Tom Vasel’s stuff, or one of my old things, is probably the type of person who would find it anyway. When I get tweets from people looking for advice on their “first proper board game”, it’s always a similar type of person. Late twenties or older. Usually male. Often with young children. Usually with a beard. And I’m GLAD those people are trying out board games. But where is everyone else?

MY FEAR OF BUBBLES

There are no real easy answers – but this is what I’ve been thinking about lately:

When I started writing and making videos about board games, there wasn’t a lot of people doing it. But now everyone is doing it. And we’re all doing it in exactly the same way, and playing to the exact same audiences. We’re all trampling over each other, stepping on each other’s toes, tugging each other’s beards. It’s not healthy, I don’t think.

We’re in a bubble. The internet is full of bubbles. The people we follow on Twitter, the things we search for on Google, the websites we visit. We stretch out our arms and we quickly touch the soapy wall around us. It’s why we’re not, any of us, cutting through with the message about board gaming.

WHAT MESSAGE?

Fuck. What IS the message? It isn’t that Agricola is a great farming game. Or that Cosmic Encounter is the BEST space game. We’ve done all that. The message is that people need to be beside each other. That’s all the message ever was. People beside other people, smiling at other people, touching other people. And people means every person. Everybody. It doesn’t matter what the game is. As long as it’s something that makes you laugh in close proximity to another person. Good people. Good drink. Good laughs. Good fun. Together.

THE CHANGE OF DIRECTION

Which means a change of direction is necessary.

Rock Paper Shotgun is an amazing website. I think it’s the best source of games writing on the internet. I really do. But lately I’ve been feeling like my column is just a place like many other places. Sure, sometimes I go way off and weird it up a little. But I often come back to that default position of recommending a board game, probably the same board game that others have recommended that week. And it will have been recommended by many other people in the same way. The same ground being covered again and again.

When I come back from holiday, you’ll be seeing a new Cardboard Children column. In fact, I’m going to change that name too. I want to take coverage of board gaming in a completely different direction. I want to take a broader look at it, and cover it in a much more subversive way. If there’s a website that allows experimentation in games writing, it’s Rock Paper Shotgun.

And if, after eight weeks of that new direction, I don’t feel like this column is different enough? Then I don’t think there’s any point in it existing at all. I’ll walk away from it. But I don’t think it’ll come to that. I’m fizzing with ideas.

I’ve been heading in this direction for a while. I’ve been very aware of that Raven watching me. I’ve been trying to climb the mountain that is my new video game show. Trying to find new ways of talking about the stuff I love. I’ll still recommend games to you, don’t worry. But we’re on a bigger journey than that this time, I think.

Change or Die.

I don’t want to die.

__________________

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54 Comments »

  1. guygodbois00 says:

    “… Cover it in a much more subversive way”. Can’t wait till Mr Florence comes back from his holiday.

    • colossalstrikepackage says:

      Yeah. This is definitely what I want more of on this site. Subversive is good if it’s truthful. And I think Rab’s nailed the board game idea on the head – enjoying the company of other people over a game. Subvert away!

  2. BooleanBob says:

    I hope you stick around for a while yet, Rab. Whatever the hell you want to write about.

  3. cptgone says:

    “When I get tweets from people looking for advice on their “first proper board game”, it’s always a similar type of person. Late twenties or older. Usually male.”
    that doesn’t surprise me at all. i just hope your mentioning this won’t start another RPS crusade against the depiction of scantily clad women. not that Risk, Monopoly or Scrabble are guilty of that, of course, but who cares for facts when there’s a bonfire of works of ‘degenerate’ art to dance around?

    • vanosofmanos says:

      Scantily clad women are probably the ONLY thing that would get me to play Monopoly or Risk and even they couldn’t keep me awake long enough to actually play the game!

    • Planet9 says:

      Oh for god’s sake. The guy spent a whole column explaining that he thinks current writing about board games is failing to attract a wider audience, and you had to make it about your peen.

      Look, no one is mentioning the depiction of women. But women are a large part of that audience that is out there, and it might be worth thinking about how our hobby currently fails to appeal to them, if there is a better way to reach out to girlfriends/friends/workmates/relatives who just happen to be female.

      If that’s not something that you’re interested in, just don’t come back, eh?

      • corona2172 says:

        The problem here is that YOU are intolerant of how other people desire to guide the hobby. Maybe, just maybe, some people wish to keep their hobby a niche market, and have no desire of expansion. Whether that be for misogynistic reasons or others, who are you to judge? I personally feel that a wider audience would be great, but that is my personal opinion. Quit being so self-righteous.

