Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Monday, July 04, 2011

BGTG 114 - Party Games for Shy Boardgamers (with David Gullett)

You may think it's odd or ridiculous that a guy who hosts a boardgame podcast feels uncomfortable in some social party games due to the putting-yourself-out-there part of them. But that's exactly how I feel, and my suspicion is that other boardgamers may feel the same. Meanwhile, there are clearly a bunch of other people--including boardgamers--who really enjoy the fun, laughs, and camaraderie that party games deliver. In fact, they do a lot better delivering that payoff than a euro about banking in Renaissance Italy ever could! :-)

For this discussion, I brought one of those party+boardgame enthusiasts on the program--frequent guest David Gullett. Besides our general discussion about what makes party games tick, we debate a bunch of party game types, and spend most of the show talking about some specific titles like Times Up, Telestrations, and Wits & Wagers.Along the way, I discover that I like some types considerably more than others, and the stumbling block with some appears to be performance anxiety (of the "stage fright" variety--not the other kind!).


Fine print: Thanks to Northstar Games for a review copy of Say Anything Family.


Anonymous Jeff Myers said...

Great episode. Worth the wait.

I love party games of all kinds. I don't think there was a category that Dave discussed that I don't enjoy.

I think Time's Up is about the only game you talked about that I don't own. Some of the games I didn't hear you talk about: Hit or Miss, Scattergories, and Train of Thought.

I think it's interesting that Wits and Wagers is a party game, but Fauna is not. I guess Fauna doesn't scale. What about a regular game that can be scaled to work with a large group? Is Finito with a dozen people a party game?

11:09 PM  
Blogger Gregarius said...

Woohoo, a new episode!

And a fun discussion, too. Good job.

Now for DaveBo's requested hate mail: What was with all of those categories? What did you have, like 8 or 9? And you can't name categories after what they describe! Password-type, Apples to Apples-type, Balderdash-type. Huh? You need to think in broader strokes, like Trivia, Performance, Vocabulary, etc. Come on! Put some thought into it next time!

Okay, that's the end of the hate mail. I'd be really interested in playing Tunebaya with you. I've never played it, but it sounded like fun to me.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Davebo said...

I think I stumbled upon a good definition of what a "party game" should be: fun to watch even if you're not playing. Perhaps "Fauna" is, but Finito? Perhaps a "party game" needs a "play at home" feel, where you feel you can be part of it even when not playing?

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Davebo said...

I'd like to apologize for my obvious nasal ailment. I think I was fighting a cold. Sorry for the heavy breathing, folks.

Greg - Yeah... I name 'em as I see 'em! In some way, I was giving props to those games that popularized the format.

Ok, Jeff, Greg, you're on my side to get MaJo to play some party games next time we ever find ourselves in the same room!

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed this podcast. Great discussion. My attitude toward party games is very similar to yours, Mark. I dread "performance" games like Cranium and Quelf, but love Telestrations and Game of Things. I dislike the game element of being forced to do embarrassing things in front of a group of people.

Maybe it's an engineer thing?

8:00 AM  
Blogger Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

Still need to listen to this - but it makes me laugh that you chose DaveBo as your guest for an episode about shy gamers. :-)

4:32 PM  

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