The Show / Hosts

The Spiel Foundation & The Spiel

The Spiel and its media network are part of The Spiel Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to making the world a more playful place. Dive in and discover all the ways the foundation pursues this goal by visiting The Spiel Foundation web site!

Spiel History

The Spiel is a show covering the world of board and card games since 2006. 

Our primary broadcast medium is audio but we also produce written reviews and documentary films. 

Episodes 1-220 feature a variety show format with news, in-depth game reviews and segments celebrating various aspects of games old and new. Explore our episode archive for hundreds of hours of content.

In 2016, Stephen accepted a promotion to the rank of Major Fun. Major Fun is an internationally recognized award for kids and family games created by Bernie DeKoven. 

As a result, The Spiel and Major Fun joined forces moving forward!

Each season of The Spiel is divided into 2 parts: February - June and August - December.

Each month, we release audio and written episodes which include game reviews and segments from our network of contributors.

Each game reviewed on the show is the recipient of an award: Major Fun or the Spiel of Approval.

The Major Fun Award celebrates games great for kids and families or parties.

The Spiel of Approval Award celebrates games that encourage thoughtful and strategic play. 

These awards are badges of quality. We play many games but only a select few earn this distinction. Recipients often include the award seal/graphic on the game box.

In addition to game reviews, The Spiel records interviews and panel discussions with designers, publishers and artists at the largest game conventions in the world: GenCon and Essen.

We here at The Spiel know fun. We are passionate about play as a powerful positive force in the world. Our goal is open a door to the wider world of games and play to as many people as we can.

Have a listen. I hope you'll be inspired to find a friend and play!


The Spiel is hosted by Stephen Conway and Doug Richardson.

Stephen is founder, creator and host of The Spiel. He is a writer, filmmaker and game designer and developer. He is also Major Fun! Check out his web site . In addition, he is the driving force behind two non-profit organizations, the Indiana Film Society and The Spiel Foundation.  Feel free to contact him here:

Doug Richardson is a professionally trained actor. He's an avid chess player and lifelong game player and explainer. Good beer, good food and baseball (especially the San Franciscio Giants) are among his passions. He and his wife Patty live in Gresham, Oregon with their fun loving dogs Roscoe and Mona.

We both share a deep and abiding passion for games and the importance of play as a lifelong pursuit. Fun isn't something we outgrow. It's a vital part of life. Our hope is to open a door to the wider world of games through creative projects like The Spiel, Major Fun and documentary films like Made For Play: Board Games & Modern Industry.

The Spiel Foundation is another way we share our love of games with the community at large. The Foundation raises money to donate bundles of quality board and card games to children's hospitals and senior centers across the country. The Foundation has donated thousands of games to kids and seniors who could use more fun in their lives. For more information on The Spiel Foundation, visit

To learn more about The Spiel, poke around our episode archives. There are over 300 episodes and hundreds of hours to enjoy and explore!

Team Spiel

The Spiel is more than just Stephen and Doug, though. We have a whole team of Spielers contributing to the show behind the scenes and as segment contributors. Each new voice ads wonderful variety to our table and gives you the listener new and different ways to explore the world of games and fun.

Padded Cell Playtest Crew

These amazing folks attend game evaluation sessions at the padded cell in Indianapolis each and every week and play hundreds of games a year with Stephen. The games run the gamut from quick and silly to brain burning ones that last all evening long. Quite simply, we couldnt do the show without their input, craziness, and willingness to play!

The Padded Cell crew includes :

Erwin Susara | Gubbins | Mike McMann | Francie Broadie


Ezra Denney

Noted wallflower Ezra Denney is a theatre nerd, power forward, lifelong gamer, Giants and Warriors fan. He works in the non-profit sector. He plays games at a regular meet up in the Bay Area where all are welcome. Ezra is also hosting playthroughs of board games and rpgs for the fine folks at Quests & Chaos.

Alameda Board Gamers  |  Quests & Chaos

Miklos & Starla Fitch

Miklos and Starla are avid board gamers in the Houston area. They especially enjoy sharing their love and knowledge of gateway games, hoping to welcome more African-American players into the gaming community.  They run a show called Our Family Plays Games highlighting great games they've played. 

Our Family Plays Games  YouTubeFacebook  |  Instagram


Gubbins Boffin is rarely seen and those who have seen him think it is best kept that way. He helps behind the scenes, helping to evaluate games at the padded cell and works as a live audio engineer and all around helper whenever needed. Gubbins loves co-op games and is still basking in the afterglow from  winning Pandemic Legacy: Season 2. 

Beth Heile

Beth is an assitive technology expert for special needs students. She is, quite likely, the most enthusiastic game player on the planet. She is part of the BGG production crew. She also helps organize and run the largest board game meetup in Chicago.

BGG livestream archive

John Knoerzer

John is a licensed clinical social worker. When appropriate, he explores ways to incorporate games into his line of work. He works with the BGG livstream crew at events around the world. He has a passion for the Avalon Hill classic Advanced Civilization and the Denver Broncos.

John's Web Site

Bruce Voge

Bruce explores his love of dexterity games with the Flickin' Around segment on The Spiel. Bruce is the Moderator, Editor and Producer of the Party Gamecast featuring the Party Game Cast (a podcast about party games and games you take to parties) and the host of The Just Barely Sports Podcast with the Minor League Geek.  He is also recurring guest on the On Board Games podcast. In this work life Bruce is a DJ, MC, Trivia Host and all around entertainer. 



Retired Members of The Spiel 

David Coleson was the co-host of The Spiel from 2006 - June of 2018. He is a former Marine, professional musician (trumpet) and a game designer and developer. Dave's first published game is Junk in My Trunk. He owns one of the largest collection of dice in the world. He also enjoys disc golf, good drinks and good games with friends and family. Feel free to contact Dave here:

Saffron Ann

Saff lives in Brighton, UK and runs an active Facebook group entitled Wargames Are For Everybody. If she could marry a board game, Twilight Struggle would be her partner-in-crime. She worked as the Social Media and Marketing Director at PSC Games and is currently the Communications Manager for White Wizard Games.

Wargames Are For Everybody  |  Twitter