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 spoke with Brent, an avid board gamer from Gold Coast, Australia. He is the proud owner of the ‘Ozboardgamer’ enterprise.
Welcome aboard the Muffin express Brent! I am very excited to have my first guest from the land down under on my blog today (Australia, if you haven't guessed it already). Let's get right down to it. Tell us about your path to starting Ozboardgamer.
I have always been interested in gaming, from a young age I would always love to play a game of Cluedo or Monopoly with my family. Once I gained my Independence as an adult, I decided to invest into the board game scene. Watching videos of The Dice Tower, Watch It Played, and Tabletop got me excited about all the games I never knew existed, after that I started to buy game after game until I decided that I wanted to build an online community of Aussie gamers just like me.
As a web developer, I have a passion for the web, so I thought I could reach a niche market while using my skill set to its fullest potential. It started small and every day I am thinking of new features I want to add and new content for my readers to enjoy. Ozboardgamer (OBG) started just over a year ago, I was glued to Board Game Geek and felt like I had a personal take to offer gamers in Australia. I think my biggest draw is my registry of Aussie games stores my users can search through.
That’s fascinating! Your website is fantastic. It has reviews, quizzes, game related information and also an ecommerce platform for buying games. Is the ‘Ozboardgamer’ community exclusively online?
Yes, OBG is an online community, we are still growing and I am always looking for new contributors that want to have their voices heard. I want to give people a forum that they can speak freely and feel supported and encouraged by other Australian board gamers.
How would you describe the board game scene in Australia - what are the biggest challenges?
Games like Magic the Gathering and Yugioh have always had a strong presence in Australia, but the board gaming and war gaming world is starting to take hold quite rapidly. We do have one struggle though, which is the price of games, unfortunately it is much more realistic to purchase games online than in (very friendly and inviting) brick and mortar stores just because you can save as much as 50% on games.
Some of my friends in Australia have commented on the pricing before. It is unfortunate that you need to pay so much more to enjoy the same games as we do in the US. Is this one of the reasons you attempt to give people a complete list of board game stores on your website?
Sometimes, the price really is an issue and I wanted to offer my followers options to both purchase online through us and find their local game store. There is still so much value in going to meet with other gamers face to face in a safe and uplifting environment. Why not give people a choice?
Fair enough. I personally enjoy going to local board game stores from time to time just to talk to fellow board gamers and play a game or two. Coming back to your website - are there other features that you plan to incorporate into your website?
My plan is to start to produce video content to grow my reach even further. I want to show people who I am, and not just be a faceless being. I currently have 2 other contributors to the site and am also looking to extend this to more and more gamers.
That’s interesting. Any insights you can provide on catering to audience for new content based bloggers - because your current focus is on the Australian board gaming community.
I think you need to find your niche, it doesn’t have to be too specific, but I think if you can make things feel a bit more personal, people gravitate towards that.
Very true - it is important to personalize the message to get people to relate to you. Let's switch gears a little and get to know you better as a person. What are some of your favorite games to play? Do you like Euro style games or Cooperative games better?
My Absolute favorite games (in order) are Five Tribes, Pandemic and Dead of Winter. The last of which is probably my favorite game to play with 4-5 players, however for just 2, I don't think anything beats 7 Wonders: Duel. I am a massive fan of Cooperative games, however a good head to head Euro is never unwelcome.
One of my favorite memories was during a game of Dead of Winter. We had not yet had a Betrayer and we were wondering when it would come up. We started the game as per the usual, doing quite badly, and we did start to wonder if one of us finally was the traitor, but things started to seem too out of control for someone to be doing this. We got to the point where all hope was lost and we had to concede defeat. We felt defeated, downtrodden. All of us except myself, as I realized there was nothing more left to do but to reveal that (without any effort on my part) I had succeeded in my personal and overall goal and won the game, as the first Betrayer we ever had.
Good times indeed ! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Brent, It has been great getting to know you and learning about Ozboardgamer. We are sure to see more from you in the future, given your passion for the Australian board gaming community.
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