$18.00
GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters: 131.28

7,714 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
48.6% of Goal | left

Support:

Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
 Hide
97 Posts
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Muggles at Board Game Cafes rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Sam Hillier
Canada
St. Albert
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
We just got back from a night at a local board game cafe, and I want to describe a scene we saw (and have seen in pretty much every trip).

A group of friends sits down and grabs a new game. They basically read the rules as they set it up and start to play. The guy who reads the rules basically reads them out loud, from cover to cover. Completely directionless. Other people get bored and fidgety. Let's just play! Eventually, they give up and pack the game away. Maybe they try another one, maybe they settle on something else.

This one group tried to figure out Boss Monster, Mysterium, Zombicide and King of New York. They ended up playing Marvel Trivia, Star Wars Operation, and Star Wars Monopoly.

As I'm sitting here watching this, I feel a mixture of emotion. Part of me wants to go over and teach them how to play (I'm a teacher, it's what I do, and I can't sit back and watch someone do it poorly). Part of me kind of enjoys watching them squirm. Part of me feels bad that they missed out on some fun games, and played kids games instead (the same part wonders if they'll ever come back to this cafe). Part of me thinks that this cafe *really* needs gurus, like at Snakes and Lattes, to really improve the customer experience and ensure retention.

All of me realizes the value that good game explainers bring to a game group.

How many attempted entries to this hobby are blocked by people just being unable to figure out these sorts of games?
29 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Brown
New Zealand
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
so muggle is just a blanket term for 'the uninitiated' i guess..
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Mansfield
United States
Poway
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Daybreak wrote:
How many attempted entries to this hobby are blocked by people just being unable to figure out these sorts of games?


My friend who usually plays just card games once tried to play Catan in the way you described. They read the rules, threw everything on the table, and couldn't figure out what the heck they were doing.

For most of us on BGG, Catan is a pretty easy game to figure out.

All I could say to her was: "Next time, invite me to your get-together and I'll teach you how to play the game in five minutes."
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JAn
Australia
Noble Park
Victoria
flag msg tools
mb
Daybreak wrote:
Part of me wants to go over and teach them how to play (I'm a teacher, it's what I do, and I can't sit back and watch someone do it poorly). Part of me kind of enjoys watching them squirm.


Why didn't you? Why would you enjoy their discomfort? Are you instantly proficient at everything you attempt the first time?

I hope one of them hasn't decided to figure these pesky games out, found BGG, decided to look at some threads and found one kinda mocking them and their friends. I'm not saying that everyone has to be an ambassador for the hobby, but if not you then who?

I get that you were busy or whatever and didn't have time to take them through a game, but I really don't get the schadenfreude.

"Sir, sir, I'm having trouble with my assignment."
"Yeeeees, and now I shall see you SQUIRM!"



23 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Balaji Iyengar
United States
New York
flag msg tools
Well... People can have other reasons also to stay away from board games.

Let me explain by talking about how I got into board gaming (only recently)

The most famous, well-heard names out there are Catan, Risk, Cards against humanity, UNO, and Monopoly. These are the games that people recognize. The last time I played monopoly was back in high school. I wasn't smart with finances and would usually finish last. It developed a sour taste for board games at an impressionable age. When some of my colleagues mentioned Catan, it piqued my interests. But when I found out that it had resource management, economy and such in it, I didn't look further.

I am regular at the local game store. But my visits were always to buy comic books. I saw people playing Risk about 2 years ago. It looked like fun, but it gave off a vibe of being luck-dependent. I know, I know it's not. But I equate dice-rolling to luck. Risk was ok. It just didn't stay on my mind. And the occasional time I'd see it in Target, or Walmart, I'd recognize it but wouldn't pay attention.

The gateway game for me was Forbidden Island. My wife presented it to me as a gift. She wanted a nice couple's activity for about 30 mins in the evenings when we have tea. It blew my mind. It introduced me to the concept of cooperative game play. I got Carcassone next and it hooked me on to the hobby completely.

My point is, board games have always had this serendipitous nature.
But to make it a great success, people have to taught the game mechanics of some great gateway games.

