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Subject: An unrealized potential from a lonely gamer rss

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Vincent Graham
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I'm sure this topic has been touched on many times in these forums yet I would like to add my comments for no other reason than perhaps to vent to others who may have experienced feelings such as mine.

I am fairly new to board gaming, I started in February of this year. I don't recall how but I had stumbled upon a board game in my closet that I had forgotten that I had. It was The lord of the rings by Reiner Knizia. I had made this purchase on a whim soon after the movies were released but never even opened it. I decided to open the game and began to read the manual. Within paragraphs I stopped due to, what at the time seemed like an overcomplicated mess. My first thought was to sell the game and I googled it to see if perhaps there was some value for it on ebay. This is where Pandora’s box opened.

It was through this simple google search that I stumbled upon blogs, youtube blogs, forums and the like, all discussing the ins and outs of the game and comparing it to others. Others? I was soon entranced with how many games existed. I started to subscribe to popular youtube blogs, listened to podcasts and read forums. I sought to learn the game of The lord of the rings and convinced a friend of mine to play. I LOVED it! We played several times and had a great time. This is how I became a "board game geek", a hobby that I have come to love but tragically a hobby that I would not get to full experience.

What I had not realized at the time or possibly not considered, is that the most important resource of enjoying this hobby would prove immensely difficult to acquire. Players. Now before you start referencing me to the multitude of resources for public gatherings of board game players, know that I am already aware and have attended several public board game gatherings. At first this avenue seemed as though it would be the perfect way for me to enjoy this new hobby of mine. However, I have discovered a sort of problem with this solution. Perhaps I am alone in this but I feel that there is something missing when playing a board game with strangers. Even more bizarre is that there is something missing when playing a board game at a game shop or public area.

What I have found is that for me to truly feel satisfied with a game I need to play it in an intimate setting with people that I not only know but also care about. Wow?! This revelation sort of hit me after I had attended a board game meet up in my area. I was playing games, yes, but there was something missing. For me, enjoyment of the game was not only playing it but also sharing the experience with people whom I care about. I had just realized a potential for this hobby that I had not considered. Perhaps gaming could bring my friends and family back together in a way that we had not experienced for a long time.

I immediately sought out to convince my friends and family the wonders of this hobby for which I assumed they too, would come to love for all of the same reasons that I did. I researched two player games that I could play with my wife. I looked into family friendly games that were not necessarily "party" games but games that did not appear to be too complicated. Ticket to ride, 7 wonders, dominion were some examples. I convinced my wife to play Castles of Burgandy with me, she appeared to somewhat like it if not be somewhat intimidated by the way the game requires you to score in multiple ways. We played games of Ticket to Ride at several family gatherings. I convinced my friends to play King of Tokyo. The seeds were planted, now I could watch as my friends and family began to crave playing games just as I had and I would be able to fully enjoy this hobby that I had come to love.

Unfortunately, that never happened. My wife revealed that Castles of Burgandy was too complicated and she does not wish to play anything other than scrabble. My family soon became bored with Ticket to Ride and when I tried to introduce another game their interest was not there. My friends too became tired of King of Tokyo and when I tried to introduce other games to them they expressed little interest as well. No one shared a passion for the interaction and sense of togetherness that I had for board gaming. Family events evolved back into their stereotypical endeavors, men watching sports, women gossiping in the kitchen, children playing video games. It is here in which I realized that this hobby of mine would ultimately be a lonely one.

I will attend the public gathering of gaming on occasion I suspect but board gaming will never truly evolve for me into what I had seen as its ultimate potential, to bring friends and loved ones together so that they can experience each other in a timeless and innocent way. I can still remember family gatherings as a child in which we played risk and monopoly all night. These games, as many know, were hardly perfect but that did not matter. You see it wasn’t the game we were enjoying it was each other. The game just gave us an avenue to express ourselves. It was pure, it was genuine and I fear that I will never truly experience that again. What is even more concerning is the thought that my children will never know that experience. I know we are geeks for this hobby and it is nice to be in this community yet the true potential of gaming for me goes unfulfilled.

