A Conversation with Wil Wheaton


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[This interview has been edited and condensed.]

Just what are you hiding, Boing Boing?

Yay, Wil! I loved Stand by Me and I loved TNG as a kid… I’m happy that he’s out there doing cool things!

Also, obligatory… NEVER shut up, Wesley!!!

Edited to add - I never get to use this one…

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“But with video gaming being so toxic at the moment, that atmosphere seems to come around over and over again in video gaming. It just doesn’t exist in tabletop gaming. And I think a lot of that has to do with the reality that when we play tabletop games, we’re sitting down with people, and we’re making an effort to play with people, whether they’re friends or strangers. And there’s real-life consequences for your behavior at a table that I think don’t exist when you’re playing online. I think people tend to forget there’s a human being on the other side of that screen. You can’t forget that there’s a human being on the other side of the game board.”

BINGO. Hell, the same could be said of comment boards vs. chatting at the cafe or bar. Civility and introspection go out the window when the person you’re talking to isn’t in your field of vision.

I just love Wil so much. And it makes me sad that I haven’t gotten around to watching TableTop yet. I started watching season one, then got distracted by something shiny, and never went back to it. Now that I have the ability to watch HD Youtube on my big screen, I may go back to it.

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It exists in tabletop gaming, don’t let anyone fool you. It’s just ridiculed properly by the majority, and the believers have to huddle together in the dustiest corners of the smallest strip mall games workshops. I’ve certainly seen SJW tossed at the 5e D&D books for having “too many” people of color or inflating the single paragraph basically saying you can play any gender or sexual orientation you want into why the hobby has been ruined by pandering (or even justifying why their decision to never play D&D again many years ago still holds true). IT exists, and it’s vocal, but unlike gamergate normal people are not just pretending it doesn’t exist.

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It looks like English, but I still can’t decode this. No, I’m afraid I’m not exaggerating here. Use a period, for christ’s sake. And yes, if I were your editor, I’d say this to your face, albeit with a smile and in a friendly tone.

Anyway, the difference between online and tabletop gaming is that in the tabletop world, you have the option to avoid idiots (unless you’re playing in an open tournament or something, and even then, idiots will get sanctioned). You don’t have that luxury online.

Another hot tip: Avoid “SJW”. You’re just flying your ideological flag. Unless that’s your intent. Then it’s fine. IMHO.

re: hot tip,

I believe that was a complaint about other people tossing complaints of “SJW” at the 5e d&d books, not emo_pinata themselves using the term.


Actually, TableTop RPG would be a pretty catchy name for that new show Wheaton describes.

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Wil is Great! He’s managed to create an incredible unique persona for himself. Not only for games, but even as a ‘character’ in some marvelous books. As well as doing great voice-overs and book-reads. It’s been wonderful watching his career develop, grow, and mature!

Nice interview! Congratulations, Wil.

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Did you think emo_pinata was accusing other people of being SJWs? They were pretty clearly referring to the kind of assholes who toss “SJW” around as an insult.

If you generally can’t decode a post (which is weird; that third sentence was kind of run-on, but there’s way worse), you probably shouldn’t pick random words out of it to misinterpret.

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No fewer than three things going under the Christmas tree were bought immediately after watching the relevant episode of TableTop. It’s a great resource.

I love Wil Wheaton. He’s a thoughtful, smart guy whose opinions seem to be grounded in morality.

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