Why I Hate Video Tutorials for Board Games

"STOP!"

"Huh, my board game comes with a warning sticker."

"BEFORE YOU PLAY THIS GAME..."

"Is this board game seizure-inducing, somehow? It's not even Lazer Ryderz."

"...watch US play it! Go to YouTube to see our video tutorial!"

"What? No."

Why I Hate Video Tutorials

First: it isn't that I hate the tutorials themselves. It's that video tutorials come associated with a very specific side effect.

Tips for Running a Great Board Game Night

Even the news outlets are talking about it; board game nights are trending. In an age of digitally-enforced distance, seeing friends and family face-to-face can be the perfect way to renew bonds and rehash old times. But running a board game night can be pretty intimidating, especially if you aren’t an expert in the hobby. Here are some tips to get the games running smoothly.

The Good and Bad of Social Deduction Board Games

"I'm pretty sure you're the killer. I'm going to guess rope and spider."

"No."

"Damn it! Well, I'm still sure it's her. Guess rope and soap."

"No."

"Are you all going to keep burning guesses on my rope?"

"What do you mean 'you all'?"

"Yeah, if you weren't the murderer, you would have said WE, not YOU ALL!"

"That doesn't even make sense!"

Idle Hands: Are Your Players Getting Bored Between Turns?

What do players do when waiting for their turn? If you're testing your game on a group like mine, your players will end up chatting and socializing socializing. But if the turns begin to take too long, people will start getting impatient. Take even longer still, and the game will be put away -- never to be played again.

The Five Best Board Games That I Hate to Play

Before I get a whole bunch of hate for this, let me preface it with this: these are some of the games that are most often requested by my group, and, consequently, these are games that I often teach. So even though I personally hate these games (and hate may be a strong word, it's more that I nothing these games), I still expose new people to them and respect their place in the hobby.

D&D Narrative, DMs, AND Player Autonomy 4: Player Goals

In the final installment of this series, we’re going to talk about player goals. In other words, the encompassing goal that the player has for their character. Some characters have complex motivations; a fallen paladin on a quest to find out whether their God failed them at a critical moment in time in the past. Others have very simple ones; get gold. Some players have meta goals, such as playing a class they’ve never played before; other players are simply rolling the dice.

Are You "That Couple" When It Comes to Board Gaming?

You take out your newest board game, with a gleam in your eye. You know everyone's been waiting to play this -- and you got in on the Kickstarter. But suddenly everyone's averting their eyes.

"I don't know, Tom. It's a little late."

"It's 12:00. Noon."

"Well, I have to get up early for school."

"You haven't been in school in eight years."

"OK, fine. Truth be told, we hate playing with you two."

Oh no. You've become "that couple."

D&D Narrative, DMs, and Player Autonomy 3: Player vs. Narrative Conflict

I don’t think I’m imagining it -- modern DMs are running modules less frequently. Instead of getting a boxed campaign, they’re diving into the deep end, often running their own homebrew right from the start. And that means that DMs -- new DMs, who sometimes haven't even run a game before -- need to be able to build both a world and a narrative together. 

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