If you are blessed and your family or friends can share this hobby with you never take it for granted because I suspect that there are others like me who are lonely in their gaming hobby, wishing that they had others to share it with.
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Max Lampinen
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Keep trying to convert your family, don't give up. Children at least. As for the adults bring some party games with you maybe? The Resistance or Dixit or Wits & Wagers (depending how "serious" people they are) and maybe some new Ticket to Ride maps, Ticket to Ride: Europe?

You could try to play some considerably lighter games than Castles of Burgundy with your wife, like Jaipur for example? Take it really slow at first.

I think you should try to create/join bit more private gaming "club" where you play with pretty much same people every time, it takes time to build something like that of course, and it's not same as playing with your close friends/family, but you wouldn't feel so alone and you could play heavier games too.
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MP Szakos
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Vincent, I feel your pain. I really do, as I've had and still have similar experiences. But what you have to remember is that, although we think board gaming is the cat's meow, it's not for everyone.
But here's what I suggest. Find a game that is thematically interesting to your wife. For example, does she like fashion design? Well, there's Prêt-à-Porter and Rococo. T.V. drama shows like "Man of Interest," "Law and Order," or "Black List"? Well, there's Rogue Agent or Police Precinct. Does your wife paint or enjoy art? Maybe Fresco then. Gardening? How about Garden Dice.
Another thing that is important. Don't introducing your wife to heavier games at first. The Castles of Burgundy is a great game for couples, but it sounds like the fiddly way of scoring scared her off, as she's not yet used to it. Try smaller, lighter, and shorter games at first. I see that you have Lost Cities. How does your wife like this game? +1 Jaipur. I'd also consider Targi or CV.
Best of luck to you Vincent. I hope it works out for you!!!
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Nate Milbrath
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Breaking up your wall of text to make it more readable.

I'm sure this topic has been touched on many times in these forums yet I would like to add my comments for no other reason than perhaps to vent to others who may have experienced feelings such as mine.

I am fairly new to board gaming, I started in February of this year. I don't recall how but I had stumbled upon a board game in my closet that I had forgotten that I had. It was The lord of the rings by Reiner Knizia. I had made this purchase on a whim soon after the movies were released but never even opened it. I decided to open the game and began to read the manual. Within paragraphs I stopped due to, what at the time seemed like an over complicated mess. My first thought was to sell the game and I googled it to see if perhaps there was some value for it on ebay. This is where Pandora’s box opened.

It was through this simple google search that I stumbled upon blogs, youtube blogs, forums and the like, all discussing the ins and outs of the game and comparing it to others. Others? I was soon entranced with how many games existed. I started to subscribe to popular youtube blogs, listened to podcasts and read forums. I sought to learn the game of The lord of the rings and convinced a friend of mine to play. I LOVED it! We played several times and had a great time. This is how I became a "board game geek", a hobby that I have come to love but tragically a hobby that I would not get to fully experience.

What I had not realized at the time or possibly not considered, is that the most important resource of enjoying this hobby would prove immensely difficult to acquire. Players. Now before you start referencing me to the multitude of resources for public gatherings of board game players, know that I am already aware and have attended several public board game gatherings. At first this avenue seemed as though it would be the perfect way for me to enjoy this new hobby of mine. However, I have discovered a sort of problem with this solution. Perhaps I am alone in this but I feel that there is something missing when playing a board game with strangers. Even more bizarre is that there is something missing when playing a board game at a game shop or public area.

What I have found is that for me to truly feel satisfied with a game I need to play it in an intimate setting with people that I not only know but also care about. Wow?! This revelation sort of hit me after I had attended a board game meet up in my area. I was playing games, yes, but there was something missing. For me, enjoyment of the game was not only playing it but also sharing the experience with people whom I care about. I had just realized a potential for this hobby that I had not considered. Perhaps gaming could bring my friends and family back together in a way that we had not experienced for a long time.

