Gaming and that

By | December 8, 2014

OK, something you might have missed over the weekend (I suppose I sort of gave it a soft launch), the Bother’s Bar Wie is De Mol 2015 page is live, and it sounds like there’s a good chance we’ll be getting English subs this year from a different source to last time. Go and have a look.

Meanwhile I can say without any hyperbole that The Genius is, right now, the most exciting show on television. There’s two episodes until the final so hurry up and catch up. This week’s episode ends in a way you wouldn’t believe.

We’ve been getting into board gaming recently in a massive way – I used to love it, then sort of stopped, and now started again (thanks mainly to Shut Up and Sit Down, The Dice Tower et al), it’s interesting to note that there seems to have been a tonal shift in the games that people like away from the puzzly and mechanical towards the social and shrewd and funny. I wonder if and how reality games on television have affected this. Could The Genius exist without the recent resurgence, and could it fuel a new audience for gaming?

That was a bit clumsy. Still, I’ve got a Wii U now, so feel free to add me (BrigBother) and I’ll set up a Bother’s Bar Mario Kart/Smash Bros tourney in the near future. I’m BrigBother on PSN as well, so feel free to add me there.

Also Miranda’s Non-Generation Game Generation Game films on Friday!

7 thoughts on “Gaming and that

  1. Chris M. Dickson

    Really interesting question. I’d love to hear from someone who actually knew, if anybody does, but I can guess.

    A very quick search for primary and secondary sources, of whatever degree of credibility, suggests that there was a board game cafe fad in South Korea which might have peaked around 2005-6 or so. Certainly we have been able to spot influences of some board games of the various (n) years on some of the games in The Genius, where some are relatively recent and others are much less recent. (How old is Yutonori? Likely hundreds of years.) Games have been such a part of South Korean culture that South Korea is relatively likely to be one of a small number of countries who might develop such a show in the first place.

    I think you would get The Genius in some form without the direction that popular games have taken in recent years, but the show wouldn’t be likely to have redeveloped game concepts in the way that it has done without the modern aesthetic – so I’m inclined to agree with you more than not.

    Incidentally, I was musing the other day that a Genius-like show might be more popular with broadcasters, though not with the public at large, if it weren’t a campaign show that must be broadcast in order (with relatively little replay value) and if it were instead a series of one-offs, with certainly less (but possibly still some) sense of connection from episode to episode. I think that a show might have a regular cast of (e.g.) four characters plus as many guests as needed to make up the character list for whatever game they’re playing that week, possibly with some Iron Chef-style shenanigans regarding to the possibility of people being promoted to regular status, relegated if they keep coming last, or so on. It would be a different show, and surely not as interesting, but it may be easier to commission and might be cheaper to make.

    A friend, who might be reading this, has encouraged his board gaming club friends to watch exactly series one of The Genius and no further, then will be hosting a campaign of The Genius between them using the games from Series Three. (…ish. There might be some series two in there as well.) Getting to play the Genius as a weekly campaign sounds spectacular, though the whole enterprise is so prone to spoiling that it does rely on people’s good nature. But perhaps there could be a few people devising a string of (relatively) original, less spoiler-prone new(-ish) games, so that people around the world might all run their own Genius-like campaigns on a week-by-week basis, everyone unspoiled for the new game each week…

    1. Brian J

      ‘The Genius’ as a series of one-offs would pretty much be Wil Wheaton’s Tabletop.

      A panel show that was geared around a group of celebrity friends playing board games sounds more likely to get commissioned in the UK than a proper elimination-style game but the tone would be wildly different.

    1. Brig Bother Post author

      Well here’s the thing, the question goes the other way: would board gaming have become cool again if Survivor and Big Brother never happened? Modern gaming and reality gaming share a lot of the same ideas (although yes, I accept that a lot of the games that are seeing more interest now some are twenty/thirty years old and have found a new audience).

  2. Marcoraymondo

    Don’t know if been noted and mentioned earlier, but looking at the link for Miranda’s Non-Generation Game Generation Game and strangely, even though filming starts at 3pm, the line:

    “Admittance for the show will strictly be for those aged 18 and over only.”

    Suggests that it’s an adult format!

    No more “Welcome Ladies, Gentlemen AND children” then?


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