  4. Radiant says:

    Btw kill that guy that video’d your mums house.

  5. KDR_11k says:

    Boardgames do have a high profile supporter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Germany

    • DrMcCoy says:

      Yup. Maybe it’s just me being in Germany or a geek or a combination of both, but I don’t see any substantial body of people thinking board games are weird, or not knowing of them at all.

      The computer science faculty of the uni I went to still hosts board game evenings every other months (as do several youth centers in the vincinity), I went to a lot birthday/graduation/whatever parties in my life time where board games were played, Settlers of Catan is widely known, etc..

      In short, I don’t see it. Or is that just me?

      • Boronian says:

        Yeah, I never got the feeling that boardgames are weird or something. Everybody loves them in Germany. I’m always surprised about how much energy Rab (and SUSD too) is investing in writing about boardgames being uncool.

      • Planet9 says:

        Well, it’s certainly more widely accepted as a pastime. But there’s still a certain prejudice – most people play Die Siedler von Catan as children, and just drift away after a while.

        It is a place where you can buy Dominion in just about any big supermarket though. That’s good.

      • Soldancer says:

        I’m American and the biggest problem as far as I see it is one of visibility. The “canon” of known traditional board games is basically:

        Clue(do)*
        Risk
        Monopoloy
        Battleship
        Candyland
        Life

        Most of those get ignored as “kid’s games.” Lots of people in the States like games, but they tend to enjoy social party games more than strategic stuff (either combat or resource management). Things like Apples to Apples, Cranium, Guesstures, Pictionary, etc. have are pretty popular and well-known. But that’s in large part because they are the only games (with those above) carried in big-box retailers.

        Barnes and Noble Booksellers have recently started carrying huge numbers of board games, and their “strategy” section has a good variety of American-style games (Mansions of Madness, the D&D board games) and Euro-style games (Agricola, Settlers of Catan). I think that level of visibility in a widely frequented store might slowly get more people into trying out cool new games. At least that’s my hope.

        *Clue is the only one of those that I have fond memories of, but my family has always been big on more obscure board games. As a kid I had Fireball Island, Heroquest, Emperor’s Challenge, Smess, some Sherlock Holmes mystery game, a crazy Ghostbusters game, and more.

      • PoulWrist says:

        So in the nerdy computer lab you see people playing board games? … OK. My experience of germans and germany? People think boardgaming is fucking weird. Instead, they dye bits of their hair in neon colors.

    • Ross Angus says:

      That’s what my board game friends say: go into a game cafe in the UK, and it’ll be all male. In German, it’s all ages, all demographics. We have a lot to learn from them.

      • The Random One says:

        Yes, but what? What does Germany do that the rest of the world doesn’t? It’s not the games themselves, since many of them have been released elsewhere without causing droves of housewives to suddenly decide to try Fortress America. Culture is a ridiculously complex thing and I doubt we’d be able to pinpoint exactly what causes it.

        But I’ll bet it’s Monopoly. It’s Monopoly, isn’t it?

        • DatonKallandor says:

          No it’s the fact that in a post- 2nd big war central europe, especially germany, having a physical game to play with your family, that required no electricity or special resources other than time and the game itself was incredibly important.

          The fact that they also had just been defeated in a horrific war meant that they weren’t afraid to make boardgames that had non-combat themes. That’s why you see so many farming, colonizing, building and all-around ‘constructing’ boardgames out of germany.

  6. urahara says:

    Rab cool matters. But there is a movement going on: Boardgames are on TV, they are on the internet, and they are in our houses.

    The hardest thing to explain to someone is that Boardgames arent D&D with models, or Monopoly. Now we have people making jokes about having wood for sheep on a massive show (The Big Bang Theory), and a show that shows new gamers how to play them (Tabletop).

    When I got into boardgames Cardboard Children just started, Shut up and Sit Down was showing parts of their episodes on Penny Arcade and Tabletop was just starting. Yes I am the sort of person who would find those anyway but Tom Vassel, Watch it Played, Boardgamegeek? I would have sneered at them. I would have been an idiot but I would have sneered.

    Now instead of playing cards or Trivial Pursuit badly my mates will trash me at King of Tokyo, fail to save the world in Pandemic or hold livelong grudges (or at least until revenge on the table has enacted) due to Game of Thrones.

    Are boardgames cool? Maybe not yet, but lets make them so.