I immediately sought out to convince my friends and family the wonders of this hobby for which I assumed they too, would come to love for all of the same reasons that I did. I researched two player games that I could play with my wife. I looked into family friendly games that were not necessarily "party" games but games that did not appear to be too complicated. Ticket to Ride, 7 wonders, Dominion were some examples. I convinced my wife to play Castles of Burgundy with me, she appeared to somewhat like it if not be somewhat intimidated by the way the game requires you to score in multiple ways. We played games of Ticket to Ride at several family gatherings. I convinced my friends to play King of Tokyo. The seeds were planted, now I could watch as my friends and family began to crave playing games just as I had and I would be able to fully enjoy this hobby that I had come to love.

Unfortunately, that never happened. My wife revealed that Castles of Burgundy was too complicated and she does not wish to play anything other than scrabble. My family soon became bored with Ticket to Ride and when I tried to introduce another game their interest was not there. My friends too became tired of King of Tokyo and when I tried to introduce other games to them they expressed little interest as well. No one shared a passion for the interaction and sense of togetherness that I had for board gaming. Family events evolved back into their stereotypical endeavors, men watching sports, women gossiping in the kitchen, children playing video games. It is here in which I realized that this hobby of mine would ultimately be a lonely one.

I will attend the public gathering of gaming on occasion I suspect but board gaming will never truly evolve for me into what I had seen as its ultimate potential, to bring friends and loved ones together so that they can experience each other in a timeless and innocent way. I can still remember family gatherings as a child in which we played risk and monopoly all night. These games, as many know, were hardly perfect but that did not matter. You see it wasn't the game we were enjoying it was each other. The game just gave us an avenue to express ourselves. It was pure, it was genuine and I fear that I will never truly experience that again. What is even more concerning is the thought that my children will never know that experience. I know we are geeks for this hobby and it is nice to be in this community yet the true potential of gaming for me goes unfulfilled.

If you are blessed and your family or friends can share this hobby with you never take it for granted because I suspect that there are others like me who are lonely in their gaming hobby, wishing that they had others to share it with.
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Louise McCully
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I went to our local games group without knowing anyone. I played with strangers but eventually some of those strangers became my friends and we play at each others homes.

It might be easier to spend some time making new friends than trying to convince people who aren't interested in games to play with you. You will have a period of time where it doesn't quite meet your mental needs but it's better than forcing the ones you love to do something they don't want to (none of my immediate or extended family are interested in gaming and since they don't force me into their hobbies I will respond likewise).

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Michael J
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The solution here is to make friends with the people at the meetups. Go to as many as you can with the understanding that your goal is to MAKE FRIENDS, not just to play games. It will be uncomfortable at first, but you WILL MAKE FRIENDS if you put some effort into it. Your family will be happy that you made new friends and are enjoying your hobby, and you won't have to bug them all the time. You'll also meet more serious gamers and won't be limited to a gateway collection for your family and non-gamer friends.

You can also meet people in your area posting on the forums here. That's what I did, and I can honestly say I've never met better or nicer people than I have through this site, irrespective of the local meetups. I too find playing with strangers not quite as satisfying as playing with my own friends.
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Rick Noetzel
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rhianna_ wrote:
I went to our local games group without knowing anyone. I played with strangers but eventually some of those strangers became my friends and we play at each others homes.

It might be easier to spend some time making new friends than trying to convince people who aren't interested in games to play with you. You will have a period of time where it doesn't quite meet your mental needs but it's better than forcing the ones you love to do something they don't want to (none of my immediate or extended family are interested in gaming and since they don't force me into their hobbies I will respond likewise).



I agree with this.

The first game group I joined as an adult was by invitation of one of my neighbors. I saw a copy of Empire In Arms on his bookshelf during a dinner party, one thing led to another, and I became the new guy in a bunch of strangers. 20 years later I'm still playing weekly with some members of that group. They are some of the best friends I have.
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Gregg S.
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Hi, Vincent.

I got into board games around May of last year, so I too am relatively new to the hobby.

