The Game Guys

the game guys

I thought it would be fun to do a game-review channel. Our family tends to play many board games, so it seemed a natural fit. It’s not the only idea for a YouTube channel that I’ve had. I’m sure there are others like me. We get a wild idea, play with it, and then put it away.

In my life, I’ve pursued many passions. I built a home arcade with a friend. I started a bar with another friend. I opened a karate school with a couple of others.

So, a game review channel didn’t seem too crazy of an idea. I just thought it would have been more fun with a friend.


Like most boys in his generation, Noah is a fan of YouTube. When he was younger, he watched channels like DanTDM. Dan was such a big YouTube star in 2016 that he even had a multi-city tour. Noah and I went and had a great time.

As he’s grown, Noah’s tastes have changed. For a while, he watched YouTubers like Mr. Beast. Then he started watching crazy infotainment channels and would come to dinner with random factoids.

Those nightly conversations led to the occasional topic of how YouTube stars made money. My girlfriend (aka Noah’s mom) and I encouraged Noah to follow his interests and see if he could develop a channel of his own. As with most kids, Noah received that suggestion less than enthusiastically.


When the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020, America locked down. Most of the world did, too. I already worked from home part-time, so the lockdown didn’t throw me off too badly.

During that period, kids didn’t immediately attend online school as the teachers didn’t have lesson plans. That meant some downtime for the kids. My girlfriend and I wanted to develop something constructive for Noah to do during the day. Letting a kid play video games and watch YouTube all day wasn’t the most productive use of this time.

We asked Noah if he wanted to create a YouTube channel. He was lukewarm to the idea, but his interest waned when we suggested he pick a topic. That’s when I brought up the idea of doing game reviews. Noah’s enthusiasm didn’t necessarily increase, but at least there was a goal.


For equipment, we almost owned everything already.

I had the editing software (Wondershare Filmora), and I’d been working with it to create book trailers. I also made a couple of music videos related to a book I wrote with Bill Bancroft, Tales from the Road.

My girlfriend had previously purchased a green bedsheet as a ‘green screen.’ This was in response to an earlier YouTube conversation with Noah. We had never done anything with it, so this would be its maiden voyage.

The one thing we didn’t have was wireless microphones. I placed a quick order on Amazon (thankfully, they were still working during the shutdown).

While we waited for the mics to arrive, I developed the Game Guys logo. Oddly, I’m very proud of this little intro. I downloaded a short video of a pair of dice rolling from Pixabay and snagged the emojis from Filmora.

When the microphones arrived, Noah and I set them up and got to work.


The first game we reviewed was Dealer’s Choice, a 1972 game where the players act like used car sales associates. It’s a fun game we’ve played many times as a family.

Setting up the shoot was interesting. We didn’t know anything about lighting and learned everything on the fly. But there were some laughs, and it was a great experience.

Our next video was Stratego. This is a famous game and one that Noah played for many years. The video production was fun, and taking photos afterward for the thumbnail was a blast. There are several pictures of Noah hamming it up for the camera so we could have a ‘shocked’ look.

The third video was Rock ’em Sock ’em Robots. This was a game neither of us had played in years, but we wanted something quick and easy. During the video, you can see Noah looking outside. It was a lovely April day, and Rose the Office Dog was in the yard.

At this point, the videos had already lost their appeal for Noah.


By the time we made the fourth video, school had returned in an online variation. His days weren’t as open anymore. He still had some free time, but not as much as during the initial lockdown. He wasn’t as quickly encouraged to participate in an activity like reviewing games.

That final video never saw the light of day. It was disappointing because the first couple were such a blast, and I had hoped Noah might find a creative outlet.

Making videos turned out not to be his thing, and that’s okay.

I consider myself lucky, though. I created a few videos with him, and we were able to learn a little about the YouTube process. Now, when he’s watching YouTube, he might appreciate the work that goes into it. I know I do!

But the videos are also a time capsule. They allow me to rewatch them and laugh along with those moments. I’m glad we spent the time making them.

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