Well knock me down with a feather-weight elephant codpiece. After badgering him on public social media forums to get his fingr out…he’s only gone and submitted a piece for A Guest Knows Best…BSoMT is rediculously pleased to present
Unexpected Benefits of the Solo Boardgaming YouTuber by CatWeazle
Free games, right? No. Not me anyway. Been offered a few. Turned them down. I’m just too I-make-me-own-way-me northern. ‘Appen I am, aye. Plus I don’t do reviews or rules. I’d feel like a fraud!
The adoring subscribers who shower you with adulation and love whilst hanging on your every word? Eh? Oh yes. Them. Lots of them. They don’t all subscribe obviously. Shy I expect.
Money, then. Sweet advertising moolah! For a channel your size you must be pulling in…. oooo tuppence ha’penny every single day?! Am I right, you proto Zuckerberg, you? Errr no. I don’t even turn the channel adverts on?
Why do it, then? Good question.
A love for boardgames? Not really. I mean they’re really cool but no.
A desire to help other people love boardgames? Not as such, no. I mean if that happens then great.
Well then. A need to teach the rules and review what’s out there so people can come to balanced and informed decisions about what games they might like and want to buy? F##k no!
A knock on the head? Ahhhh! Possibly.
You see…. what it is… well… I just arse around, man? It’s fun. I talk to myself at the best of times. It drowns out the other voices? I hardly buy any knives now.* So I play games solo and I have a video camera. I’m an extrovert who has a lot of games that the wife and family don’t have time for and generally don’t want to play. They’ve got TV and a hell of a lot of box sets to get through before they die. And those bastards keep churning out more box sets! So they’re on a mission and I respect that. It is mighty powerful mojo after all. So I play the games myself. I turn the camera on and I start talking shit. And I love it.
And I have fun. Sure I try and get the rules right but you know what? I don’t sweat it. At all. Ever. No f##ker and I mean absolutely, totally no f##ker EVER got every single rule right, every time, in a moderately complex game that takes longer than a minute to play (like just above tic tac toe?). Even if they’ve played it a thousand times. They might if they spend a week filming it for that express purpose and review every second of footage – so they can correct the mistakes they make funnily enough. But even then mistakes creep in. Even the best do it. That’s okay by me. I mean – I cock up all the time! And as I don’t do rules videos I’m just freewheelin’ on the crazy train, man. Oh yeah. Just play, baby! What’s funny is the kind of rules nazis who lambast content creators on YouTube? And I’m not talking about the nice polite folks who are trying to help out here. I mean those rules nazis who complain if you pick up a card out of sequence even if it doesn’t change anything. Well they certainly f##k the rules up in thier games all the time they play. Because everyone does. They just don’t notice. They forget things. Miss that location rule because it only kicks in after the villain wakes up. Miss turns because the cat let a real fishy hummer go. Took an extra card because they were thinking about the next turn after this one. Oh yeah that rule! I always forget that rule… And that’s okay. Humanity I love ya. So what I do is… just play, baby. Don’t get me wrong. I play with a reasonable amount of care and attention – but not so much as to sit about consulting the bloody rulebook every two seconds. I’ll read it before I play but I’m not a frickin’ memory man. I have videoing shit to do and lighting and organising all those cards and tokens just so. Because it all has to be neat, tidy and organised otherwise I need my big red pills… Ahem. If I wanted to read constantly then I’d have broken out a novel instead. Checking rules now and again is fine during play but not constantly. You know like real people do when they are playing? Playing – the important bit? More on this anon.
I love roleplay. So I play thematic games where I can roleplay. Yeah I stand there like a clown and pretend I am Carolyn Fern trapped by a shoggoth in Arkham Asylum. Or I am Cassandra the Knight (my name for the Knight. I made it up myself. She looks like a Cassandra to me. I like roleplay remember?) in Darkest Night getting ready to stick a relic up the Necromancer right in his Ruins. Or Norowas the arrogant Elf Lord searching the Atlantean Empire for the Capital City he is going to burn to the ground with his armies and his sorcery. I get excited. I get giddy. I miss the Dice Tower with my dice because I am a Hostage To Anticipation. The turn of the card. The roll of the dice. Especially if it is a single die. GET IN! It’s great. I buzz off it. Large. I love the strategy and the tactics. Maximising chances and minimising risks with my play. Using what the game gives you so that you can keep going for that extra turn. Where there is life there is hope and let those dice fall and let that card turn. Hit me!
