David Couto is an avid board game fan. Subscribers to his YouTube channel know him as Professor Board Game. No wonder he devoted an entire room to his playful passion.
Any game lover gives a wow filled with jealousy and euphoria as soon as he opens the door to this particular gaming parlour.
The library, filled with some 600 games of all kinds, is enough on its own to want to settle permanently in this player’s paradise. But that’s not all. In the center of the room sits a table specially designed for long evenings of games with friends.
“It was designed by my father, using expensive models offered on specialized sites. We took everyone’s best ideas and my dad came back with that table,” says David Couto, who teaches science and technology in Sorel high schools.
Ten players can sit comfortably around this oversized table. Its low center not only gives an exceptional overview on the board, but it also prevents a false movement from falling parts on the floor. The most skilled player knows how easy it is to lose a die with a single roll…
Even better, its neoprene mat muffles sounds and makes it easier to pick up cards that are so slippery on a wooden table. Too many cards in your hands to strategize? No worries: the edges are adorned with a slot to fit your game.
Plus, the killer detail: drink holders keep players well hydrated throughout the duel.
Obviously, this table is essential for filming the Professor Board Game videos, which are mainly focused on explaining the rules of the game. “With the video, anyone could play a new game without reading the rules”, believes the blogger .
Games have always been a part of this 40-year-old man’s life. First with the first generations of video consoles, like many children of the 1980s, of which he quickly grew tired when he discovered role-playing games.
“But I really got the ‘bug’ when I discovered tabletop games. With my friends, I spent my days playing Hero Quest or Magic. Then, at the University of Sherbrooke in the mid-2000s, I joined a board game club where we played Carcassonne, Pandemic, Knights of the Round Table, etc. I never stopped afterwards,” he says.
David Couto’s ludophilia was taken to the next level after struggling with health issues. Suffering since his adolescence from a rare disease affecting his pulmonary and cardiovascular capacities, he had to reduce his activities for two years after a serious relapse in 2014. He took the opportunity to launch his YouTube channel.
“I needed a project to not go around in circles in the house,” says the bachelor.
The magic of YouTube allows this pedagogue by vocation to combine his passions for games and teaching, he says.
Who says studio says camera and lighting system. The room has therefore been enriched with professional-grade tripods and lamps. Today, with the addition of two collaborators, the Professor Board Game channel broadcasts from its game room two videos and one podcast per week. She is followed by nearly 13,000 subscribers.
This success caught the attention of game publishers who send their new releases to him in the hope of catching David Couto’s interest. “I receive and I give a lot. To my followers and schools in the area,” he said.
Its growing notoriety required the rental of the gymnasium of the local CEGEP for the organization of the fourth edition of the Meeplelympiades – for neophytes, a meeple is a small wooden figure representing the player. This friendly tournament, usually held in the library of a high school in Sorel-Tracy, brought together more than 120 participants from across the province on June 17.
To think that initially, David Couto simply wanted to create a nice games room in his basement to share his passion with a few friends…