MyJourney is a series about the people in the board gaming world. In this series, I invite people passionate about tabletop gaming, from gamers, reviewers, publishers, to distributors, and artists to share their experiences with board gaming.
In this week’s MyJourney Wednesday episode, we will be learning about George Georgeadis’s Journey. I got to know him first through Instagram and then his YouTube channel. His videos on YouTube are an audio-visual treat that celebrates the games we love and the photos on his Instagram photos are simply stunning.
George – can you tell us about who you are and your Journey so far?
I was born in Canada but grew up in Athens, Greece and at the age of 17, I moved back to Calgary, Canada where I have lived now for the last 20 years.
I have been very lucky to have been able to follow a career as a filmmaker and video game designer and I currently work for an amazing stock photography and video website called Stocksy during the day. Through my own production studio, I have had the privilege of shooting and editing hundreds of videos for some incredible companies and talented artists and now in my spare time I am super excited to be working on my first board game as well.
And since I seem to have all this extra free time (laughs), I recently decided to start a board game specific YouTube channel I call "Oniro" and a sister Instagram account (@oniro.games) that I update daily.Lastly, I should also add that I am a huge movie buff and run a super fun movie review podcast with two of my friends as well, called Cinephasia (cinephasia.com)
That’s great! I had no idea you had a podcast. Where do you find the time?
If it's in the calendar it happens. I pre-book time. Specific days for the podcast, gamedesign evenings, youtube shooting and editing and for the instagram, I typically try and take a photo or 3 every morning after I wake up. And so, the calendar runs my life basically (laughs). Having said that, I also feel it's important to balance life with work and sleep. So I make sure I get enough sleep and enough time with family and friends. You get used to it after a while.
It’s amazing that you have managed to tie your professional background into your passion to create a unique take on the hobby. When did your foray into board games begin?
Ever since I was a little boy I've loved board games. It started with Chess and "Tavli" (Greek Backgammon) and it quickly became an obsession with classics like Monopoly, Ghost Castle, Dragon Game System (Dark World), Ghostly Galleon etc. I fondly remember feeling so proud of my game collection of 10 games - which for a Greek kid growing up fairly poor it was really a treasure trove!
However, the real madness began about 5-6 years ago when I became a serious game collector. I now own over 500 games and some collector's editions I am very proud of! I am also a very active supporter of Kickstarter projects too, which doesn't help the obsession!
What I love most about board games is that they are an amazing way to spend time with friends, away from technology and stress and an opportunity to create some amazing gaming memories together. In fact, I host a game day every second Saturday that starts in the morning and doesn't end till past midnight where people come and go throughout the day. We've had a record of 37 players join one day! Granted, some people will tell you they come over for my deviled eggs mostly. (laughs)
That is a beautiful #Shelfie. Where do you store these boardgames and how do you decide what to play ?
Thank you, that's only one side of the collection (laughs). I will be buying different shelves in the near future and reorganizing it all. All my games are currently in the basement. On game days, we use the app/site "Cardboard Butler" which uses my collection info off of boardgamegeek.com to find games we want to play or sometimes we go downstairs to find something.
You are a true aficionado! What inspired you to start a YouTube channel with a cinematic themed video and why specifically the name Oniro?
Great question, thank you! "Oniro" is a special word for me. In Greek it means "Dream" and I have always had the nickname "dreamer". Ever since I was young, I dreamed of moving to Canada and becoming a famous director and video game designer! So, in a way, with Oniro, the YouTube channel, I get to experience both. Combining my love of board games and cinematography, I wanted to create something unique in the space of board game videos, something that could help transport people into the world of games.
When I play a game, I love losing myself into their world, art, story and components and in a way with these audio/visual experiences, I am trying to share how I "see" games and bring others into that world. Needless to say, games are a lot of work and feature incredible artwork and components deserving of this kind of capture.The channel is also meant to bring people videos, on game design, and other videos you'd expect such as reviews and unboxings, but currently still trying to find unique cinematic ways to bring these to life.
I am also inspired by all the amazing board game channels that already exist and I have followed so closely for years - hoping I can be a part of that world putting out videos that people find useful and informative that celebrate this awesome hobby and passion of ours.
That is a very different take on how people traditionally “view” board games. Does it take you a long time to create each video? What have you planned next?
The Oniro films can take a few days. Sometimes I need to wait for the right time of day - as I like using natural light - and there is also the editing portion which can take me a while since I am a perfectionist. Each game also deserves its own cinematic techniques to convey its "world", so I love to challenge myself to achieve that look or atmosphere. I realize however a successful channel needs a lot of content that is produced often, that is why I am working out some additional video types to complement the channel but at the same time I don't want to compromise the quality.
The next few videos will be some unboxings hopefully. As far as the newest Oniro film, I have already shot one for the new Brass by Roxley Games, but we are waiting for some final components to finalize the shots with and I think Tokaido Collector's edition and Scythe will be next. I am also open to suggestions of games people want to see get the Oniro treatment, so I'd love to hear from people :)
Brass is a great choice for the next game – the art and their video on Kickstarter were incredible. I am looking forward to seeing your take on that. I loved playing Tokaido and Scythe – in fact Scythe is among my favorites. What is your absolute favorite board game to play and why?
This one is a tough question as I have many favorites - some classic games I love for nostalgia reasons and some current masterpieces for game design. But if I had to choose, I'd say that I really enjoy "Dead of Winter" and while the whole game is an awesome experience, I think I am in love with their Crossroads mechanic! I love stories in games and this is implemented so well in this game. I look forward to seeing what they do with this mechanic in future games. I also look up to the work of designers like Ryan Laukat, Bruno Cathala, Jamey Stegmaier, the talented team over at Plaidhat Games and more recently, I am really impressed with the local publisher Roxley Games and their attention to detail and dedication to quality in everything they publish. It's hard not to be inspired by so many awesome people and games out there!
That is very true. There are many amazing creators who have inspired a lot of us. So, what you have been inspired to do next? You also mentioned that you have a board game in the works, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
If you are referring to the channel, game design videos will be a big focus soon as I plan to have some guest designers on the channel. Another idea I am playing with is to capture and follow my own game design journey so people can learn alongside me, especially from my mistakes (laughs).
As far as my board game, I am very excited to unveil some info about it soon, however it’s still in a very early stage.I am very excited to also be attending GenCon this year for the first time - I will be there shooting a video for Rathskellers - speaking of, I am also the Canadian ambassador for them and I personally can't wait for my new table to arrive! I sold my Geek Chic table last month and I have been experiencing some serious game table withdrawals!
As far as the future, anything is possible and I would love to encourage and inspire people to follow their passions and dreams. It can be hard sometimes, but totally worth it. I have also recently been thinking a lot about opening a board game cafe, but that's entirely another dream... for another time...
Hope your dreams come true George. It has been an absolute pleasure getting to talk to you and learning about Oniro. Thank you for sharing your Journey with us and the many people out there.
You can follow George and Oniro games on Instagram and YouTube. Check out his page if you haven’t already.
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