Library and School Gaming Events
Since I've been doing this, I've realized that what we, as boardgame enthusiasts think of "gateway games" don't always work in this environment. I started by bringing games like Ticket to Ride, Settlers, and Ingenious. What I quickly learned is that these games take too long. Many library gaming programs only run 2 hours, so it is difficult to get someone to sit down for a 45-minute game when there are all of these other great things to try.
I've also learned that the rules need to be easy to teach. These environments can be noisy and it can be difficult to keep someone's attention for a long time.
If it is eye-catching that can help get someone's attention away from the blinkenlights of the video games.
It helps if there are short rounds that players can join or drop between rounds of the game. For this reason, it is also good if the game can play various numbers of players.
The games need to be available now and relatively inexpensive. Hamster Rolle, for example, is always interesting to people, but it is an expensive game. A $50 game is a hard sell to a library with a budget of $500 for an entire gaming program. Ubongo (with a simplified scoring system) also goes over well, but it is also expensive.
Finally, the games need to be interesting on some level, but not complex. One of my goals is to introduce the librarians to games they might not have heard of.
So, I'm seeking ideas for games that are:
- Easy to teach
- Scale well
- Fast to play (under 30 minutes, preferably less)
- Readily available
- [+] Dice rolls