Sunday, 18 August 2013

Tabletop media

TableTop.  That's the You Tube show hosted by Wil Wheaton.  You have heard of it right?  No?
Ok.  Go here - TableTop Playlist - and watch a few of the videos and then come back.  Back?  Cool.  Now where were we?  Ah I remember now.

There's been a real growth in recent years in using media to talk about, review, promote etc the hobby. Shows like TableTop are an evolution of podcasts like those created by the good people at Pulp Gamer.
The promotion of the hobby through "celebrity geeks" first occurred when Penny Arcade and PvP got involved in promoting D&D 4th Edition through a variety of podcasts.

This evolution or whatever it is seems to be happening at the same time as wider awareness of the hobby; whether that's coincidence or as a result I'm not sure.

So.  Why the post?

The exposure that shows like TableTop give the hobby is fantastic.  The show uses high profile geeks to promote Tabletop Games, primarily of the board/card game variety.  Those same high profile geeks promote the show through Facebook, Twitter and a variety of other social media routes.  This in turn drives more traffic to TableTop and has resulted in some serious improvement in the sales of the games.

This is a good thing.  Right?

Absolutely it is but I worry that rather than broaden the exposure of the hobby that the success of TableTop will instead only build the profile of specific games rather than the market as a whole.

Now this might be a false worry and in many respects I trust Wil Wheaton to enable a broaden exposure to the hobby as a whole.  Indeed he's gone so far as to post a video about games that they can't use on TableTop due to the limitations of the show here - Not The Flog.  Go and watch it then come back, we'll still be here.

That's great stuff and I hope if nothing else that they continue to have some sort of "we can't play this game on the show but we wanted to tell you how awesome it is" coverage.