I definitely agree with the advice that has been posted before me. You can /should expose the hobby to your friends and family, but don't try to force them. Finding a game they like and will play, like you did with King of Tokyo and Ticket To Ride, you need to gradually introduce them to other games, rather than just playing that one game until they grow tired of it.

Assuming none (or not enough) of them follow you into the hobby, definitely go to the game shops, meetups, etc. in your area to (1) play a variety of games to learn what type of games you prefer to play and (2) make NEW friends - preferably ones that also like to play similar types of games. You will probably find groups of folks that already game together that will invite you into their fold. This is exactly what happened for me.
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Enrico Viglino
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Quote:
I feel that there is something missing when playing a board game with strangers


Yes. I went to such meetups with the hope of finding people I felt
comfortable enough with. It didn't happen. I'm not an easy person.
But, people who can connect with others easily probably will do
so in such a setting. For me, it's a chicken and egg kinda thing;
maybe you too.

Some thoughts that your post convinced me to finally release to
public:

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Paul Kimmel
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Vincent,

I get this, completely. I primarily game with people who are here with the military and they leave after a couple of years. Any group I game with will not be a group for long. And after having several years with a great group here, and progressing from Citadels to Caylus, I just hate to go back to Citadels again (with a new group).

I did manage to start playing games with my family, and here is how I did it: Family Game Night. Every Wednesday an hour or so is reserved for my wife, my daughter and I to play a game. We just play one game, and it's a fairly light one, but it happens every week, regardless of what else is going on.

We do this because, as a family, we want to know one another. It isn't about the game itself, but about playing together, because that's something I enjoy. So there really isn't any way to shape this into something that's equally enjoyable for everyone (though my wife is slowly starting to notice and take an interest in games), but it's something they are doing for me.

Also, it's important that I never try to expand it. I keep the date on the calendar, but never, ever push it. If I were to come out and say, "Well, Wednesday was fun! How about Friday?" then that would just come off as being manipulative... like Family Game Night wasn't enough. And I have to remember that they are gateway gamers, so I keep it to one short game. Games we've played and enjoyed are King of Tokyo, Witch's Brew, Bohnanza, Love Letter, Blue Moon City, Gloom, Dominant Species: the Card Game, Great Heartland Hauling Co., Crows, Tsuro, Takenoko, Ubongo, and Biblios.

Now my wife has actually started enjoying the games, and has (very rarely) played a more complex game (Innovation, The Duke) with me. My daughter has shown an interest in learning Eclipse. And the slightly more complex game I hope to get to the table soon is Fantastiqa. I'm sure they could play 7 Wonders, and my wife has enjoyed playing Dominion.

One mistake I made initially was buying cooperative games, thinking that avoiding competition would make it easier for us to game together. But it turns out that my family is much too cutthroat to go for that, which is fine with me. Everyone joins in for their own reason, and for my daughter it is, primarily, to brutally destroy her parents. So we have to play a game that is random enough to allow that to happen.

My daughter is eleven now, and we've had some tears in the past over a couple of "gamer maturity" issues. Once, I caught her cheating at a game and took the opportunity to teach her why we don't do that. She was so ashamed after the fact that I don't think we'll ever have to worry about it again. And in our house we always play to win, so my daughter has had to struggle with the fact that you can't always win a game, but you can still enjoy playing.

I don't know if it's possible for you to do the same, but for us it was just a matter of putting Family Game Night on the calendar. We equate playing a board game in the evening with any other form of entertainment. My wife and daughter know that I'd rather play a game than watch a TV show, but that I watch things with them because it's something they enjoy. This is something they do for me, and it works.
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pickboy87 wrote:
Breaking up your wall of text to make it more readable.


I wish I had scrolled down prior to reading the wall...

As per the originator of the thread. I feel your pain. It is often difficult for me to get anyone else in my household to game as often as I would like. Everyone seems to have their own interests.

I have found some solo games that are fun to play, but I really would rather have a bonding experience with someone I am close to than an independent adventure.

