Boxed Culture: Critique of Cardboard

Okay well I guess it has to have a cool picture on the box as well...

Okay well I guess it has to have a cool picture on the box as well…

There is no other way to say it. I spend lots of money on board games, and yes, a larger portion than I would like of my collection remains unplayed. Even though I may seem to buy games willy-nilly that is not the case! I make sure the games I am buying are ones that, at the very least, I will enjoy looking at on my shelf. I do this typically by listening to reviewers and making sure the game seems like it would be fun. There are two review podcasts that I will trust the majority of the time, The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast and The Dice Tower. The people who review games on these podcasts seem to have me at heart, so I tend to trust them when they are talking about a game I am interested in; however, I noticed something the other day. While The Dice Tower seems to talk about both games they like and dislike, the Secret Cabal tends to only talk about games they liked.

At first this made me feel a bit perturbed. but I could not figure out the reason. Was it because I felt like they were filtering information to me? Was it because I felt that made them more close-minded? Was if because I felt like I was missing out on other games? Has the Secret Cabal been betraying me this whole time?!

No, they had not, and this is the catalyst for today’s article. A deeper look into why people review board games.

Much like this man is staring out onto the horizon, I felt a need to ponder about board game review podcasts.

Much like this man is staring out onto the horizon, I felt a need to ponder about board game review podcasts.

The main reason I felt agitated at first was that the Secret Cabal explicitly mentioned on their show that they only talked about games they liked, and much like Kyle’s mom from South Park, I guffawed at them. Then they went on to explain the reason they did that, and I instantly felt stupid. They said the reason they only talked about games they liked is because those are the ones they played enough to feel comfortable reviewing. This… made a lot of sense, haha. They like to be knowledgeable about the games they play, which requires multiple plays,  and in order to want to play something multiple times you usually have to actually like the game!


I have only just finished my first play through of this game but I think ill run to the internet and write a review!

This is a hard juxtaposition to what is seen from The Dice Tower. They review games after sometimes only playing them once or twice. You may be sitting here thinking,”Why the heck to you listen to this people if they don’t put time into the games they review? I would respond that I listen to them because they put time into reviewing as many games as possible, in order to get everyone more perfect information. This idea of perfect information comes up a lot in economics, and is a main player in making decisions. Having perfect information allows one to make a better decision because they more fully understand the outcome of that decision.


You said there was untold riches in there right creep old man whom I just met? Sure I will go in!

Another reason The Dice Tower treats reviews slightly differently that other podcasts is because this is their job. as in they literally get paid to review boards games. Most other board game reviewers are reviewing games as a hobby, and typically, they love that hobby. There was a podcast called Game On! with Cody and John. Two fellas who loved playing board games, who also reviewed them, but they put to much on their plate, got burnt out, and had to stop doing their podcast. Many podcast are done as supplement to a job, so the people that do them tend to talk about what they love about our culture, not what they dislike.

There is no such thing as to many board games right....

There is no such thing as to many board games right….

In the end, I still love the Secret Cabal and I am glad their comment made me think about how I use board game reviews and suggest board games to people in my community. I hope this was eye opening to you as it was to me. have a good one and ill see ya next time!




given vs bought

baord games vs other media

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.