How Tabletop Video Play-throughs are taking over from Rulebooks

So what if there was some other magical and wonderful way of learning how to play tabletop games other than just simply sitting down and reading the manual like a normal human being?

Well, there is! And they are becoming more and more commonplace across popular video sharing  hub: Youtube. Check one out for yourself!

It seems that across the wonderful world of the internet, tabletop play through videos have become… a thing. And it works two-fold for game publishers, because these act both as a marketing tool AND an actual way of getting people to you know… understand the game you’ve made before buying it.

Plus they are just way more fun than actually reading through a manual, which brings me to the question that titles this post. Exactly how are tabletop playthrough videos slowly evolving into a key part of tabletop game componentry (totally a word, don’t google it).

Here’s how…

1. Play-throughs are generally way less boring

Yes, I just alluded to this literally a second ago! ‘You’re just padding articles with duplicate content’ I hear you cry.

Well, sure, maybe I am (I am). BUT, this point stands! It’s  true promise.

I mean I guess it depends on how you ‘learn’ as a person, whether you’re more of a practical or visual learner for example, as opposed to a… logical learner? Or whatever the other type of learner is.

All I know is that rulebooks and manuals can be REALLY boring. Sure you need them to actually understand the game properly, but for an initial gameplay and mechanics introduction, play through videos, that’s where it’s at.

Quote me on that.

Or don’t.

2. Play-throughs explain things in a human way

Yes. Gotta get a bit of JB into the article somehow you know. I reckon everyone into board games also way loves Justin. Those demographics just NATURALLY crossover amiright?!


Sure. The first stage is denial.

Regardless of how human or not human the Beebs is, tabletop play throughs ARE more human. Than rulebooks at least. Not Justin. Don’t get confused here.

What I mean by that is that they explain the game in a human way, not just through mechanics or technicalities. My point here (and one of my bugbears with a lot of game manuals), is that the aim of the game is usually always up front, that gives the context that viewers need to all of the intricate and complex gameplay mechanics. Hurrah!

3. Play-throughs are generally way less confusing

It’s true guys, sometimes when you read a game manual you get ALL SUPER CONFUSED, because you’ve never played the game before, and now you’re being expected to understand things that HAPPEN in that game, without even seeing it happen in front of you.

Except now you can. Literally see people playing the game whilst explaining it, and probably even getting confused themselves. So you don’t have to!

And we all could do with a little less confusion in our lives.

Probably. Or maybe your life is just really really not confusing at all, in which case, congrats!

4. Play-throughs provide context

Ohhhh this takes me back!

To a comment I made about 2 paragraphs ago. CONTEXT. It is the key!

The key to the door of understanding that is. Hah! Jokes ahoy everybody, would you look at that. By jove and other old-timey sayings.

Context is watching a video explaining the super complicated rules of something, and being able to immediately understand it because you attach that explanation to literally somebody playing the actual game right in front of your face.

Context is watching a video where people play through a tabletop game and come up with all the questions you would have on the first play through, so you don’t have to!

Context, just gives you a better way of understanding basically.

Everybody loves context. All-together now; ‘WE. LOVE. CONT… no?’

Fine, don’t join in sheesh.

Yours play throughily (sure),