I'm not too keen on gaming with strangers either. I suppose if you did this enough though, the strangers could stop being strangers after some time in which they could possibly develop into friends.

I think a lot of times, as people grow older they forget the ability to bond with a stranger and to become friends.

Best of luck to you going forward. I hope you find people to game with that you enjoying gaming with.
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Vincent, I find myself also in a similar situation. My significant other does not like to play games. She thinks that they are all the same, building with resources, putting out little wooden people, picking up cubes, etc. You and I know that this is NOT the case. While she was away for a month on vacation with the only two freinds we hang out with, (whom also DO NOT Play games), I had to find solace in going to the local library and gaming with strangers.

However, with that outlet, and going to my FLGS on open gaming night, I have found several gaming friends, and a few I've gamed with many, many years ago. Since I went out and mingled with other gamers, I've made several new friends and have had game night at our house, while she was away. I have played many of my games solo, and that is how I've learned to play many of my games in my library (over 120 different titles).

Once in a while I can get her to play, but not as often as I like. The few games we played, she has won many of the games, by sheer luck or clever 'accidental' stumbles while playing. Anyway, the point is, do not be bashful, go out and meet new persons, and most importantly, be yourself and revel in the fact you love board games and the people you find in the hobby will become friends, and gaming buddies.
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Kyle Seely
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I would also encourage you to not give up on finding like-minded gamers who are interested in regular gaming.

I know finding players is tricky for a lot of people, particularly if, like me, you're not always comfortable approaching people in a social setting.

One way I've run into like-minded gamers has been by complete accident, outside of typical gaming environments altogether. One guy was interning where I work, and saw me reading something about World of Warcraft, which led to discussion of D&D which resulted in getting together with him and some of his other friends and the formation of a D&D group. That D&D group had some guys in it who were also into boardgames, who knew some other guys who weren't into RPG's but were big into boardgames. So from that we formed a boardgaming group, which would meet at various people's houses to play games on a regular basis. These meetings were generally social occasions where people would bring wives and girlfriends, most of whom would also play games, but sometimes would just socialize. Drinks would be had, games would be played, and it was kind of a party atmosphere.

When I started getting back into wargames, I knew those guys wouldn't be interested, so had to cast the net wider. So I started looking on BGG for local wargame players. A guy had posted looking for local Indianapolis wargamers. I contacted him, we met up at the Arsenal Game Room, and hit it off. We both had interests that led more toward the obscure (read: non-WWII) wargames, and both were more interested in the narrative aspects of historical gaming than in calculating perfect odds on a CRT. In our conversations over a game of Carthage: The First Punic War, he mentioned he'd heard about a local wargame club, called 19 & One.

So we made plans to contact one of the members through their website and see what it was all about. Which was nice, because now I had a "buddy" (even though we'd only just met) to go to this club with. It turns out the contact at the wargame club was really open and friendly - he said "best way to find out about the club is just to stop by and I'll introduce you to people, show you the facility, etc" So we did. And found a great group of people interested in the wargaming hobby, and with a true historical interest in the hobby. The club has been around for 35 years!

So my new friend and I started meeting at the club, and began gaming with some of the other members. The cool thing about the club is that there were guys with disparate gaming interests that were members, and each sort of runs their own "group" at the club, which includes members and non-members who just show up regularly to play games. There's a group of hardcore ASL guys, some of whom also enjoy playing just about any other type of game. There's a group that focuses entirely on miniatures. There's another group that's almost entirely Euro- and 18XX-focused. Everybody knows each other, but there's no obligation to cross from one group to another, unless you want to. They're all perfectly happy running their own things. Some of these guys I enjoy gaming with more than others. Some have entirely different philosophies on gaming than I do, so I rarely game with those particular individuals, but see them at the club and socialize with them.

So I sort of fell into a regular get-together with a core group of like-minded members at the club to play all kinds of different wargames. One of those was a several-weeks long multiplayer session of The Great War in Europe: Deluxe Edition. One of the members in that session asked me if I'd be interested in joining an EiA group, which was another group outside 19 & One. Given that EiA is one of those "bucket list" wargaming experiences, I thought "why not?" And that led to meeting yet another gaming group, one which was specifically amenable to the 6 to 7-player type mulitplayer diplo games, and we've been meeting regularly outside the club with this group ever since.

