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Approximate video transcript:
Top 10 Reasons I Showcase Games Off The Beaten Path
A friend of mine asked why I choose to concentrate on games off the beaten path when I could instead concentrate on popular games and get many more views. His assumption is probably true for my Youtube channel, but not for my website. My website gets plenty of visitors every day. However, my Youtube channel does indeed only get light traffic.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 reasons I choose to concentrate on games off the beaten path in no particular order:
10) When I was a young impressionable computer engineering student in the mid 1990’s my professor asked us to create our first website. He warned us that the web has a very low signal to noise ratio. This is because some of the content on the web wasn’t very useful and others were just regurgitated information that numerous other people had already posted. I did an Astronomy website for that school assignment, but always remembered what the professor told us. My website and Youtube channel are about showcasing great games that have received very little attention from reviewers. In some cases, my reviews or Youtube videos are the only information available about these games other than their BoardGameGeek page. Speaking of BoardGameGeek, for some of these games listed there, my website reviews or Youtube videos are the only content linked there.
9) I march by the beat of my own drum. When I buy a game, it is because something about the game interested ME. Internet forums are filled with people who seem to be more interested in buying a game, because someone else likes or approves of it. A good example is when somebody asks, “What’s the most popular WWII game on the market right now?” This person is more interested in buying a game that will win approval from other people. I’m interested in buying games that win MY approval.
8) Games off the beaten path often cover unique topics or periods in history. Board games designed to appeal to the masses will never cover these as they want to appeal to the broadest group of customers as possible. I.E. a game about the Uganda-Tanzania War of 1978 will not sell anywhere near as many copies as most WWII games or Euros.
7) Many of these games off the beaten path that I showcase are old games from the Golden Era of Wargaming. These games were fun, played fast and usually easy to learn. What I absolutely adore about showcasing them though is when people post messages reminiscing about these old games, the great time they had playing them and interesting stories about these game’s designers and manufacturers. Playing these old games brings back memories of playing games with my Dad and his friend’s when I was a kid. They also bring back memories of the 1970’s and 1980’s, which was a spectacular era to grow up in.
6) Microgames (all of which are games off the beaten path) are some of my favorite games to play. I play at least one new wargame every week and microgame’s short and easy to learn rule sets help make this possible. I reserve microgames for weeks when I just don’t have time to learn and teach others a big box game with a complicated 38-page rule set.
5) Games off the beaten path sometimes use new mechanics that have not been tried before. Microgames, postcard games and magazine games often do this. That’s one of the many reasons why I love those formats.
4) I couldn’t afford to run this website and Youtube channel if every game I showcased was brand new, popular games. Each week, I review one game on my website and do first look videos of at least two others on my Youtube channel. If I used brand new games, I’d have to shell out $720 to $900 in games every month and my wife would kill me! Manufacturers donate a very small percentage of the games I showcase though and I greatly appreciate that. However, getting a lot of these games on the used market saves me a considerable amount of money.
3) I’ve played thousands of tabletop games in my lifetime and want to play games that have as few similarities to games I’ve already played as possible. Often, I play a game and within a few turns I can almost predict what games the designer liked to play. One of my pet peeves is when a game is essentially just a reskin of an old game with a new theme or period. Of course, the new author never mentions that he was inspired by some old game that he thought everyone forgot about. I didn’t forget, because I probably played that old game last month!
2) When people read my reviews or watch my videos, I want to expose them to games they either never heard of or never considered buying. In addition to that, I don’t want to spoon-feed anyone. In my written reviews, I explain the basics of the rules, my experience playing the game and what I liked or didn’t like. Even though I state whether or not I recommend the game, I hope that I gave enough information on the game that you can decide whether you want that game before I state whether or not I recommend it.
1) The Centurion’s Review is the punk rock band of wargame review institutions!
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