An Interview with David Seim

” I wanted to help, to do my part. So I said well, let’s do something!” 

-David Seim, Founder of Meeple-a-thon

David Seim spoke with me on August 22nd about Meeple-a-thon, a charity event to help the homeless youth in Kansas City, MO. Meeple-a-thon is in its third year.

David (Center) with his team for this year’s Meeple-a-thon

TheCharityBoardGamer: David, thank you so much for meeting with me today. Tell us about yourself and what brought you into the board game hobby.

David Seim: Thank you for reaching out today, Chris. It truly is my pleasure. I was a huge video game player. World of Warcaft, and Playstations and such. I had a buddy who invited me to one of his friends board game nights. He chose Battlestar Galactica, explained the rules, and I was mesmerized at how complex and simple the game was. I’m a huge sci fi nerd, so it just hit all of the chords with me. Working together knowing that someone was a Cylon..or many people were, it was awesome! So my buddies and I bought that game, I introduced them to it, and then we just kept going. Star Wars Imperial Assault was next, then Time Stories, Unlocks and all sorts of genres and games. We just enjoyed hanging out and being together while having a great adventure together. We all unplugged and sat around the table to enjoy each others company face to face. It was awesome!

TheCharityBoardGamer: How long have you been in the hobby?

David: We have been getting together for 5 or 6 years now. Seems longer than that though. Lol.

TheCharityBoardGamer: What is your favorite game currently?

David: I normally would have immediately said Gloomhaven. I love Co-op games. However, I just played Wingspan for the first time last Friday. That game was amazing. We had a 4-player game and the winner had 76 points (not me). Two of us had 75 points (me), and last place had 74. That was incredible! I cant wait to play it again. So I will say Wingspan.

TheCharityBoardGamer: Tell me about Meeple-a-thon. How did it get started?

David: So I work for a 501C3 organization called Hillcrest Transitional Housing. Three years ago, we were asked to change some of our housing into dormatory like houses, as there was an overwhelming need for housing for homeless youth.

It really struck me that:

  • There was such a need for homeless youth.
  • That there wasn’t enough help for it.

As soon as we opened our facilities, we were full and needed to start looking into expanding, knowing that it would cost substantial amounts of money to expand and perhaps purchase new facilities. I wanted to help, to do my part. So I said well, let’s do something! 

Meeple-a-thon 2017

Meeple-a-thon was created ! A 24-hour board game marathon to help raise money for the homeless youth in Kansas City! In a couple weeks I put together a very small event, we held it in the Thrift Shop I work at and we raised 700 or so dollars. I was pleased, but knew I could do better. Last year I started 8 months out, hit up local FLGS shops, asked for donations, emailed and Facebook messaged companies asking for donations for our raffle we were going to hold. We were able to raise $5,616.00 last year. I was beyond amazed at what was accomplished. After last year I was completely burned out though. So I asked for help, I created a roundtable of people willing to help me. The team this year has put in so much work helping to grow our event and it is my hope that we will hit our goal of raising $10,000.00 this year!

Meeple-a-thon 2018

TheCharityBoardGamer: When is this year’s Meeple-a-thon?

David: Meeple-a-thon 2019 is September 20th starting at 6pm and goes straight through to the 21st ending at 6pm. Now keep in mind, I set up last year all day Friday… didn’t sleep a wink the night before so for me…its like 48 hours of sleep deprived awesomeness!

Meeple-a-thon 2018

TheCharityBoardGamer: What are some of the events you have lined up for this year?

David: Oh Chris, I am so excited for what we have on tap. We have:

  • Mini-painting contests for adults and kiddos
  • Ticket to Ride Tournament
  • War Cry Demonstration
  • Keyforge Tournament
  • Dinosaur Tea Party
  • One Night Ultimate Werewolf
  • Twilight Imperium
  • Catan Tournament
  • Kill Team Tournament
  • Connect Four Tournament
  • Free Pizza from Sarpinos on Friday Night
  • Free Artisan Waffles from Cardboard Corner on Saturday Morning
  • Free Game Library to check out games
  • Something for EVERYONE!!!!
Enjoying some Sarpinos at Meeple-a-thon 2018

TheCharityBoardGamer: That’s Great! Where can people go to learn more and contribute to the charity?

David: Last year, at peak, we had over 150 people in the same room. I am hoping for a couple things: to double that, and to outgrow the space we are in. It’s a great problem to have. The best way to see all the events and sign up for them is on our Facebook page. It is wethemeeple, but also follow us on Instagram @meeple_a_thon, or our website meepleathon.com! Also, anyone can make a donation by texting ‘MEEPLE’ to 44321.

TheCharityBoardGamer: This is awesome! David, thank you again for your time and I hope you have a successful event!

David: Thank you, Chris, for your time and inquiries. I really appreciate you taking the time!

This Year’s Poster for Meeple-a-thon

My love for games and charity

Building a tower of fun with Rhino Hero Super Battle at Causeacon, a convention where the proceeds go to charity.

“The games are nothing without the people at the table.”

Back in High School, I remember the joy I had playing ridiculously long games of Monopoly with my friends on a Saturday afternoon. When college came, I left board games and the hobby, not knowing instead the industry had more to offer than just Clue, Monopoly and Scrabble.

Things get a little Wonky at our Extra Life Event on ITTD

Eighteen years later, I was invited to a board game night at a local church. I was given the chance to play One Night Ultimate Werewolf. This reminded me of playing Mafia when I played in the orchestra, going to events and killing random people in the name of fun. The next game was my first cooperative game. It was Pandemic and it was great. I had never played a game where I wasn’t trying to dominate and win against another person. Last was Catan. My wife had mentioned playing this before, but I had not played it. It was official. I was hooked to the board game hobby.

Ziler Hawkins, one of the children supported by Extra Life and Children’s Miracle Network, playing a game of Fibber.

Months later, I started an Instagram and was approached by Non-Zero Sum Games. Patrick invited me to be a part of his Extra Life team. I did my first year and was invested. I loved the fact that I could be a part of something that benefitted others and enjoy the games I played. Also at this time I joined Envoy and started demonstrating games for them and publishers. This helped me become more involved with the community.

Some of the most amazing people in the Board Game Community at Origins 2019

A year later and the board game community has been amazing. I have had the chance to help different charity events, meet fellow Instagrammers, work with publishers and raise money for great causes.

Grandfather and Grandson playing Drop it at Causeacon

So now I am working on this site to show the love for the games with my family, the journey through it all and highlight the good that our board game community can do. Once a week you will see an interview about a member of the board game community and the charity they believe in. If you like the charity, you will be able to go to the link to contribute. Together, we can do great things!

Welcome to The Charity Boardgamer Page

Board Game Blogs, Family Reviews and Charity Interviews

Aren’t there enough Blogs and reviewers out there in the board game community already?” was the question I asked when I decided to get involved. I asked it a lot. People had asked if I was going to go this route and I thought, “No,” but then we thought about the charity side of what our community can do, we decided to look further into this. Well, with the encouragement of my family and friends in the board game community, we are jumping in the water.

So what will you see on this site?

  • Thoughts on board games from not one, but all five of us. We will be putting up a review with thoughts from Abigail, 13, Beth, Chris(me), Daniel, 11, and Elijah, 8. The games are only as good as those you play with, and we play with them a lot.
  • There will be blogs on upcoming games, thoughts about moments and the board game culture.
  • The focus is to show the good of our community and what we can do if we work together. If we can come together at a table for a game, we can do the same for a good cause.

Enjoy the site and we look forward to sharing our family’s thoughts on board games and the good we can do together.