User of the Week - BoardGameHalv

Owner

This is our first official weekly thread where we'll highlight a user in our community!

User: Matt

Joined: 16 months ago

I'm sure some of you are familiar with Matt by now, but he recently started working alongside me, , and to make this place an even better one, and he's been a true workhorse who makes me feel behind every time 😆

But prior to this, Matt created Board Game Halv close to the time when we launched Board Game Atlas, and quickly gained traction to rival other board game websites out there that have way more staff on hand. So take a look and check out his reviews, news coverage, and lists of games covering topics such as "best 1 player games," "5 games like Scythe," and more.

In typical AMA/Ask Me Anything style, Matt will be answering any of your questions ranging from topics such as his favorite ice cream flavor or food combinations, favorite games, side hobbies, past careers, or anything else that you can think of. Please remember to be respectful in your questions, and have fun getting to know Matt!

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22 days ago

That guy sounds amazing!

21 days ago

Hi Matt!! Since you already covered ice cream, what is your favorite overall food?

21 days ago

Hot sandwiches. Reubens, tuna melts, breakfast sandos, hot pastrami on rye, philly cheese steaks, pulled pork. If we are eating steak, I prefer mine chopped, placed on some artisan chibata bread, with a healthy dose of arugula, topped with a chimichuri or spicy aioli. Fries on the side but I am open.

21 days ago

Welcome Matt! What is the most underated bingable TV show of all time?

21 days ago

Damages starring Glen Close and Rose Byrne. It originally aired on FX and settled on the Direct TV network when they were trying to do that whole thing. In my experience, it fell pretty under the radar but it is pretty fantastic. It is about an incredibly powerful and evil lawyer who tries to bring in and corrupt a younger but more just lawyer. It is five seasons of their cat and mouse game, with crazy twists dropping left and right. Tagline: Win at all costs. There are 5 seasons with a total of 59 "hour-long" episodes so if you are craving something you can tear through, this is a good option. I got the same feeling of constantly wanting more that I got from Breaking Bad, Sopranos, Ozark, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, Dexter and more of those top tier dramas.

Owner22 days ago

Since no one else has asked the important question, what's your favorite ice cream flavor? Let's see if you also manage to get on 's bad side.

Secondly, what's your #1 game right now?

22 days ago

Not just in ice cream, but in life, one of my top Achilles heals is vanilla ice cream with chocolate chips milk shakes. There is no guilty pleasure I would rather indulge in. How did I do ?

My standard go to for answering the favorite game question is #Terraforming Mars I love engine builders that are robust but not quite those head hurting 6 hour bangers and TM fills that slot nicely. I am always down to play games and often need to please different groups of friends so my favorite game is one that I know the people I am playing with are going to enjoy. They have a lot of different quarks and preferences, so it is quite the minefield to navigate.

Supporter21 days ago

Well, I am pleased to say that you did fine, just fine. There is actually only one wrong answer, mint chocolate chip, and a dissapointing number of people choose that one wrong answer.....LOL

21 days ago

Haha. Just like when I frosted my hair tips, I went through a mint chocolate chip phase but looking back now I can't help but say "what was I thinking".

Supporter20 days ago

LOL, I am glad that you have repented of the folly of your youth.

22 days ago

As for "right now" my favorite 2020 game was probably #Lost Ruins of Arnak or #Dune: Imperium or #Fort.

22 days ago

Hi, and congrats on joining BGA!

22 days ago

Thanks !! Your kind words warm my soul.

Premium User22 days ago

Oh cool! I have a few questions for Matt:

  • What's your role at BGA?
  • What led you to creating Board Game Halv?
  • What game has been on your mind lately?
  • What game are you most looking forward to?
  • What are your other hobbies?

22 days ago

As for my role at BGA, it is a smaller team so there is a lot of different hat wearing. I really connected with them because we have such a shared vision for the future, as well as, things we wanted to do and roll out for the community. I came on board to help grow the platform in a variety of different areas. My background is in marketing, operations and business development so I hope to bring much of that to a variety of exciting things BGA has to come. 

As for why to start BGH, Board Game Halv is actually my sixth or so site. My first one was in 2007. It was a blog called Best Video Ever where I partnered with comedians who would write out a paragraph reaction to a funny popular video. This was the time of digg, and a few years after Facebook so the idea of viral content was becoming a thing. There was this incredibly popular video at the time that is probably the most disgusting thing ever and should never be looked up but lets just say it involved multiple individuals and one cup. Our reaction post about one of those videos got a #3 ranking for a very popular related keyword on Google. Thousands of people and multiple dollars (because I was not monetizing properly) were rolling in, and I was hooked. They have all come and gone for different reasons but the key was that I learned and grew. It was always a hobby I wanted to turn into something more. It blends all my passions and skills, and I enjoy the wild west that is the internet. Board Games are something I have loved for a long time so I felt I finally had all the tools and things I wanted to accomplish to jump in and do something.