    (Oh and your comment about you recommending a game and so is everyone else?
    1) Imagine if that happened in videogames… the horror.
    2) Remember you are on one of the few cross over sites for boardgames and other stuff. People might only check here and therefore without your recommendation miss out. It will all be your fault Rab (OK mostly theirs for not researching games properly but hush).

    • Lacero says:

      I agree with this, but after “Venice, Gone” I’m looking forward to what Rab thinks a new direction is like :)

      • nearly says:

        I have almost zero interest in board games, and would have had much less interest in them if not for this column and “Venice, Gone” in particular. I still think that half of my lack of interest is due to A) not having any games and B) not having anyone to play them with. I think I’d probably enjoy them given that I get bored easily/refuse to waste time on boring things and have read the column a few times.

  7. The Hairy Bear says:

    I actually dug out my password to disagree. There are definitely places like London on Board where people rock up and ‘try’ board games and I’d say there’s a fair mixture of types there, geek and non-geek. I played Game of Thrones at my flat with a mixed group and if anything the ladies enjoyed it more than the guys.

    I would say board games have a higher proportion of women than virtually any ‘geeky’ hobby I’ve done. Is it going to be cool, in this country no, the only activities classed as ‘cool’ are probably football and rugby, maybe cricket. The rest very much depends on your cultural background.

    I’m not sure as a group that pc gaming website people are likely to contain a high proportion of ‘cool’, look at the general reaction in the comments to the release of Football Manager for instance. Probably one of the acceptable game titles for guys to play. Personally as I suspect most people here have, I lost interest in being ‘cool’ a long time ago but I certainly don’t brag about my hobbies and most people find it very surprising that I do geeky stuff. I’d never mention it for a while on dates for instance.

    Anyway what I’m trying to say is I shall certainly read your new column as I love your work but as a guy who can pretend to do ‘lad’ very well I’m afraid none of the guys I play darts and pool with on a Friday night or the girls who come out are ever likely to change their views on games until they have kids or settle down.

    • DellyWelly says:

      Girls love sexy hidden geek. Yup, read it again. Again… Believe. Dare to Believe.

  8. The Hairy Bear says:

    Actually I lie slightly, I have taught one game in the pub to a group of people who really dont ‘do’ board games, which was skull and roses as a drinking game. Maybe that’s the place to start!

    • urahara says:

      Maybe Rab is taking us all to the pub and doing his reviews there! Can someone get some chilli nuts when they next go to the bar?

  9. pelham.tovey says:

    I completely disagree; about what ‘Board Gaming’ is, about what it needs to be, about fucking “cool”, about why I play games and what your suggestion really entails.

    Any game is unplayable if you’re sat around a table with a bunch absolute arseholes. I play games with people who’s company I already enjoy and who have a few spare hours. We play games, or we go to the pub, or maybe we have a barbecue. These people are just my friends. Some of them love games like I do, as pieces of art and engineering, they’re the ones I play games with more often.

    When I try to introduce games to new people sometimes it takes and sometimes it doesn’t, mostly it depends on the game. I’ve recently got my brother playing Agricola whilst watching rubbish James Bond films. It’s a silly ritual that’s just a fun way for us to spend some time together. I’m not leading a ‘Gamer Pride’ crusade.

    You’re asking people to swap the sugar-rush, white noise of the Internet with any sort of flesh and blood socialising. That’s a big battle, and I’m not convinced Rock Paper Shotgun is the place to reach your new audience. The fact it’s willing to embrace your approach is precisely the reason it’s not the right place. We’re a bunch of sympathetic nerds, too.

  10. Chris D says:

    A subversive new direction sounds splendid and by all means write what you feel you have to write in the way you have to write it. Also, stopping when you feel it’s time to go is entirely vaild.

    But…Why does cool matter?

    Why not just do the things you love and to hell with what anyone else thinks? Cool is a endlessly shifting goal-post anyway and, it seems to me, that the moment you worry whether you’re cool or not is the moment you lose any possibility of being it. Cool is making your own path, not allowing yourself to be defined by what everybody else thinks.

    We’ve already seen comics and videogames move out of automatically being labelled as nerdy and become, if not cool then at least accepted. Boardgames will come too, they’re just a little further behind. Right now the old recursive argument – “Boardgames are nerdy because nerds play them. You can tell they’re nerds because the play boardgames” – hasn’t worn off yet, but it will. Give it time.

