125 – Lighten Up! with Spencer Williams

Lighten Up!

We welcome back Spencer Williams, formerly of Married with Boardgames, to talk about his new Lighten Up! initiative.

What We’ve Been Playing

Spencer is loving Forbidden Sky – it uses real electricity! Takes the “Forbidden” games to the next level. Many ways to die – struck by lighting, blown off the platform, etc. while you are trying to build the circuit and launch the rocket.

Spencer also picked up Villianous and Magic Labyrinth in a recent sale at Barnes & Noble.

Fireball Island is a blast! Not too serious, not terribly innovative. Just a fun romp.

Some recent Family Gamers favorites:

Drop It – SNAP review is included in this episode.

Shadows in Kyoto – “basically Stratego with a Japanese geisha spy theme.”

Fire in the Library – Anitra loved this press-your-luck cube drafting game. Andrew enjoyed it, but had some issues since he couldn’t mitigate his bad luck. We comment on how Andrew is insufferable during the process of losing. Maybe he should work on that.Drop It final

Drop It SNAP review

(interstitial music: “In Dulci Jubilo” from Barry & Beth Hall)

One of our favorites of the year! Find the pictures and summary.

Lighten Up Initiative

Spencer wants to push to get the board game Internet community to “lighten up”! We play for fun, and boardgames are essentially toys. Remember that it’s about having fun with people! Sometimes funny, sometimes heartfelt. Want to bring that out and keep people from being too serious about their gaming.

We’ve noticed sometimes at well-established game conventions that some of the old “crusty” gamers just don’t look like they’re having fun.

Criticize others less! Let’s aim for less negativity, and more fun. :) Let’s poke fun at ourselves!

Let’s spread light! Battle the “darkness” we can so easily succumb to.

Why did you start Lighten Up?

Spencer loves creating content related to boardgames, but wasn’t ready to get back into reviewing. There are lots of reviewers out there already, who are great at what they do.

There aren’t a lot of people making board game-related content simply for humor’s sake.

There are different content types to reflect different kinds of gamers:

Lighten Up Intiative is the umbrella that all content will be under.

Comedy videos will be under “Lighten Up”.

Married with Boardgames is still going to exist, now telling the stories of other married couples. How is boardgaming part of their relationship? Let’s encourage more couples to use boardgaming to strengthen their relationships.

Critiquing is important to help people make good game-buying decisions, but Spencer doesn’t want to do that any more.

Might we reprise “Hungry Hungry Hippos”?

This was the best produced “Board Game Trailer” from Married with Boardgames. Spencer has a ton of ideas – stay tuned for more!

Check out their satire video of the game Haven.

Expect to see plenty more of Lara as well. She’s busier with her acting career, but still the most available person to help Spencer with his videos.

Spencer says he’s been working on this idea since June and finally launched it early in December. People seem to recognize how much this is needed! Let’s hope this content gets out there to the people who need it. :)

Maybe if Art of Boardgaming makes it to Dice Tower Con, we can all collaborate… Joe makes for fun videos.

Some scripted and some off the cuff… like the ransom demand video.

They’ve become “must watch TV” for us.

Find Lighten Up! online:

If you followed MBG before, all accounts have been converted. Otherwise:

Facebook: @heylightenup

Twitter: @hey_lightenup


instagram is still @marriedwithbg (for now)

Find The Family Gamers online:

Facebook: @familygamersaa
Twitter: @familygamersaa
Instagram: @familygamersaa

Community: thefamilygamers.com/community

Or, for the most direct method, email us!

Share your New Years’ resolution(s) with us and we’ll talk about them next week on the show!

Spencer’s resolution is to play ALL their unplayed games (30 or so) at least once. Tune in next week to hear Andrew’s!


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The Family Gamers Podcast is sponsored by Wild East Games. Find Wild East Games online at WildEastGames.com, or @WildEastGames on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.