TikTok...Trump wanted to ban it. My friends wouldn't stop sharing videos from it. I suddenly couldn't escape its influence. So, fueled by pandemic boredom and a need for community, I decided to download the app and reluctantly joined yet another social channel. I found it diverting, almost too diverting...After setting it aside for a moment, I picked it back up and recorded a little video of my own. In the video I talked about the rising interested in D&D and sea shanties in the pandemic and lamented that I had been languishing unrecognized in these interests for YEARS with no one caring. Rather than being a gatekeeper (a type I despise) I welcomed people to the hobbies. I had hoped to maybe find like minded people and - BOY DID I EVER! If you are a TTRPG or board game nerd and not on TikTok, you are missing some interesting tips, tricks, and discourse, my friend. The nerds are everywhere and they are multiplying. With the benefits of hashtags and TikTok's mysterious algorithm, I quickly found content from my niche interests and was then able to supply videos to that audience as well.
My video got very popular and my next video, where I taught people to make Grog, blasted my channel far past the 1000 person marker. Finally a use for my film degree? How proud my parents must be! But in all seriousness, one of the biggest things I've learned from this experience is that interest in TTRPGs is on the rise. My comments sections and "For You" feed are filled with people just starting out with roleplaying games or those who have come back to them after years away. Wizards of the Coast said that Dungeons and Dragons had its best ye
ar yet. Barnes and Noble is filled floor to ceiling with D&D products, and they are selling, FAST. So, where are people in a pandemic going to discuss these new passions? The answer is, in part, TikTok. The platform is by no means perfect but, it is perfect for this moment in history. If you have the time (you do) I would recommend checking it out. It takes a little while for the algorithm to learn your likes and dislikes, but you likely won't be bored while it figures you out. Theres a tabletop community out there and I'm working to be an active participant in it. If you're curious about my channel, you don't need a TikTok account to riffle through it! My plan is to talk more about TTRPGs, nerd life, share some of my art and, later on, bring in my husband and co-founder so he may discuss the various systems he's created and which we run at Story Tables. Time will tell if this new hobby will pay off for our business, but for now, I'm just happy to be a part of the conversation.