There are fewer sights in the world more beautiful than watching a family enjoying playing games and then inspiring other people to also do same.
The beautiful effect of Tabletop Game on families continue to amaze me. On the street of twitter, I witnessed the positive ripple effect of Miklos and Starla who are telling everyone that their family play games. This has inspired a lot of photos of families playing tabletop games across the world.
It made sense to find out more about their life in the industry, how it all started and working together. Here is their response to my questions.
Hi Starla, thank you to both you and Miklos for responding to my questions. Let me start by asking how boardgames became something in common between both of you?
Playing board games is something me and my family have done all our lives. Growing up, both me and my husband had similar experiences with board games. We were weaned on the “classics”, i.e. Monopoly, Sorry, Clue, Life, etc… once we became parents, we introduced board games to our son and found that nothing had changed. The games we played as kids, over 30 years ago, were still on the market and still being sold as quintessential games for families. In our disappointment, or should I say frustration that there seemed to be stagnation in board games, my husband (Mik) took to the internet to look for something else, because he knew there had to be more to this hobby than what we were finding and that’s when he stumbled upon “modern” board games. Once he put Settlers of Catan on the table, our minds were blown! There was no turning back for us. We forged straight ahead and discovered a world that our friends and family had never even heard of.
We are the type of people that when we find something we like; we “jump in with both feet” so to speak and that is how it all started. To give credit where credit is due, Mik is the real reason we are so deep into this hobby. He is the research guy. He took the time to find more games for us to play. He found meet-ups where we could go and learn new games. From there we learned about local gaming cons and just how big this hobby really is. Even though it is considered a niche hobby, but this niche has millions of active participants. So now, we had found our niche too. We have always loved doing things together as a family and this hobby helps us do just that. Since getting into the hobby, we have participated in local cons, made new friends, and amassed a board game collection that is bigger than I would have ever imagined. No one in my family has ever had more than 5 or 10 board games at any given time so for us to have almost 300, is remarkable…even to us, and to some, a collection this size may seem a little crazy. Yes, in our family, the board games are taking over, but we are glad to let them do it. Game night at our home has gone from “what are we going to play” to having to vote on which games will make our top 5 list and finally make it to the table that night.
How would you describe the Tabletop Games Industry?
The Tabletop Games Industry is a growing hobby. It has only scratched the surface of what it can become because it is not marketing to the mass market. It is still a niche hobby. This industry has yet to tap into its potential with POC’s (People of Colours). This industry needs more diversity including publishers, designers, content creators and participants.
So, what inspired you to start promoting Tabletop games together on social media and through your YouTube channel?
After spending about five years in the hobby, we decided to get even more involved. We noticed a lack of diversity and families when we would attend board game events. We would show up and be the only persons of color at an event and our son would be the only young person in his age group. It got to a point where he didn’t want to go with us to events because he knew there would be no kids for him to hang out with. We saw these issues as problems that with a little effort we could fix, or at the very least, improve.
We knew that other families and people of color would come to these events…if they knew they existed. So that is when the light bulb went off. We’ll start posting on social media, showing the games we play and the joy we have and maybe that will encourage more people to join us. So in 2018 we did just that, and decided to call the page – Our Family Plays Games because that name summed up what we were about and what we wanted others to do – play games with their family and hopefully with our family if we saw them at a board game event. Our social media presence gave us a voice in the hobby. As we continued to grow, we knew we had to do more to help others get involved so they too could experience the joy we get from board games. So, the next logical step was to increase our presence in the hobby so we could have a greater impact. That’s why we started our YouTube channel in January 2020. YouTube would allow others to see our family in action, hear about our experiences, and hopefully be encouraged to join us in the hobby. Little did we know what an impact we would make.
We’re as surprised as everyone else that so many people would appreciate our contribution to the hobby and when Good Morning America contacted us, we were in shock. Who knew that just sharing our passion for board games on YouTube would get us featured on GMA? When Michael Strahan called us “the first family of board games” all we could do was smile and hold back the tears of joy. No, we know we’re not “the first family of board games” but when Michael Strahan says it on national television, you just know you’re doing something right. If you are passionate about something and you put in time and effort, success will soon follow. We are happy we are making a positive difference in this ever-growing hobby. As for the future, we just want to keep doing what we can to make this hobby accessible to anyone and everyone who wants to participate in it.
How has it been working with your Miklos in the Tabletop games industry?
This is a hobby and passion we both share so working together has been great.
How do you handle creative differences and other decision making?
As with most couples, we disagree, but after we listen to both sides of the argument, we are always able to compromise and come to a unified decision.
What is the best part about working together?
We have fun. We love seeing something that we are both invested in, flourish and grow.
In your opinion, what does the future hold for the industry in your country and in the World at large?
This industry has so much growth potential that we just see it getting bigger and bigger.
What advice would you give to a couple or anyone interested in joining the Tabletop Games industry?
Do your research so you can decide which games will be best for you and your family. There are thousands of games to choose from and they can be costly so making an informed decision is the first step.
Which Tabletop Game would you say holds the best memory for you as a couple and why do you think so?
Settler of Catan or as it is known today – Catan. It was the game that really brought us into the modern board game hobby.
Any final comment or projects you are working on at the moment you would like our readers to know?
We are uploading videos to our YouTube channel twice a week. We are also reviewers on The Dice Tower.
How can people reach you (website and/or Social Media handle?)
Facebook – @OurFamilyPlaysGames
Instagram – @OurFamilyPlaysGames
Twitter – @Our_Plays
Thank you once again for sharing your experiences with us and for inspiring families to play games. We will keep enjoying your contents.