For those of you who might have seen “Gone Girl” with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, one of the first things you notice in the movie is that Ben Affleck is carrying a copy of Mastermind around with him. Later on he is seen playing The Game of Life with his twin sister. I’ve seen plenty of standard board games in movies, but not many of the designer type board games we’ve all come to know and love. Well, later in the film there is a scene where the doors of a woodshed are opened and a huge pile of “man cave” toys are sitting there, including a huge TV and various video game systems. Standing up prominently in the center of the screen was a copy of Dominion and Race for the Galaxy from Rio Grande games. I mean, they are impossible to miss. I was wondering how they got there, and decided to find out the rest of the story.
I contacted Jay Tummelson over at Rio Grande and he put me in touch with Joanna Lenn and Jon Holtzman from Eclipse Worldwide. Eclipse is a product placement service hired by Rio Grande that gets items displayed in movies and TV shows, and they do it without having to pay for the privilege.
In the case of Gone Girl, the studio approached Eclipse for suggestions of products to use to fill up the woodshed for that specific scene. Aside from all of the other electronic geeky goodness filling up the shed, Joanna pitched the idea to include a few board games in the scene. The studio liked the idea because having the main character interested in board games was already in the script. Dominion and Race for the Galaxy were chosen because they look classy, expensive, have excellent art, and looked like the kind of games the main character would buy.
Eclipse Worldwide has been behind Rio Grande games appearing in lots of television shows, like Tikal appearing on Glee, Dominion on Big Bang Theory and Agents of Shield, and an Arctic Scavengers poster on NCIS LA among others. Now excuse me, I have this sudden strange urge to play Dominion…