The man behind the video: interviewing Richard «Rahdo» Ham

This is the interview to Rahdo in English; if you were looking for the interview in Spanish look over here. If you want to read the interview in English, you are on the right place.

Richard «Rahdo» Ham is a retired videogame producer who has one of the most successful boardgames related YouTube channels. In his channel, Rahdo Runs Through, he makes a funny and entertaining runthroughs of a game in which he plays by himself while giving the viewers lots of information and great feedback about the games he’s playing.

He is also an overall great guy and an important figure in the boardgaming world. He is such a nice guy that he was open for an interview with La Matatena. So here it is:

La Matatena: As fans of your channel, we know many of your top games; however, we are wondering: if you, somehow, lost all of your collection, which would be the 5 games you’ll buy back first?
Rahdo: I’ve already filmed a video about that actually, the answer would be still in my top 10 must haves:
05. Glory to Rome
04. Trajan
03. Shadowrun Crossfire
02. Castles of Burgundy
01. Troyes

LM: What has been the greatest satisfaction you’ve had from entering the boardgaming Community? (as a player, producing content, as a human being)?
Rahdo: That would definitely be getting to play and enjoy games with my wife, which has made our marriage stronger than ever as we finally have a hobby we can share and enjoy equally!

LM: On a more personal quote, Demuxer Gt asks: Was it hard to manage your time between Jen and your boardgaming hobby?
Rahdo: Nope, because the only reason I’m as hard core into boardgames is because I can play them with her.  If she wasn’t interested in playing, I don’t think Rahdo Runs Through would even exist!

LM: Our reader César Quintero would like to know what percentage of your time you expend playing board games and what other activities do you enjoy?
Rahdo: We like walking our dogs, and watching TV and movies, but really our number one hobby is playing games together. I’d say we probably play play games around 12-15 hours a week on average.

LM: If you had to explain your life using a single board game, which one would it be?
Rahdo: I guess it’s like a game of Agricola where I never had kids but somehow got the right combination of occupation and improvement cards that life worked out well regardless, with just me and Jen.

LM: The boardgaming industry has been changing a lot lately, becoming a multi million dollar industry with big ass companies buying small publishers and distributors all around the world; do you think that will benefit or harm board game design or the industry as a whole?
Rahdo: I have no idea, and to be honest, I don’t really worry about it. There are already more games available on the market than I could play in a lifetime, so it’s all good. Even if all publishers stopped making boardgames tomorrow, there’d still be more than enough games to play!

LM: Juan Carlos Martínez asks: Have you ever considered designing a board game? If so, what kind of board game would that be?
Rahdo: I’ve had ideas about a game I’d like to play – everyone has I’m sure, but I know full well from my former life that having an idea is one thing, but making it a reality is quite another.
The one idea I’ve given the most thought to is a simulation of running a videogame development company (make what you know, right?) where your employees are represented by dice that you ‘hire’ from a queue that appears on the main board – different colored dice represent different roles that have to be filled (art, animation, programming, design, audio, production), and different side counts represent different levels of experience (a d4 is a novice straight out of school & a d12 is a seasoned veteran).
You can read more about it in this thread in BGG.

LM: Jorge Benavides asks: What do you think is the main difference between designing boardgames and videogames and what things stay the same in both?
Rahdo: Well, when you’re making a videogame, you’re part of a big team, and the end result is the combination of all of those people working together towards a common shared vision. With boardgame design, almost everything that’s in the final box is the result of the designer’s vision, so you’re much more responsible for the final product. Which can be awesome, and terrifying.

LM: Being a latin american blog, several of our readers asked, besides Mi Tierra, have you ever played another board game designed by a latinamerican? Have you liked them?
Rahdo: Not too many.  I remember trying out Dogs, which was very neat, but could have used some more balance work for 2 players. Oh, and The Capitals is fantástico!

LM: We know this hobby can change people. Do you think the world would be a different place if more people around the world played board games? How so?
Rahdo: I honestly don’t know, but I’m inclined to say that I don’t think the world would be hugely different. I know there’s a prevalence amongst boardgamers to assume that modern forms of social interaction is bad and that peoples lives would be so much better if they stepped away from the screen and looked at each other face to face, over a boardgame.  But I think there might be a bit of snobbish on our part there, because such a huge part of social interaction is simply being together. Sure, it’s awesome for my wife and I to be knee deep in Agricola working through all our engine building plans together, but it’s also great to be watching a TV show together and enjoying that too. I’m not sure that one is better than they other, or certainly, not objectively better. Different strokes for different folks and all that.

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