    And if not? Some people may be put off just because “Boardgames aren’t cool” but ultimately that’s their loss. There are others that won’t be. There are a lot of others that won’t be. Let’s play games with them, and whether that makes us nerds or that makes us cool so what? We still get to play boardgames.

    • Reapy says:

      I agree with you. It has been my conclusion that “cool” is actually just for the longest time been a reflection of marketing force and what they are pimping at the time, buffeted by society pressures.

      Basically a charismatic person will do something and have fun, and suddenly this is cool. On a large scale these are celebrities pimping products and fashion, they are advertising putting products in tv shows and movies (its ALWAYS a macbook when the character is supposed to be cool). Product association, use this, do this, act this way, and associate and all is good.

      You need only look at the fashion industry for the biggest professionals of ‘cool’ manipulation, every few years they somehow manage to convince the world that the way they were dressing is stupid and ugly. I remember in the 90′s hearing ‘WHAT WERE WE THINKING IN THE 80′s?!?!?!’ only to see 80′s come roaring back with a vengeance in younger people a few years ago. Perhaps 10 years is the flip, so one generation can make sure they don’t look like their parents and we flop back and forth, but whatever they do, they know just how to manipulate ‘cool’ and dictate an image.

      But anyway the trick for cool things are they are simple and flashy, they are emotions, something that ticks an emotion in you. A board game is not that, the emotion only build once you start playing and grasp the rules. It will never be cool because you can’t watch someone play a boardgame and feel something like someone playing an instrument or see a bunch of models strutting around.

      Anyway, I could go on forever, and while it is generally god to ignore ‘cool’ for the crap it is, you still have to pay attention to it else you just make your life a bit harder than it needs to be. The biggest trap you will have to making your thing you do seem uncool is to doubt yourself and be embarrassed about it.

      Hold to your own reality and let other people suffer from denying themselves something they like because they think it shows the wrong image.

      • stkaye says:

        I was going to try and say what’s in these two comments, except you guys have already done it, and very persuasively.

        I love you guys.

  11. Reapy says:

    Getting people to play board games is 1000000x easier than getting them to play a video game with you. Doubly hard to get them to play a pc game with you…but ask anybody to play a board game ‘OH I LOVE BOARD GAMES”, granted they might mean monopoly etc, but its very easy to take out a gateway game and say hey check out all these other types of games out there, and so you can guide people reasonably far into heavily themed games.

    Granted it takes a special person to appreciate arkham horror, but damn me if cosmic encounter et al is easy enough to get everyone into. Now I was pretty shocked at the people that wanted to board game, I would never talk games with them in a million years, but lo, they all enjoyed it. Again though this is within my social group which doesn’t include many people interested in ‘cool’, and really, not trying to be a curmudgeon but, who needs them?

    I think what we are facing a bit is the problem we had with pc/console games before the internet/dial up etc is finding opponents. It is the same as the pc gaming dark ages where men were men and AI’s were our opponents. A boardgaming AI is no good, easy enough to replicate on the PC, but the clever mechanics that make it simplistic to figure things out IRL become trivial on the PC and there is (for me anyway) a desire for more complexity in visuals and mechanics, so breaks down the greatness of the board game.

    I think something that the boardgaming landscape could use is a few more roadmaps to categorizing the generas of boardgames. I think I went on a buying rampage to get ‘one of each’ that interested me, but finding the actually genera types and then good games for them took a few hours of listing to tom vassel talking about things and surfing of boardgamegeek.

    So, things like, hey, this board game is an area control game, this board game is a minature wargame, this one is small scale tactics, this is a deck building game, this is a living card game etc etc.

    Another thing that I don’t see a lot of coverage are the hardcore customization and building projects people do for games, you can find this on images in board game geek but would nice to see more detailed coverage of this, like some guy who built a huge death star playing surface for xwing miniatures, or a guy who did an entire set of space hulk 3d module terrain.

    Or what about that group of heroscape players that are busy finding cheap miniatures from everywhere and creating balanced and interesting units for the game despite the company having axed it.

    All those things are stuff I like about boardgaming, more so than ‘hey look at this new game coming out’, its about what people are doing with what is already out there, its about discovering new generas (I spent a whole Saturday reading about all the miniature sea battle games out there I had never known about once I stumbled on one ).

    There is lots to cover out there, and it is all very scattered about.

    • Kitsunin says:

      Yeah, I think if you asked just about anyone about board games they would say: “Yeah, games are pretty cool, I play/used to play them with my family. We played Monopoly/Scrabble/Risk/Settlers of Catan(occasionally)/etc.” They probably wouldn’t have a problem if you wanted to play a board game with them, as long as you don’t dive straight into anything heavy.

