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“I didn’t expect to land in the board game industry”: 12 Questions with Stacy Tornio

Stacy Tornio is the Head of Content and Engagement at Underdog Games, who make games including Trekking The National Parks and Trekking the World. We talk about Stacy’s background in journalism and how she found herself working in the board game industry. Stacy also shares her advice for others wanting to work in game marketing.

1. What was your journey to working in the board game industry like?

My background is in journalism, publishing, and content marketing. I didn’t expect to land in the board game industry, but when I saw Underdog hiring for a content person, I knew I had to apply. Growing up, we played a lot of board games. I also love the national parks. So it’s been a great fit for me, and I’m really enjoying learning about this industry and how to apply my writing and content skills to it.

2. What’s the best game you’ve played in the past year?

I’m learning a LOT right now, including playing a lot of new games. I really enjoy card games. In the past year, I played Lost Cities for the first time and am now obsessed.

3. What game do you find yourself recommending the most?

Ha, see above. I even made my mom buy Lost Cities on vacation.

4. Describe your taste in games in three words:

Simple. Dynamic. Strategy.

“I’d like to see the industry be open and inviting to all types of people”

5. What would you like to see more of in board games or the industry?

I’d like to see the industry be open and inviting to all types of people and gamers. And by this, I mean both hardcore and casual gamers. I believe games provide such a deep, rich experience for family and friends, so I’d like to see a friendly, welcoming environment.

6. What’s the last game you added to your collection?

My co-worker, Dave, recommended Bohnanza recently because he knows I like gardening. It’s been great and gets the approval of my teenage kids as well.

7. What’s your favourite thing about working in board game marketing?

I love learning about our customers and why they play games. There are so many people who are just looking to have a great experience with their partner, their kids, their friends. I enjoy being part of making that connection.



8. What do you feel is the biggest misconception about your job?

My friends who learn about my job think I’m just playing games all the time. I do get to be involved in game ideas and testing, but the majority of my time is spent on content and marketing. I still let them think I have a super cool job though...because I think I do!

9. What’s the strangest job you’ve had?

I’ve been a writer and freelancer for many years. So in building up my experience there, I’ve taken on some odd jobs. I once wrote a few greeting cards for about $25 a card.

10. What’s your most surprising passion or hobby?

I’m a huge bird and garden geek. I worked at a birding magazine for 10 years, and my time there definitely turned me into a birder, gardener, and nature nerd.

11. What tips would you give to someone trying to get into board game marketing?

This industry reminds me a lot of the publishing industry. It can feel overwhelming to try to break in and have success. (And even more challenging to make money at doing it!) My advice is to stick with your passions when possible. This will always shine through in your work. And my second piece of advice is to just do it. It’s easy to wait around for someone to come along and offer this perfect, idealistic position or opportunity. But this isn’t realistic. So if you don’t have those opportunities that fall in your lap, create your own.

12. Tell us about a game you’ve replayed many times (and why)

Wits and Wagers is played so much at my house because both my kids enjoy it. It’s a go-to family game for us that we always play at grandma’s house or at family gatherings.

Find out more about Stacy by visiting her website and keep up with Underdog Games by following them on Instagram and Facebook.

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