So, does this rambling journey really have anything to do with anything? I think it might be helpful to frustrated gamers who've had a hard time finding "regulars" - you may have to sort through meeting different types of gamers who you may not form much of a connection to, but you could meet that one person you DO make a connection with, who ends up introducing you to someone else who you may not necessarily connect with, but, who, in turn introduces you to someone else who you end up making a connection with, and so forth, until you've got a gaming circle of many acquaintances who you sometimes game with, and a couple of people who become legitimate friends that end up forming a core, "regular" gaming crew.

My two cents, anyway. The gamers are out there! And they want to be found!
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Mike Welker
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Enrico

Here's a thing though... and I've watch almost every one of you videos hereabouts... you are a careful thinker, willing to engage in analysis and discussion, and you have a huge experience-base that you speak from. This can intimidate, but I will say that it's refreshing for some people, such as me--I've been playing board, war, card, rpg, and euro games off and on from 1974 to now, yet I still haven't met someone who is willing to put some careful thought and a certain level of self-assessment into the experience.

The main thing, even if you know yourself to be sort of rough around the edges, is that you are honest. That's critical and also scary for many folks, too, I think.

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I'm also one of those that finds the human company more important than the games I'm playing. Not necessarily the people I know, but the relaxed fun atmosphere that you have with people you know (even if you just met them). By some weird turn of events I mostly game with people I don't know in gaming clubs - it's really a difficult path to get to know anyone at least a bit. Taken me a year at least.

I'm not exactly happy with my situation. People I game with mostly don't share my taste - not in games, but in why we are gaming. So anytime I manage to get a night of simple games with my GF and an old friend, I'm really happy.

I don't really know what to suggest.
Oh, do not try to turn your family into gamers. Terrible idea.

Here's what I would do: (1) try to find at least one friend or gamer who might become a friend. There are many many interesting 2 player games. If you find more people, great.

(2) Other thing is: look more into party games. The more I'm exposed to eurogamers where the focus is the game and not the social gathering, the more I play party games. Also I game with 9-14 y.o. kids and there were games with them I had more fun with than serious stuff played with adults. Games to recommend: Time's Up, Dixit, Jungle Speed, Spot it!, Werewolf (check the Wolfen variant in files)... I guess I've taken my favouring of social environment around gaming to its logical conclusion. It's funny as I started out with heavier games, but I just don't have patience for long stuff, when simpler can work wonders. Oh and short games - pick up 15-20 minute fillers.

(3) talk to people.
Some simply find gaming too restrictive as they want to openly talk and chat about anything that falls into their minds (even if it's the same thing 10 times in a row). However some people would be drawn by escapistic themes and settings like in fantasy adventures. And some really have hard time dealing with competition in games, let alone learning the rules.

The best advice I've seen is let people come to you. If you want to game - find people you can game with, maybe sometimes friends will join, but don't push it.
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I feel for you...I really do. Your experience sounds like torture for someone like me...us.

All I can suggest is to not give up and maybe try something solo (even though that goes against what you see as the drawcard) and see if your passion can slowly suck them in. I never tried to get my 'friends and family' to see the joy of games. I let them come to me and it was my enthusiasm that won them over.

A helpful tip when posting is to provide regular breaks as I have done below. I actually couldn't read what you had posted as it was too large a slab of text.

All the best for the future. I'd love to see a thread where you can talk of your eventual success.

Kedamen wrote:
I'm sure this topic has been touched on many times in these forums yet I would like to add my comments for no other reason than perhaps to vent to others who may have experienced feelings such as mine.

