I found this old post from the summer in my unpublished folder as I was avoiding work and thought I would share it. In it I plug, being lazy, some books, a cafe and the YouTube show Tabletop.
It's summer and as I read my tweet feeds I feel like a slacker as I haven't really done much to enrich my professional development or deepen my understanding of the things I hold to be true. In June I selected a pile of professional texts to read; they are still in a lovely pile in my living room. However, I have made a great strides in my 'pure enjoyment' pile*. Maybe I will start getting back to work next week, but right now I am enjoying reading and playing games with my friends. Two things in particular that have helped me on the gaming side of my life are: Snakes and Lattes and Tabletop.
If you live in Toronto, you probably know about Snakes and Lattes. For those who don't, Snakes and Lattes is a cafe where you pay a $5.00 fee to play as many games as you want for however long you want, while enjoying a beverage or snack. Believe me, whatever game you want, they got it. (Although recently I heard they have a banned list with games like Hungry Hippos on it) I have spent many afternoons/evenings here this summer. I even had a meeting her with @MzMolly and @liamodonnell to talk about gaming, without actually playing any games. I bought a game here that I plan to bring to my class in the fall, Story Cubes, (a big hit with my students thanks @MzMolly!) and games for myself, including Gloom and Ticket to Ride. I love these games, and would not have heard of it if it had not been for Tabletop.
I watch a lot of 'lifestyle' programming on television. Home renovations, decorating, cooking, and so on. I have yet tried to try anything that has been taught to me on any of these shows. A few months ago I heard about Tabletop through a tweet from @wilw. I was intrigued, and a bit worried. I looked forward to watching it on YouTube; learning about new games, seeing if they feature any games I already play etc. But I also worried: what if it sucks? Thankfully I had nothing to worry about. I have enjoyed every episode of tabletop, and I have even watched a couple of them twice.
For those of you who do not know, Tabletop is a lifestyle program on Geek & Sundry, a YouTube channel. Each week a different game is featured. Wil Wheaton gathers 3 other people (usually celebrities from the geek and/or gaming world) to play the game with him. They go through the basics of the game and we watch the hijinks ensue as it is being played. While, Wil is adept at all the games that are featured, his guests are often not. They do not show the whole game (the show is only around 30 mins), they do show enough to whet your gaming appetite.
<end random plug here>
* Storm of Swords, and Feast of Crows by George RR Martin, Divergent and Insurgent, by Veronica Roth. Next up Goliath by Scott Westerfeld and and Dances with Dragons, by George RR Martin.