      But finding people to play with is horribly difficult, in my experience. Of the towns I’ve lived in, one small town had absolutely zero places where one might meet to play board games. That town also didn’t have a theater, arcade, or anything remotely entertaining, so I guess it’s to be expected. Another town had one game shop that only really did TCGs, but I met some people there who did DnD nights, so that was reasonably cool. Still nobody and no place to gather to play miscellaneous board games though. Now I live in a city with half a million population, and as far as I’ve figured out there’s just one miniature shop here that does board games. They only do misc. game nights once a week though, and it’s a Thursday, so I can’t participate since I need to be asleep by ten before weekdays.

      I’d love to play with my friends, but they can’t get to my home easily (And it’s a lot of trouble to clean up if they could). Since I can’t exactly stuff a boardgame into my backpack and find somewhere to play it on campus, I’m kinda stuck.

      Overall, I feel like the main problem is that gathering a group of people you already DO know to play board games is really awkward and difficult. If there were good public places set aside for that kind of thing, it would be great. But needing to manage a whole house party just to play some games is too much of a hassle.

  12. Skaz says:

    I’m a late twenties male with a beard. You got me, i’m in boardgame since about a year now. But i try to bring new people to play (ok, usually some other late twenties males…).

  13. ElVaquero says:

    hear fucking hear

  14. Big Red says:

    The thing about cool is not to give a shit, as long as you turn up with a clean ball bag everything is fine. Seriously if theres something you want to do, you just have to do it, I mean it never stops the Warhammer people right, walking through the city centre with case with a big imperial eagle on it..

    I think that there are plenty of people willing to play boardgames they just know NOTHING about them. Case in point I introduced Ticket to Ride to my wifes family they went for it like it was crack or something. They had no idea that modern boardgames exist, when most people think of boardgames they think Monopoly or Scrabble, boring but true..

    Anyway I really enjoy your writing and look forward to your return.

  15. kimadactyl says:

    Not even sure if you read these comments. But to me by far the most offputting thing about your column to newcomers is the idea that SOMEONE MUST CRY or there has to be a big fight or make you fall out with people. This is GAMER MENTALITY and most people simply don’t want this I don’t think. Not that this can’t happen in a game of Ludo, but writing about it I think just comes across as overly hetero-macho, like what nerd kids do instead of barfights.

    • Fameros says:

      +1

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      I call my pocket Yahtzee my “dice knuckles”.

      • The Random One says:

        I call my pocket Yahtzee Ben and rather enjoy his commentary.

    • frightlever says:

      That’s pretty damn insightful.

      I mean there’s a problem when a column at once declares Wil Wheaton to be the public face of board-gaming (not THAT public though) and then points out how creepy and weird his efforts to popularise them have been.

      • The Random One says:

        What is the problem with pointing out the most public proponent of something you enjoy does not present it in a way you’d enjoy? I too might say that gamers’ public face is Penny Arcade and I do not find that to be a pleasant state of affairs.

  16. Martel says:

    I have to say, Wil Wheaton and Tabletop was the only way I was able to convince my wife to sit down and play some games with me. She kept claiming she didn’t have the attention span, that she wasn’t competitive, all those things. We watched Ticket to Ride on Tabletop, which got her to see how simple it was, so she finally agreed to try.

    Fast forward a few months later and we have a board gaming night, hosted by my wife, who has even picked out a few games of her own with which to backstab people in, as that has turned out to be her favorite type of game.

    That being said, it probably only happened because she married a nerd, but I still give Wil his props.

    And on a side note, I couldn’t get my friends and coworkers to come over to play board games to save my life. As soon as I changed it to inviting them over for beer and food, with the option to play board games, I had a full house.

    Now they’re all rabid about playing board games, and half the time we don’t even know who won, but we have a blast every time. I’ve actually had to start turning people away because I don’t have room in my house nor games that can support giant numbers of people.

    • Martel says:

      Forgot to mention, I own my own rabid desire for board games to you Rab. Been reading RPS for a long time, and cardboard children caused me to fill a closet with shrink-wrapped games that the aforementioned people would never come over to play.

      I can’t remember what article it was that you wrote, but you convinced me to buckle down and find a way to just get them in the house, that being together was the most important part and gaming would follow. It has and it’s been great.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      When a woman tells you she is not competitive, beware.

