Well board games have heroes for board gamers as well as movie stars. You could call the designers of board games the producer of a movie, so I am not referring to the designers. Will probably write about those at a later time.
The board game reviewers are my “movie stars”, and I have spent way too much cash on games reviewed by these stars 🙂 I ought to stop watching their videos, but god damn I am addicted.
The first video I watched was Will Wheaton on his show tabletop (Geekandsundry). He had guests in playing Tokaido, which is an amazing zen like game where you travel from Kyoto to Edo in old times Japan. Shortly after that it was in my collection.
Dice Tower is very likely the most famous of the shows. The show is hosted by Tom Vasal and his friends. They do a top 10 list of whatever they find interesting about games, and that is what I will primarily watch, and there are tons more… They also do reviews.
… however… my favorite star is Rahdo. He is an american who lives in Malta with his wife, and he is just always happy. He is the kind of guy who will see the positive in everything. I had to prepare a game once, and read the rules. Really wasn’t in the mood to read the game manual, and on the imdb of board games boardgamegeek.com I found a video of him going through a review. He plays both the side of himself and his wife, and it just works, this single man competing with himself.
When looking in my game room, he is directly involved in:
- Stone Age.
- Castles of Mad King Ludwig.
- Northwest Passage.
- and many more…
So tons of games in my collections are of his making (reviews).
A thought for debate is if they are really independent, or are paid for their positive reviews. Many of them get free access to prototypes that they review, and then the prototype appears on Kickstarter (Crowdfunding) with their review connected.
I actually think that the entire discussion is irrelevant. I think it is impossible to shovel s%&# and make it smell like roses. I have my board game preferences as others have theirs, and while they may affect and inspire they cannot force. There are games that I have seen where the reviewer (even Rahdo) loved the game and I was like ‘meh – I don’t think so’.
Just like movie stars. They appear in movies that we for some reason do not like. My wife thinks that Charlie Hunnam has yet to make a bad movie; she just refers to him as Jax (from Sons of Anarchy), but on that point we do not see eye to eye, and that is OK.
When talking with my friend with the board game shop about it he tells me that he always sells a lot of games of the reviewed type, when they have been seen. It does work, and they are really needed. A lot of games are released and you cannot buy or try them all. Sometimes some guidance from a shining star is needed.