Every week Board Game Hour host a series of questions on their twitter page on various topics but all relating to Board Games in one fashion or another. This week they are celebrating their 3rd birthday but because I will be out when it starts at 7pm I thought that I would take a look at the questions and answer them here on my blog instead.
Q1: Do you like that our hobby is growing, what are the upsides for you?
I think it is great that our hobby is growing and I am so happy to be a part of it. They are many upsides to it but the main ones for me are the opportunity to introduce people to the games I like most and to play a wider variety of games with my friends.
Q2: What do you feel the down sides of our hobby growing might be?
A growing hobby means more people playing which means more space is needed for people to play which could cause issues for those places which are simply not big enough and for people who don’t like big groups.
Q3: What do you think are the biggest barriers to entry into our hobby (social, financial, rule books)?
Board games are not always that cheep so I can definitely see that as a barrier to entry although with the amount of board game shops, cafes and local gaming groups around I see that as less of a problem than it probably should be. The biggest barrier is probably the social aspect as it can be pretty nerve-wracking to joint an already stablished group, especially when you might not know anyone there.
Q4: What can be done to lower all these barriers for new people?
If you are worried about the cost of board games then I would join a local board gaming group or go to board game nights to try the games out first. When it comes to the social barrier I would try and find a friend to go with and it could be a good idea to have a look on the groups social media pages and talk to some of the current members as I am sure they would be more than happy to talk about the hobby.
Q5: What role does the friendly local game store have to play in growing our hobby?
The role of the friendly local game store in growing our hobby revolves around providing space and opportunities to play games in. The stores can help to further expand the hobby by demoing new games and by being knowledgeable about the games that they have for sale. They can also reach out into the local community to see what works and what doesn’t in order to make for a better gaming experience.
Q6: Thinking about diversity. What can be done to expand the range of people who play games? Gender, race, sexuality etc
There are many ways to expand the range of people who play games and one of them would be to create games with characters from different backgrounds and more diverse themes. Our local game stores can also help expand the range of people who play games by trying to appeal to a wider audience.
Q7: What do you do to grow our hobby? Do you introduce new people to board games.. How?
To grow our hobby I try to introduce my family and friends to board games that I have enjoyed playing. I also write about the board games I have played on this blog in attempt to show off what I liked about them as well as to tell some of the fun things that have happened over a game of Catan or Lords of Waterdeep.
Q8: Does game length effect your choice for what to play with new player?
When it comes to deciding what game you want to play wit a new player the length of the game doesn’t really come into it all that much but I would probably not choose any of the longer games such as The Game of Thrones board game for example.
Q9: What can designers do to make a game good for introducing new players?
One of the ways that designers can make a game good for new players is to have a clear rulebook that is easy to understand and by having artwork that is appealing to the eye. Good quality pieces and a nice setting can do wonders when it comes to a new player.
Q10: How big a difference does theme make when playing games with someone new to gaming?
Themes can make the world of difference when it comes to playing games with someone new to the hobby because they are more likely to get invested in what they are doing if they enjoy the theme. If they are not interested in the theme then they might loose interest in the game and if that happens you might loose a new player instead of gaining one and that would not help the hobby grow.
Q11: What tips would you give to someone entering our hobby?
To someone entering the hobby then I would say it would be a good idea to check out your friendly local gaming store and have a look online for any gaming groups that might be in your area. I found Athena Games and NoBoG in the Norwich area and they were a big help to me ever since I first entered the hobby. Places and people in these groups are always more than happy to talk about or demo games that you might be interested in playing which makes for a great way to meet new people and to find out what sort of games you might like to play.
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