The International Tabletop Day celebrates board gaming around the world and an event is being hosted in Whitehorse this year by the Yukon Comic Culture Society (YCCS) on Saturday, April 30.

The free event takes place at the Whitehorse Public Library from noon to 5 p.m.  The YCCS is supplying board games for the event while door prizes will be drawn throughout the day.

Wil Wheaton, best known for his role as Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: the Next Generation, is promoting the International Tabletop Day. He’s a board game lover and he hosts a successful show called TableTop that is broadcast on the YouTube channel Geek & Sundry.

On Tabletop, Wil Wheaton and a rotating cast of famous geeks and friends play board games, illustrating how to play them. Tabletop episodes have garnered over 30 million views and is considered a significant force in the board gaming industry with games featured on the show often selling out immediately.

In an interview for the magazine Gamesradar, Wheaton explained what Tabletop Day is about: “The idea is for gamers to gather at homes, libraries, community centres, friendly local game shops, dorm rooms, beaches and other fun places to play games together. We built a website that makes it easy for gamers to plan, join, and coordinate events, at TableTopDay.com. It’s a celebration of the hobby that we love,” Wheaton told the interviewer.

Designer board games have been growing in popularity over the last 20 years, with significant growth seen in the last five. Driven by the ability of the Internet to connect gamers more easily and the access to funding that Kickstarter provides new publishers, designer board gaming has exploded with thousands of new games introduced per year.  

Many of these new games such as Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride and Takenoko have slowly crept onto the shelves of mass market stores like Chapters and Wal-Mart.  Board game designs now range in format from super-fast and easy to learn 10 minute games to elegantly designed games that play in an hour or two to epic, 12-hour plus board games where players do battle to rule the galaxy, controlling space forces and the economy of their empire.

The Yukon Comic Culture Society has been hosting monthly free board gaming sessions throughout the city as part of their community outreach initiative. During each event, the YCCS provides their library of over 60 board games for play with volunteers available to teach new players these games.  

With an eye to keeping the event family friendly, the YCCS has purchased a wide variety of games for all ages and play-styles, from dexterity based games to cooperative board games for the ultra-competitive.   

The Yukon Comic Culture Society is the organisation that scheduled the Star Wars Burlesque event in 2015 and who organise Yukomicon, the Yukon’s only comic and geek convention. The next Yukomicon is scheduled for August 2017.

Tabletop Day is an international event that, in 2015, included over 3,000 registered events worldwide and whose social media campaign generated over 75 million impressions, with #TableTopDay trending globally for 12 hours on Twitter and Facebook.

The free International Tabletop Day board game event takes place at the Whitehorse Public Library on Saturday, April 30 from noon to 5 p.m. For more information check out the Yukon Comic Culture Society Facebook page.