Otherwise, many would just shy away from them (like how I did).
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mason Rouser
United States
Johnstown
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
You missed out on a chance to bring them over. I agree that a game cafe should have a concierge to help people pick a game and get them through the rules quicker and more clearly than a rule book can. I realize you probably had your own group or reason for being there so I'm not criticizing you for not helping, and maybe I'm just weird, but I appreciate when strangers want to help. They always have the option of declining. You also could have demonstrated to the store how helpful a concierge or guru would be. Give me a free Pepsi and I'd gladly do that one night a week, and I'm sure others would too.
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason
United States
Ogden
Utah
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
Boss Monster, while not complicated, has some poorly written rules.

Additionally, I can see how King of New York rules would be off-putting to casuals. Again, a simple game that has 4 pages of rules and still leaves a couple things unclear. Shame they didn't grab King of Tokyo instead.

I can't speak to the rule books of the two other games. But, I can't see casuals just picking up Mysterium or Zombicide.

It's a shame they missed out on fun games. Is the cafe set up so that games are based on weight?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Violet Mackerel
United States
New York
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
My 5 1/2 year old son and I have been "Muggles" at a local game cafe all summer, after he broke his arm (twice!). It was actually how I got into "modern" board gaming (and joined BGG). We like to try new games and though I now have a list of games to look out for (based on video reviews and podcasts I've found through BGG, as well as Tabletop episodes), we do often pick out something we have never played -- and often have to read through the rules before starting. Once we put a game away (Adventure Time Card Wars) because the rules were written just vaguely enough we couldn't get the game going. But we keep going back and we keep figuring it out. So there's hope some of the "muggles" you see will figure it out on their own. Just one of those people going to YouTube and typing in the name of the game might mean the NEXT time, they get it right and love it!

That said, a gaming concierge would be lovely. The only times game store staff helped us, they didn't actually. One recommended we try "Cheating Moth," which doesn't really work with 2 players, and another tried to help us find Ice Cool (which we requested, having seen it there the week before) but had never heard of it and couldn't find it on the shelves. I also Love the idea of the board game shelves being organized by weight. They aren't organized at all, at our local place, and it makes finding stuff really hard.
16 
 Thumb up
2.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Teaching doesn't only happen in classrooms. Shared experiences strengthen social bonds. If someone is struggling lend a hand. Litterally everything is wrong about not helping someone new to the hobby(especially in a cafe that thrives on repeat business and one you presumably enjoy visiting)

I'm a board game teacher in several groups, and teach everyone from experts to complete newbs. Not only that but I strive to find the right game for the particular group with a few probing questions so their experience is a good one. I can't imagine not offering to teach and socialize in a cafe presented the opportunity.

This is our hobby, a part lf the world we value, share it with as many as you can.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
mortego

New Kensington
Pennsylvania
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Some people don't want other peoples help, that could've been the case the group mentioned but we'll never know. I would have gone over and asked if they needed help and if they would've said "no thanks" then I would've just forgot about it after that......THEN watch them struggle in sheer sadistic delight! LOL!

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
G.Daddy.Slim
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
rakehell wrote:
Daybreak wrote:
Part of me wants to go over and teach them how to play (I'm a teacher, it's what I do, and I can't sit back and watch someone do it poorly). Part of me kind of enjoys watching them squirm.


Why didn't you? Why would you enjoy their discomfort? Are you instantly proficient at everything you attempt the first time?



This was my first thought too.. If I saw a group struggling, I would politely walk over and say.. "Oh, I love this game.. do you need some help figuring out the rules?" Worse that can happen is that they say "No." or be rude to you..

But since they're in there trying to learn, it means they are open to it, and I bet is that they would welcome the help. And while I don't feel the need to be an "ambassador" for boardgames, that small gesture would definitely give people a better introduction into the board game community..
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Freelance Police
United States
Palo Alto
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Daybreak wrote:
Part of me thinks that this cafe *really* needs gurus, like at Snakes and Lattes, to really improve the customer experience and ensure retention.


Definitely let management know of this, perhaps sending them a link to this thread. You are right in that the cafe would want to make their customer's experience much more enjoyable than it was, and a game explainer would help -- just as much as a knowledgeable sales staff helps customers make purchasing decisions.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Johanson
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
Why create intentional barriers by calling people who aren't boardgamers Muggles? That doesn't do anything but foster an unconscious us vs them tribal mentality. Most of the people I know are not boardgamers, but I would never call them Muggles or something else insulting.