I am fairly new to board gaming, I started in February of this year. I don't recall how but I had stumbled upon a board game in my closet that I had forgotten that I had. It was The lord of the rings by Reiner Knizia. I had made this purchase on a whim soon after the movies were released but never even opened it. I decided to open the game and began to read the manual. Within paragraphs I stopped due to, what at the time seemed like an overcomplicated mess. My first thought was to sell the game and I googled it to see if perhaps there was some value for it on ebay. This is where Pandora’s box opened. It was through this simple google search that I stumbled upon blogs, youtube blogs, forums and the like, all discussing the ins and outs of the game and comparing it to others. Others? I was soon entranced with how many games existed. I started to subscribe to popular youtube blogs, listened to podcasts and read forums. I sought to learn the game of The lord of the rings and convinced a friend of mine to play. I LOVED it! We played several times and had a great time. This is how I became a "board game geek", a hobby that I have come to love but tragically a hobby that I would not get to fully experience.

What I had not realized at the time or possibly not considered, is that the most important resource of enjoying this hobby would prove immensely difficult to acquire. Players. Now before you start referencing me to the multitude of resources for public gatherings of board game players, know that I am already aware and have attended several public board game gatherings. At first this avenue seemed as though it would be the perfect way for me to enjoy this new hobby of mine. However, I have discovered a sort of problem with this solution.

Perhaps I am alone in this but I feel that there is something missing when playing a board game with strangers. Even more bizarre is that there is something missing when playing a board game at a game shop or public area. What I have found is that for me to truly feel satisfied with a game I need to play it in an intimate setting with people that I not only know but also care about. Wow?! This revelation sort of hit me after I had attended a board game meet up in my area. I was playing games, yes, but there was something missing. For me, enjoyment of the game was not only playing it but also sharing the experience with people whom I care about. I had just realized a potential for this hobby that I had not considered. Perhaps gaming could bring my friends and family back together in a way that we had not experienced for a long time. I immediately sought out to convince my friends and family the wonders of this hobby for which I assumed they too, would come to love for all of the same reasons that I did. I researched two player games that I could play with my wife.

I looked into family friendly games that were not necessarily "party" games but games that did not appear to be too complicated. Ticked to ride, 7 wonders, dominion were some examples. I convinced my wife to play Castles of Burgandy with me, she appeared to somewhat like it if not be somewhat intimidated by the way the game requires you to score in multiple ways. We played games of Ticket to Ride at several family gatherings. I convinced my friends to play King of Tokyo. The seeds were planted, now I could watch as my friends and family began to crave playing games just as I had and I would be able to fully enjoy this hobby that I had come to love.

Unfortunately, that never happened. My wife revealed that Castles of Burgandy was too complicated and she does not wish to play anything other than scrabble. My family soon became bored with Ticket to Ride and when I tried to introduce another game their interest was not there. My friends too became tired of King of Tokyo and when I tried to introduce other games to them they expressed little interest as well. No one shared a passion for the interaction and sense of togetherness that I had for board gaming. Family events evolved back into their stereotypical endeavors, men watching sports, women gossiping in the kitchen, children playing video games. It is here in which I realized that this hobby of mine would ultimately be a lonely one. I will attend the public gathering of gaming on occasion I suspect but board gaming will never truly evolve for me into what I had seen as its ultimate potential, to bring friends and loved ones together so that they can experience each other in a timeless and innocent way.

I can still remember family gatherings as a child in which we played risk and monopoly all night. These games, as many know, were hardly perfect but that did not matter. You see it wasn’t the game we were enjoying it was each other. The game just gave us an avenue to express ourselves. It was pure, it was genuine and I fear that I will never truly experience that again. What is even more concerning is the thought that my children will never know that experience. I know we are geeks for this hobby and it is nice to be in this community yet the true potential of gaming for me goes unfulfilled. If you are blessed and your family or friends can share this hobby with you never take it for granted because I suspect that there are others like me who are lonely in their gaming hobby, wishing that they had others to share it with.


