Journey to the Promised Land – A Story of BGG Conversion
Brian Kelley
United States
Riverton
Utah
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Some people are born geeks and others are converted.

I have realized that being a BGG carries the responsibility to share our “enlightened” message to the masses. “Get together to watch TV or a movie? A sin! Spend the evening bowling? Heathens! Have friends over and bring out a party game, or worse…Monopoly? Down right evil!” We must help our fellow humans see the errors of their ways. BGG board games encourage mental stimulation, social interactions, and wholesome recreational opportunities! The fate of all mankind hangs in the balance!

So what, you might ask, brings a person from “A board game? OK, I’ll try it,” to “If I order just one more I’ll get free shipping”? In our quest to “enlighten” the masses (starting with people who would likely make good opponents) we have been working with a couple (who we will call the “investigators”) to share with them our message of hope. Through diligence, patience and competitive camaraderie our hard work has paid off. This is the story of their conversion.
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1. Board Game: Acquire [Average Rating:7.36 Overall Rank:206]
Brian Kelley
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Riverton
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This is the game that started it all. It’s easy enough to learn, but deep enough to whet the appetite. This game proved to be the perfect introduction for our “investigators.” “It’s like Monopoly on steroids!” An easy transition from what they knew, to what was possible.
 
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2. Board Game: Carcassonne [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:139] [Average Rating:7.43 Unranked]
Brian Kelley
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“A board game with no board? The tiles you put down make the board?” They had no idea such a concept existed. Were there more games like this? They had to know!
 
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3. Board Game: The Settlers of Zarahemla [Average Rating:6.93 Overall Rank:2503]
Brian Kelley
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Riverton
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OK, it’s time for the “big guns,” the granddaddy of all gateway games. The Zarahemla version was perfect as it was born from our mutual religious preference, the LDS (Mormon) faith. Trading, building, player interaction, and rolling dice – it was complex, yet simple. It was entertaining. It was frustrating. It was glorious!
 
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4. Board Game: Bohnanza [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:366]
Brian Kelley
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Can a simple card game stimulate the senses the way these other board games did? "I thought card games meant “Uno” or “Skip-bo” or games like “Hearts” played with a standard deck of cards.”

By the way, do you have any Stink?
 
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5. Board Game: Ticket to Ride [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:124] [Average Rating:7.46 Unranked]
Brian Kelley
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Ticket To Ride is another gateway classic. Our “investigators” ate this one up. I think by this time they were “hooked.” However, they still looked to us as the “board game geeks.” But we knew they had the potential, they just needed to embrace the geek within. We knew we were close, so we pressed on.
 
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6. Board Game: Shadows over Camelot [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:317]
Brian Kelley
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Riverton
Utah
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Several days after playing this one, our “investigators” were still talking about it. “Next time lets play with the Traitor!”
 
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7. Board Game: For Sale [Average Rating:7.22 Overall Rank:261]
Brian Kelley
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The “one-two” punch of Shadows Over Camelot and For Sale did the trick. For Sale was quick and addictive. They couldn’t play just once! “We are going to a family party, can we borrow it?” The words were music to our ears. Only one step left to make the conversion complete…
 
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8. Board Game: 10 Days in Africa [Average Rating:6.57 Overall Rank:1612]
Brian Kelley
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Success! 10 Days In Africa is not a game that we introduced to them, but a game they introduced to us! Yes, this is the "one more game" that got them free shipping. They also purchased their own copies of Shadows Over Camelot and For Sale and a copy of Bang for a family member. And what’s the best part? You guessed it; they are now registered members of the Geek. As you know, new converts need love. So, the next time you see the “BGG NEWUSER” badge, remember to welcome them into the fold.
 
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