I like the idea of a board game cafe having staff onsite as gurus - to help those unfamiliar with learning games learn them. Not everyone has the innate talent to correctly learn and teach a game to a group the first time, it takes practice.
26 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mason Rouser
United States
Johnstown
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
sjohanson wrote:
Why create intentional barriers by calling people who aren't boardgamers Muggles? That doesn't do anything but foster an unconscious us vs them tribal mentality. Most of the people I know are not boardgamers, but I would never call them Muggles or something else insulting.


Quoted for emphasis. Why would someone want to join a group of people who come off as condescending jerks? The funny thing is that I find other gamers to be more sociable and accepting than non-gamers in general.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Brown
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I've actually stepped in when I saw this happening and showed a group of complete strangers how to play Islebound. Being a good ambassador to the hobby helps out all gamers. True, some people won't want the help, but I think most genuinely appreciated the help.

Next time, just walk over and offer to teach. Who knows? You might just learn something yourself.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mindy Basi
United States
Urbana
Illinois
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Muggles was never used in the context of the Harry Potter books to be insulting.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dan Hughes
United Kingdom
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
sjohanson wrote:
Why create intentional barriers by calling people who aren't boardgamers Muggles? That doesn't do anything but foster an unconscious us vs them tribal mentality. Most of the people I know are not boardgamers, but I would never call them Muggles or something else insulting.


I really really dislike the use of "muggle" to describe people who are not participants in a hobby. Geocachers do it too and it sounds so elitist. I realise that it's not the intent here (although the fact the OP "enjoys watching them squirm" casts some doubt on that).
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
MGS
Brazil
flag msg tools
Warhammer: Diskwars
mbmbmbmbmb
I would just have offered to teach them. I hate to see people have a bad experience. I would not feel good if there is something I could do to help and chose not to. Sure, it is not my job, but, why not?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Craig Fox
New Zealand
Titirangi
Auckland
flag msg tools
mb
This thread has given me an idea for how to get a game of Cthulhu Wars...

While I'm normally shy about approaching people, if a group had picked up a FFG game and were trying to learn by reading the Rules Reference aloud, I'd feel morally obliged to step in.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brett B
Australia
NSW
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
If a cafe doesn't have gurus to teach games they should at least have a section with games that are easy for newbies to pick up & play.

I'm thinking it should have games like Hey, That's My Fish! and Sushi Go! that are not only easy to play but also easy to learn from just reading the rules.




1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
I legally own hundreds of polyhedral assault dice!
United States
Austin
Texas
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
dr00 wrote:
so muggle is just a blanket term for 'the uninitiated' i guess..


I'm no muggle in the board-gaming sense. But I don't shirk from it in many others. For example, when I go to a theater that has a show in both 3-D and 2-D, I'll ask if tickets are available "for the next showing in MuggleVision."

"Muggle" could mean "uninitiated." But I often use it to mean "plain, standard-issue, or without ostentation."
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Cris Whetstone
msg tools
I'm incredulous that so many people are making the use of the term 'muggle' such an issue. It's not even a term that comes from reality. I think of it as a funny way to refer to people who do not share some arcane knowledge that you and your cohorts might. I don't think it's about snobbishness, elitism or insults. It's fun folks. No harm is implied or directed at anyone. It's a term from novels aimed at teens for those that are not capable of using magic. Lighten up.
12 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Newsham
United Kingdom
Halifax
West Yorkshire
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
WetRock wrote:
I'm incredulous that so many people are making the use of the term 'muggle' such an issue. It's not even a term that comes from reality. I think of it as a funny way to refer to people who do not share some arcane knowledge that you and your cohorts might. I don't think it's about snobbishness, elitism or insults. It's fun folks. No harm is implied or directed at anyone. It's a term from novels aimed at teens for those that are not capable of using magic. Lighten up.


I think you missed the subtext of those books.
16 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Johanson
United States
Washington
flag msg tools
Admittedly, I only read one Harry Potter book, and only saw the first movie. However, the subtext of muggle seemed clear...a boring, mundane outsider. I would not be happy to be called a Muggle. I would find it off putting and would probably find an excuse to leave.

Being called an "outsider" by whatever "In" crowd is around are situations I avoid. That might just be me. It's never fun to be named something dismissive when you are on the outside looking in.
14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mason Rouser
United States
Johnstown
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Kwill2 wrote:
Muggles was never used in the context of the Harry Potter books to be insulting.


Not all of us have read or watched any Harry Potter. Based on how I have seen it used here and elsewhere, it seemed more perjorative than innocent. I'm probably not the only person to come to that conclusion.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3 , 4  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.