Tom Vasel (born September 8, 1976) is a well-known podcaster and reviewer of board games. Vasel co-hosts a long-running and popular gaming podcast titled The Dice Tower, and as of 2011[update] has posted over 1200 reviews on the internet database BoardGameGeek.
As of August 2003[update], Vasel taught mathematics at the International Christian School in Uijeongbu, South Korea. He assumed the role of Pastor of Uijongbu Baptist Church, succeeding Pastor Rick Kelley in March 2007. After leaving South Korea, he worked a couple of years as a teacher in Florida, then set aside his teaching career in the fall of 2012 to dedicate his time to The Dice Tower and to his part-time position as youth pastor at South Dade Baptist Church.
The Dice Tower
Since May 2005, Vasel has co-hosted The Dice Tower, a podcast about board games and wargames. Originally, Vasel represented players who prefer designer games, while co-host Joe Steadman advocated for those who prefer wargames. Steadman left the show in May 2006 after the 50th episode. Vasel, hosting alone with occasional input from Sam Healey for a few shows, rearranged the format to include recorded segments by guest reviewers and players. Gradually Healey began to take a larger role and was eventually promoted to co-host. Healey has since left the show and has been replaced by the show's voice-over man, Eric Summerer.
The show has evolved considerably over the years, but a few things have stayed reasonably consistent. It has stabilised in recent years as a variety show that features many contributors other than the two hosts, including hosts of other podcasts and prominent bloggers. Each episode of the podcast includes several regular segments and several occasional segments, both from Vasel and Summerer and also from their now numerous contributors.
Currently the show alternates from show to show with the final, main segment either being a discussion point, involving input from multiple contributors along with the hosts, or being their popular segment "Gaming Top Ten", where Vasel and Summerer provide their top ten games in a particular category. Most shows start with Vasel and Summerer discussing the games that they have recently played, followed by news from the boardgaming world. The podcast has also featured contests, where listeners can enter to win one or more games from a sponsoring company, and interviews and guest hosts from members of the board gaming industry.
The Dice Tower web site features past top-ten lists and Vasel's in-depth reviews of boardgames. Vasel's reviews are also used by board game publishers and retailers for promotion of their games.
The Jack Vasel Memorial Fund
Following the loss of his infant son Jack Vasel at the end of 2010, Tom Vasel established the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund, at www.jackvasel.org. The fund is a not-for-profit with a simple goal: raising and distributing funds to help gamers in their hour of need.
- Banks, Dave (January 25, 2011). "You Can Help Raise Funds For The Dice Tower‘s Vasel Family". Wired.
- Conway, Stephen (2008). "Board Game Broadcasters". Knucklebones (Iola, Wisconsin: Jones Publishing) 3 (2): 26–29. ISSN 1554-3277.
- "Tom Vasel's reviews on BoardGameGeek". Retrieved 2010-10-07.
- "Tom Vasel : GiftTRAP is a blast!".
- "Cineplexity: The Dice Tower.com".
|Pastor of Uijongbu Baptist Church