Board Game Night: 2 Great Movies and a Fantastic Prize Pack

Kickstarter Tabletop Games

Game closetGame closet

A portion of my games closet. Photo: Jonathan Liu

It’s a good time to be a board gamer. There are so many fantastic game designers creating wonderful games all the time — it’s hard to keep up with all the great stuff out there. A lot of this board gaming revolution has occurred out of sight of the general public, though. Ask the random person on the street about board games, and you’re most likely to hear about Monopoly.

Well, here are two documentaries — one already released and one in post-production — about board games that I think are worth checking out. “Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story” is already out in limited distribution, and “Going Cardboard” is tentatively scheduled for a summer release. Also, to encourage everyone to turn off the devices and break out the board games, Time to Play is sponsoring a giveaway with some of their favorite games!

Click through for a little more on each documentary, including trailers, and find out how to win a bunch of board games.

“Under the Boardwalk: The MONOPOLY Story” is a film by Kevin Tostado that is, as the title implies, the story of Monopoly, tracing the 75 year history of this game that some people love and some people think should be put out to pasture already. I haven’t seen the movie myself, but fellow board game blogger Dice Hate Me recently talked with Tostado about the documentary in the State of Games podcast, and I have to say that it piqued my interest. Whether you love or hate Monopoly, I think the story of the game is a fascinating one and I’d definitely like to check this out eventually. (Plus, it’s narrated by my favorite TV geek, Zachary Levi of “Chuck.”)

“Under the Boardwalk” is currently in limited distribution and is available on DVD. Tostado just successfully exceeded the $20,580 Kickstarter goal (the amount of money that comes in a Monopoly game) to bring the movie to more cities, so keep a watch for whether it’ll be coming anywhere near you. For more about the movie, to order a DVD or to watch the latest trailer, visit the website. For now, here’s the first trailer for the movie — if you click over to YouTube or the official website you’ll be able to watch various clips from the movie as well.

“Going Cardboard” covers a broader range of games — it’s pretty ambitious in its scope, and I’m really excited for its release. I interviewed filmmaker Lorien Green back in 2009 and we geeked out about favorite board games. I’ve been following Green’s progress and although it’s been pushed back from the hoped-for original date of winter 2010, Green tells me that she’s trying hard to get everything ready so that it can be screened at some gaming conventions in August.

There’s a Kickstarter campaign for “Going Cardboard” as well if you want to support the project. She’s blown past her $4,500 goal already, but there are some pretty cool rewards available for backers and you’ve still got over a month to decide. Green explained that the Kickstarter campaign was specifically to raise money for the DVD production and the technical editor which she couldn’t afford on her own; funds in excess of those costs will go toward licensing fees associated with the film and toward some extra rewards for supporters. I know from speaking to her before that she funded a lot of the movie out of her own pocket already, so I’m glad to see that people have been pitching in for the project. Plus, the recent activity put “Going Cardboard” into the “Popular This Week” category on Kickstarter, hopefully getting the movie in front of the eyes of people who wouldn’t typically be interested in board games.

I’ve gotten to see a few rough clips of the movie already, and I’m very excited about it. Check out the trailer here, or visit the website for more information.

Time to Play is a site that reviews toys, games (board games and video games), books and movies. Every year they promote Family Game Night as a way for families to spend some time together away from all our beloved gadgets and break out the cards and dice and interact with each other. Check out their article with tips on planning your own game night which also includes favorite picks from a few of their editors. While I don’t necessarily agree on all of their game choices, I applaud the idea of having regular game nights, whatever your top choices happen to be. (They do mention Scrabble Flash and Sounds Like a Plan, both games that I’ve enjoyed quite a bit.)

To help you get started, Time to Play has put together a package of some of their favorite games for one lucky GeekDad reader:

  • Imaginiff
  • Name 5
  • Cranium Scribblish
  • Boggle
  • Trivial Pursuit Team Edition

Enter the contest below! The deadline to enter is 11:59 PST, Friday, March 25. For more about Time to Play, visit their website or Facebook page, or follow them on Twitter.

Giveaway rules:

Open to US and Canadian residents only.
One entry per physical address.
Must be 18 or older to enter.
Winner will be chosen by random from the giveaway entries.
Winner will be notified via the email supplied at time of entry.
Prize is supplied by a 3rd party. cannot be held liable for items damaged or lost in shipping.

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