In The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming, author Teri Litorco gives a wealth of information on everything from playing games to simply not being a dick. In her chapter on Writing About Games Online she mentions that there is no such thing as an objective review and that your personal tastes will always colour your opinions. So with that in mind, I’m going to preface this by saying that I like Teri Litorco. I have known and worked with her in a variety of both personal and professional circumstances, but oddly never at the game table. When I found out this book was coming out, I immediately preordered it, and excitingly burned through the first half before the real world put my binging reading on hold.
While it took me some time to finish, one of the wonderful things about this book is that it each chapter is broken down into multiple short subsections. It’s a perfect fit for situations where you may only have a few minutes to read at a time.
Whether you are watching her on YouTube or talking to her in person, one thing that is immediately apparent is Teri’s amazing charisma and personality. This also comes out in her writing, as she gives us the wisdom of her experience in a down to earth way.
She covers your Friendly Local Game Store; how to learn, play, and teach games without being a dick; “Your Martha Stewart LARP Adventure” (which is one of the best chapter titles I’ve ever read.); playing with friends, family, random groups, and in big events; plus a lot of be-a-better-human things. If you are a newer gamer yourself, or maybe you know one, this should be required reading. If you are an experienced gamer, you will appreciate the stories, and probably learn something new. Even if you already know everything in this book, sometimes it’s good to be reminded of the basic niceties.
The book isn’t perfect. There are a few moments that felt like it could have used one more pass by a beta reader or editor. Nothing “wrong” just the odd sentence that was worded a little awkwardly. Overall though, this book is a great read for anyone who’s into tabletop gaming and I have to give it a solid 4 out of 5.
The Civilized Guide to Tabletop Gaming is available at major booksellers everywhere, in both print and digital formats.