#7 Wonders is on my mind for multiple reasons. First of all, I just put up a post about a new 7 Wonders "Mystery" teaser trailer, so everyone leave a comment there speculating on what you think it is. And secondly, because I finally ventured into Board Game Arena and that was my first choice because I wanted someone else to track all the points so I didn't have to. 

I am looking forward to the new #Terraforming Mars The Dice Game, because I am more curious than anything. As far as new IP, I think #Frostpunk: The Board Game looks pretty cool. I am not normally a huge cooperative fan but this looks like one I can get behind. I also think adding "punk" as part of any other word is a genius branding move.

For hobbies, I was a foodie for a bit, I love photography (both editing and shooting), games of any kind (though my favorites are board games, Destiny 2, and RTS PC games), entrepreneurship (Brainstorms and Shark Tank is my kind of evening), traveling to new places, or ingesting entire mini series or tv seasons in one sitting. A good way to sum it up is I love trying things for the first time, whether big or small, while also being comfortable. 

Premium User22 days ago

Hi Matt!  Glad to see you've joined the team!  I don't really have any super insightful things to ask so I'll just say I enjoy the work you do.  Keep it up!

22 days ago

Thanks I appreciate the well wishes, no insight necessary.

22 days ago

Hi Matt, I didn't realise you had joined the BGA team, congrats!

If you could change one aspect of games or the hobby (like every game comes with free ice-crea or no more games about European farmers etc.) what would it be and why?

22 days ago

Thanks Bob, we have not made any official announcement yet so you are the first to hear about it. Very happy to be part of the team and thank you for your congratulations.

Most of what I like about games themselves is how they don't change. Much of their value is in their analog-ness. My favorite way to spend time is just a light in-person activity with friends and family that makes for good laughs and conversations. Board games fit that so well and I enjoy being able to put my phone down and do something not digital. As much as I like online board gaming it is not the same experience. This is why I tend to not love games that have companion apps. How are those going to survive an apocalypse? Or just the test of time is a more reasonable thing to say.

As for change, there is plenty but one thing I would love to see is more highly produced world championships. If someone got a few hundred thousand dollars for being the best King of Tokyo player, I bet it could be on TV, and more people would play, and the events would be awesome looking. If you have an audience, sponsors will pay for an event to serve them. There is no reason why board games can't be as big as video game events. I admit video games are more exciting to watch but I hope you know what I am getting at.

20 days ago

Nice, would King of Tokyo be your first pick for a board game tournament?

I would love to see a kind of decathlon event where you get a random mix of games (maybe with the broad mechanics known in advance: deck builder, 4X, bluffing) but the competitors only find out the specific game an hour before they start playing so they can read the rules etc.

20 days ago

Haha, no King of Tokyo would not be my choice. I love the game but I probably wouldn't start with something that has no luck involved if possible. My ideal situation would be a game that is built into a tournament format. Something halfway between one off and legacy game that tracks your play over multiple games. I would have to think about what would be the great, but I definitely feel good about saying #Terraforming Mars

I love your idea about more of a champions series with multiple games and mechanics. That would be a fantastic way to crown an overall winner that is a fantastic board gamer. It could also be a team thing where different people play in different games, as well as, together in group games. Or maybe it is something like a calcutta, the golf tournament format where others can bid on teams and get points for different things. I think there are some fun things that could be put together.

King of Tokyo as a game show that is the game mixed with some physical activity and giant dice would be amazing. Like the Floor is Lava meets Press Your Luck.

Premium User22 days ago

I like the boardgame championship idea.  Or at least a heavily watched arena for various games.

22 days ago

What was your gateway game?? Like if you had to blame one game for your stumbling down the boardgaming rabbit hole, what would it be?

22 days ago

It was #Catan. I know that is a popular answer but I have a good story to go along with it. 

I have always been into games and loved new things in that world but I really fell down the board game rabbit hole after my experience with that game. Before transitioning into Board Games I spent a career in international film marketing for a large studio. The head of our interactive games and development team, which was located next to my international division, really wanted Catan as an entertainment property, for TV or a movie or both. 

To woo them, he brought over the whole Catan team and had this big gaming party. There was about a 100 of us from the company and we did a large group Catan game (where you sit in rows and play against the person across from you but also kind of with the people next to you) as well as individual games with groups of four.

The whole thing was hosted by Klaus Tauber's son and I had the time of my life. The aforementioned games department head gave me a new copy of the game because he saw how much I was enjoying it. I wore that copy out. I took it everywhere and showed pretty much everyone in my life how to play it. I have since made at least 5 lifetime Catan fans and I know they did the same thing.

I must have played hundreds of times before I finally thought, hey maybe I should check out some other board games. I did and I was hooked. Hundreds of games later, I have not looked back and have no regrets.