Aside: I don’t play Euro’s. I find them drier than the flip flops of a thousand sand devils. It’s another reason why I don’t count myself as a mainstream boardgame channel. I’d frankly rather walk around with a needle in my eye, a trombone in my shoe and a rabid weasel in my pants. It’s like working as a resource planner. F##k that. Cubes. Shit man? I think I had cubes as a kid? A real bad case of cubes. Sharp edged cubes. They could have made the grade as caltrops? You know what I’m saying? The ointment stung like hell and I still wake up in the night with the taste of it in my mouth. Why I don’t know? I think I had them in my butt?*
Now if that excitement comes across in my videos and people think: Wow that guy’s a right twit but he’s having a great time! I’m going to give that game a go! Well that’s just gravy. If I can throw in some pop culture references and just witter on like we were all stood around the table at a mates house then that’s great too. If people comment and join in and have some fun then isn’t this nice? You don’t even have to watch an advert! You might get the odd frame containing my ugly fizzog but… then you too are a Hostage To Anticipation! If I’m doing something wrong and a viewer chips in politely with the correct way to do it – great! Thank you. I didn’t know that. I’ll name check you next episode, try and fix my goof in the latest segment of CatWeazle’s Cock-up Corner. If you come up with an amazing strategy or a great way to utilise a character or a sweet combo of cards – THANK YOU! I love learning about this stuff. It is one of the things that you really miss playing solo. The input of others and the insight of others. Different viewpoints and ways of looking at problems. This is an Unexpected Benefit of the Solo Boardgaming YouTuber. Thank you to everyone that has ever contributing postively to my channel. You rock.
Are there other benefits? You betcha! Ones I never even thought possible when I started? You know when you play a game with people? Sure you do! Co-op or competitive, doesn’t matter. It applies to both. You have a restrictive time limit. Really you do. As a kid you might have a whole afternoon or a sleepover thing going on and as a kid that feels like about how long? The Jurassic? Maybe a little longer. Even now as an adult at a convention or just at a local club boardgame weekend, you have tons of stuff you want to do. Other games to play. If not you then the others do. Yeah the others. The ones looking at you now like you are a cowpat that they just stepped in because you haven’t done your move within a minute. MOVE ALREADY! This is fine. People to see, places to go, other games to play. You crack on. It’s polite and hey it does get boring waiting. Solo Boardgaming on YouTube though – I have the luxury of a gaming room (Spare room! ed. Mrs CatWeazle) and no pesky kids/ felines/ other board game destroying demons of the nether. Unlike you Giles mwahahahaha. I do a turn at a time, upload it and leave it all set up. I have at least 24 hours to think about my next turn. I don’t constantly think about my next turn obviously, but I do use those quiet reflective moments in my day to ponder the imponderables. Other people take a newspaper. Even when I’m editing a turn on video I see errors I’ve made. Normal gameplay you don’t video it. You don’t have an instant replay. I do. It just helps you to learn about the game. It’s weird. Then, as I briefly touched on above, viewers are kind enough to point out errors (the nice polite people who don’t CHEW YOUR ASS) and suggest strategies. They point out cards that I might have forgotten about that might help. This all means that I can catch these errors and oversights and correct them before the next turn. Remembering two turns down the line… well it’s gone. Unlucky ducky. All this means I learn to play the game better!
I can’t think of anything else. If a reader spots anything I’ve missed give me a shout. I’ll name check you in the next article. Giles? Stick some pictures in dude to pad it out a bit more? Cheers dude. That pic with the otters holding paws? Put that in too. NOW LEAVE ME ALONE!
Only joking matey 😀
*These are bullshit. Hang on this is a written article. This is poetic licence. Yeah. That’s it. And it pads out the word count. Oh yeah.
This is me, CatWeazle signing off. Toodle oo!
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