143 – Joe Comings, Art of Boardgaming in an RV – The Family Gamers Podcast
You may know Joe from his blog – ArtOfBoardGaming.com. He’s also one of our Podpledge supporters – Thanks, Joe!
Joe has “professional podcast guest” as a part of his Twitter bio, and we’re helping to make that a reality instead of wishful thinking. We think he does a lot of really cool stuff, so let’s learn about some of that!
Joe started his Art of BoardGaming website roughly 3 years ago, although it’s been on pause lately. Why is that?
Because about 8 months ago, Joe and his wife sold his house and bought an RV. Now they’re traveling the country! Makes board game blogging a bit more challenging though. He’s hoping to get back into a new “season” of content soon.
Joe really loves taking artsy board game photos for Instagram, and has been doing more of that lately.
His website is mostly topical pieces, since “there’s a lot of great reviewers out there”. Here’s a sampling:
- Let’s Make Boardgaming Great Again (one of his most controversial, regarding politics and boardgaming)
- Why my Wife Hates Board Games
- 2 Reasons Dice Don’t Ever Belong in Strategy Board Games (ie. “why I hate dice”) followed a year later by A Mitigated Opinion on Dice
- The Importance of Being a Good Loser (We referenced this one in our own blog post on how to teach your kids to lose well.)
- Is it Time to Ban Cell Phones from Game Night?
Joe has occasionally received promotional copies of games, even though he rarely reviews games. In particular, Stonemaier Games sent him Between Two Castles of Mad King Ludwig. Since he couldn’t get a review out in a timely way, he used it instead for a topical essay about how expectations are changing for board game box inserts.
We geek out about inserts for a while. It’s great to have a designated space for each item, but that doesn’t always make it easier to set up or store. Andrew highly recommends Dice Throne (especially season 2) for a fantastic included insert. Each character/player has their own tray with a lid containing all their components. Based on that game and a few others, we are migrating to a model where “starting equipment” packs become an integral part of our storage for many games.
Dice Throne: “Like Yahtzee and Magic: The Gathering had a baby.”Andrew
Tell us about your RV experience.
Joe and his wife Kalyn decided “we wanted to do what a lot of people talk about doing”. Since they both work from home, they figured out the details and pricing things out. They sold their house and bought a truck and an RV last November. They spent until March fixing it up to be exactly what they wanted (mostly decor).
Now they’re on the road. “I’m looking forward to being able to meet gamers across the country.” If Joe’s in your area, maybe you could invite him for a game night?
Right now they’re in Oklahoma, enjoying beautiful spring weather. Next, Dallas Texas, and then the Pacific Northwest!
What’s it like bringing your boardgame collection in an RV? You don’t limit yourself to travel games, do you?
Joe makes sure he has the games his wife really enjoys playing: Splendor, Kingdomino, and Skip-Bo. Most two-player games and games that don’t take much table space aren’t a problem to play in the RV. However, storage is an issue. Joe pared down his collection significantly (although he still has his Scythe Legendary Box).
He also created some special storage under the bed, and “defaced” a lot of the larger boxes turning them into smaller boxes to maximize his space. “Splendor is now the size of a deck of football cards.” Look for a how-to guide when Art of BoardGaming reboots later this year.
Lastly, he’s honest with himself – what games will actually get played? What games are easy to teach? He doesn’t need to bring a lot of meaty games with him; he can play those when he visits other gamers. Let’s call it “Art of Boardgaming Con”!
We give Joe some inspiriation – try the “Flat Stanley” approach with taking pictures of boardgames in certain places across the country!
Find Joe on Social Media and follow his RV journey:
Instagram: @OpenRoading and @ArtOfBoardgaming
Youtube: Open Roading
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