      Lady Smingleigh (Phoebe “Fab” Smingleigh) said the same to me. Then I introduced her to the mildest form of competition I could imagine – Plants Vs Zombies high scores.

      She didn’t sleep all night. She was awarded the mantle of “victor” in the morning and immediately started a sustained Plants Vs Zombies marathon which ground my high score into the dust.

      I live in fear of the day she discovers there is an entire world out there waiting for her to defeat.

  17. Big Red says:

    Yeah right I bet he doesnt even read the comments, it all about him thats why, Hey Florence are you reading this..knock once if you can hear me. See? not bothered..bastard.

  18. Temple says:

    So you are going to disappear even further up your own a- annnnnyway if you like Rab’s style you can try Michael Barnes on nohighscores that John linked to on Cracked LCD the other week.
    Or Matt Drake at drakesflames (who has also gone down the route of losing interest in reviews).
    Quinns (ex-RPS) over on http://susd.pretend-money.com/ does amusing reviews and slightly less in your face.
    A whole bunch of other reviewers are out there.

    Along with Tom Vassel and Dice Tower on youtube, there is http://www.youtube.com/user/WatchItPlayed which I found useful for explaining rules and is branching out into discussing other aspects of gaming.

    Try London on Board if you are London based, playing most Saturdays and Sundays now and 3 or 4 times on weeknights.

  19. Thurgret says:

    Looking forward to it.

    Can’t say I’ve seen the ‘weird’ thing, though, nor has the assortment of board games (or little model soldiers) occasionally set out on my kitchen table attracted any comment beyond “Oh, hey, cool, what’s this?” and so on. Still, I guess that may say something about the people I associate with?

  20. johann tor says:

    So, this was a column wherein the author attacked head-on the need to write another column…
    Because as he says he’s fizzing with ideas – so he’s taking a holiday?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      You know, grown ups have responsibilities and people relying on them. They have to plan holidays in advance, inform people that they will be away, book time off work, arrange care for pets and house plants – sometimes children. If you chop and change your plans at the drop of a hat, it affects other peoples life’s, costs a lot of money and is generally disrespectful to all the people you mucked around.

  21. mrrruczit says:

    Cardboard Children is the only place where I read about boardgames, I love it, and I trust it. Because of CC I came back to boardgames (I played Talisman or Monopoly 15 years ago…), I bought BSG, Descent, Infiltration, I’m going to by Spartacus, City of Horror etc. Don’t take it from me! Please :)

  22. Advanced Assault Hippo says:

    Actually, I kinda like the regular board game reviews you do. Probably more than the zanier articles.

    Try not to overcomplicate things needlessly.

  23. Anonymatt says:

    People hate learning things except in retrospect. You don’t have to teach people to sit down together and watch Game of Thrones. People don’t want to commit to learning something and risk spending time having someone “go easy on them” or just losing a lot.

    In American bars and parties, people play games like Apples to Apples. Games that are fun while you’re playing, but anyone or everyone can just quit at any time and there’s no harm in it. Just like kids playing tag. Games like Scrabble where you even just have to write down scores are much harder to get more than two people involved.

    I’m terribly cool. I play video games only long enough to see what I can make my man do, but I never finish them to see how the kiddie story ends because I’m wicked cool and have better things to do. Cardboard Children doesn’t make me go out and buy games, because even though I can anticipate having fun with them, I know I will have the same problems Florence has getting non-nerds to play with me. However, maybe because of these articles, if I have the opportunity, I will play a game with someone like Florence. And I will tell others about my experience. In this way, the whole thing gets cracked open that much wider. So whatever enhanced sense of self Robert gets from people learning about games will be more accessible to him.

  24. Duke of Chutney says:

    imo Consoles only really became cool in the past console generation for several people i know, and PC gaming is viewed by many people as uncool. Board games are even further behind, and RPGs are at the back, or perhaps LARPing is.

    What if we took something cool and put it into the boardgame?…

    DAFT PUNK THE BOARDGAME

    or a show with David Bowie playing board games, that’d solve the problem.

    i’m joking, but there is a point, Will Wheaton is correct in that cool and accessibility for the masses is associated with people. The only problem is that Wheaton isn’t that cool.

    I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  25. Deano2099 says:

    But Quinns told me board games were cool! You guys need to settle this. In the ring.

  26. Syphus says:

    I don’t really have all that much to contribute here, but I just wanted to say that this is still my favorite column on the site, and I am disappointed any week it doesn’t happen.