EDIT - Ah Nathan beat me to it...bravo.
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bort
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Strangers at board game meetups are just friends you dont know yet ;-)
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Enrico Viglino
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bortmonkey wrote:
Strangers at board game meetups are just friends you dont know yet ;-)


I suspect this may often be the case - but they also may be ones
some of us will NEVER know, simply because of the structure of
such meetups. We may game with them, but will never feel the
comfort that sits in potential.
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Laura Blachek
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Have you considered playing scrabble with your wife? After all, its a game she said she would play. Perhaps use it as an opportunity to see if you can find something in the game that satisfies what you want.

That said, if i were in your situation, i still wouldnt be able to force myself o play and enjoy scrabble.
 
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Mike Welker wrote:
Enrico

Here's a thing though... and I've watch almost every one of you videos hereabouts... you are a careful thinker, willing to engage in analysis and discussion, and you have a huge experience-base that you speak from. This can intimidate, but I will say that it's refreshing for some people, such as me--I've been playing board, war, card, rpg, and euro games off and on from 1974 to now, yet I still haven't met someone who is willing to put some careful thought and a certain level of self-assessment into the experience.

The main thing, even if you know yourself to be sort of rough around the edges, is that you are honest. That's critical and also scary for many folks, too, I think.



I LOVE rough around the edges people. I am one too. I place a high premium on honesty and I'd rather take the rough edges and know that what someone presents me is the truth. To me, complicated folks are the ones who cover everything up with pleasantries. I've got enough of that BS in my life.

But as far as the OP's situation goes...

I don't like the meet ups much for the same reason. It's okay and there are some nice people but it's not as much fun gaming with strangers. I could invest more time and get to know more of them (it's a large group too which makes it even harder). However, I stumbled on my game group fortuitously here on BGG. Someone posted a thread asking if anyone was interested in gaming in an area near to where I lived at the time. I responded as well as a handful of others, some from out-of-town. Well, that thread ultimately lead nowhere but I ended up contacting one of the other responders and I ended up meeting with him and his partner regularly. We had a hiatus over the summer but have resumed once again. We meet primarily to game but over time we are getting to know each other better. It's comforting to know who I'm going to game with vs the random experience at a meet up. Both scenarios require a time investment and you have to put your ideal of family game time on a back burner, but you can find yourself enjoying this hobby without loneliness. Best of luck to you.
 
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quirogal wrote:
I LOVE rough around the edges people. I am one too. I place a high premium on honesty and I'd rather take the rough edges and know that what someone presents me is the truth.


It depends on how "rough" manifests itself.

Years ago, at Avaloncon, I was playing a game in the open gaming room next to a another group. One member of that group would, every so often, cut loose with an huge earth-shattering belch. No covering his mouth, no 'excuse me' -- just a blast into the middle of group. It is one of the rudest things I have ever seen.

He would not be allowed in my house.
 
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rickn99 wrote:
quirogal wrote:
I LOVE rough around the edges people. I am one too. I place a high premium on honesty and I'd rather take the rough edges and know that what someone presents me is the truth.


It depends on how "rough" manifests itself.

Years ago, at Avaloncon, I was playing a game in the open gaming room next to a another group. One member of that group would, every so often, cut loose with an huge earth-shattering belch. No covering his mouth, no 'excuse me' -- just a blast into the middle of group. It is one of the rudest things I have ever seen.

He would not be allowed in my house.


Well, when I think of rough, I mean blunt, honest, and probably not so tactful but not with the intention of being hurtful. I guess everything this is of something a little different.
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I wouldn't want to play Ticket to Ride or King of Tokyo either, and I love games.

Maybe try to find some games that appeal to their interests, not yours.
 
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When you reformatted his original post, you also corrected spelling errors... one of which I really liked: The game of public transit - "Ticked to Ride"
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quirogal wrote:


I LOVE rough around the edges people. I am one too. I place a high premium on honesty and I'd rather take the rough edges and know that what someone presents me is the truth. To me, complicated folks are the ones who cover everything up with pleasantries. I've got enough of that BS in my life.


Truth is subjective though. I think that someone should say what they
think (or believe they think). I get infuriated by interaction with
cultures where this is even less acceptable than in the US. Why bother
communicating at all?
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