By default, board games are not a solitary activity – you need company to enjoy them. However, this can sometimes be difficult: your best buddy is out of town, your significant other considers your hobby half-insane and the rest are simply not up for a six-hour match of Arkham Horror on a saturday night. So what do you do? You go to shutupandsitdown.com, that’s what.
Shut Up And Sit Down consists of two geeks, Paul and Quinns who have managed to build a board game community around their website, podcasts, Twitter and Facebook. They discuss and review board games in a way that is both deliciously quirky and informative. They reply to almost every reader comment in a similarly quirky way. How do they have time for all this, you ask. Well, they’re proper geeks and therefore have no life, duh.
What is interesting about the site is that it turns a communal activity into something that very much resembles the notion of “alone together” presented on the course. You almost feel like you know Quinns and Paul – heck, you could easily imagine enjoying a few beers with them. The way they talk to their audiences is similar to the way good friends talk to each others at parties after a drink or two.
Of course, the online community does not replace real friends with whom you can actually play the damn games. However, its popularity seems to indicate that it does a very good job at reinforcing the sense of belonging to a secret club of sorts where everyone else is as enthusiastic about the hobby as you are, alone, together.
University of Helsinki