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Subject: Introducing games at work rss

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Kurt Van Hoeyveld
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Earlier today I stepped into the cafetaria at work and, as sometimes happens, someone had changed the setup of the tables. And when I saw this setup...


... I couldn't resist thinking about playing tabletop games on that table. It looked so empty ,so perfect to put a game board on,... well, I guess you get my drift.

I've been thinking about introducing some cardboard games at work before to play during lunch breaks but there's two major problems/questions:

1. How do I get my collegues interested? Do I put out some kind of pamflet? Do I just ask around?

2. How does one organize a play when working in a big store (about 50 employees) where lunch break times aren't an exact science and durations of those breaks vary somewhere between 30 and 60 minutes?

So, dear fellow bbg's... I'm asking for some hints how to manage this.

Thanks!
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Brandon
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Show them Dominion online (goko.com) and let them play it a bit. Then get them to play the real game.
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Jacovis
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Love Letter Don't have to keep score, just play for rounds if people have to keep dropping in and out, it's still fun.

The Great Dalmuti Same thing, great way to break the ice and easy enough to explain to people who might not have gaming experience in a short time.

During these games you can talk about other game experiences that this game reminds you of. People will be interested or not and might encourage you to bring bigger games in and still keep Love Letter and/or Dalmuti for the others.

Good luck!

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Kathleen Nugent
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In a similar situation I found that word games attracted the biggest group. Quiddler has been liked by everyone. Word on the Street got people interested. I've had less success with Carcassonne, though some people wanted to play. Qwirkle worked fine.

One thing about introducing gaming at a table in a corner of the room is that it attracts onlookers. When someone playing had to get up and leave, someone standing around sat down and took his place. Scoring became irrelevant because several people had played one position, but quite a few people became interested. If you start that way, you'll soon find out which people want to play regularly, and then you can introduce some strategy games.
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Pete
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I've always thought about doing this, but then I've always thought that this would send a message to my bosses I'd rather they not get...

Pete (thinks people understand taking time away from your desk to eat, but not taking time off to game)
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Darth Ed
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I recommend Coup. Games are really fast, about 10-15 minutes, but more depth than your average "micro" game. Lots of fun. It went over great in my workplace.

Card games generally work well, I think, as a gateway for non-gamers, since most non-gamers have experience playing blackjack or poker or gin rummy.

From there, after you get tired of card games, I'd move into Pandemic if you have a full hour for lunch. You can play it in just under an hour if you're fast. It was also a big hit where I work.

I'd put up a small notice on the door to the lunch room with your contact info and have interested parties contact you.
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No Thanks, Love Letter, and Coup were the first games that came to my mind. If you want to get some non-gamers to join you in playing some tabletop games, I think these are your best bets, in this order. They're all quick, simple and small. The fact that they're small makes it easy for you to take them to and store them at work, but they also won't look intimidating to non-gamers.

These may not be the games you had in mind, but if your co-workers haven't played 'designer' games before, I think these would be a perfect intro. Once you have a couple who are interested, you can try to ease them into other quick yet satisfying games, like Bang and Ascension, and just keep growing from there.

Other good options:
Tsuro
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Andrew Baker
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In talking to people at work I found some other people who are also interested in board games. Some have played before, and others thought it sounded interesting. We started with maybe 4-5 people and a couple of months later there's now 10 of involved in our company of about 30. We've played Settlers, Ticket to Ride, Fluxx, Munchkin, and The Resistance. Love Letter's a great idea too though we haven't done it yet. If people come over and look interested or ask about it, have an "elevator pitch" ready about modern board games and invite them to either join in immediately (if that works) to to participate the next time.

plezercruz wrote:
I've always thought about doing this, but then I've always thought that this would send a message to my bosses I'd rather they not get...

Pete (thinks people understand taking time away from your desk to eat, but not taking time off to game)


I work at a start-up tech company, so it has been generally well received. There was one concern raised when we had some investors come in, but now we'll just draw the curtains. Of course, the fact that my supervisor is now a big proponent of board game lunches doesn't hurt! If there are games you can play while eating it might improve the optics.
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Nathan
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Don't start off thinking how to arrange a large gaming meet at work, just try and get 2 or 3 people into games and the any others will follow. Simple card games are the way to go for work to begin with. We had a great group running for a bit, mostly casual stuff but games that I enjoy: Coloretto, Love Letter, Incan Gold, Get Bit!, Kakerlakenpoker Royal, David & Goliath and No Thanks were all games I played with colleagues.

Once you have a few into playing games at lunch time you can see how far they will go. I enjoyed a good gaming fix, although one just left and the project soon finishes so I will have to find a different job and start over again

@Pete - it is a shame many people feel that way and also many employers - a fixed lunch break should be used for not working, regardless of the food situation. A worker who takes the full hour will be happier and more productive the rest of the day, but sadly many people are forced (either by convention or fear) to work through lunch eating at their desk and that is so counter productive it saddens me. But hopefully one day we will live in a world where everyone can game a little at lunchtime
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James C
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A few of us play 1-2 quick games at dinner on Thursday nights. We technically have 30 minutes, but 40 minutes is usually allowed since we have smaller breaks we are allowed to take. Also the managers generally take 40-45 minutes too and they don't seem to mind. We get a couple people who are also eating that watch. Nobody has entertained our offer to join. However, we've been playing stuff like Sushi Go! or Eight Minute Empire. It's just too unfamiliar for people I think.

I bet if I took No Thanks or For Sale in that I could rope another person in, huh?

@Pete, I think you are right. We eat at the same time to try to make it clear that it's our dinner break. Also, I know that my managers know I'm a good employee who always does what I'm supposed to do and anything else they ask, so I'm not concerned.
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Pete
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Ehzed wrote:
In talking to people at work I found some other people who are also interested in board games. Some have played before, and others thought it sounded interesting. We started with maybe 4-5 people and a couple of months later there's now 10 of involved in our company of about 30. We've played Settlers, Ticket to Ride, Fluxx, Munchkin, and The Resistance. Love Letter's a great idea too though we haven't done it yet. If people come over and look interested or ask about it, have an "elevator pitch" ready about modern board games and invite them to either join in immediately (if that works) to to participate the next time.

plezercruz wrote:
I've always thought about doing this, but then I've always thought that this would send a message to my bosses I'd rather they not get...

Pete (thinks people understand taking time away from your desk to eat, but not taking time off to game)


I work at a start-up tech company, so it has been generally well received. There was one concern raised when we had some investors come in, but now we'll just draw the curtains. Of course, the fact that my supervisor is now a big proponent of board game lunches doesn't hurt! If there are games you can play while eating it might improve the optics.
Well, I'm a lawyer, so I guess maybe I've got to keep appearances up more than most...

Pete (envies you guys)
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Nathan
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plezercruz wrote:
Ehzed wrote:
In talking to people at work I found some other people who are also interested in board games. Some have played before, and others thought it sounded interesting. We started with maybe 4-5 people and a couple of months later there's now 10 of involved in our company of about 30. We've played Settlers, Ticket to Ride, Fluxx, Munchkin, and The Resistance. Love Letter's a great idea too though we haven't done it yet. If people come over and look interested or ask about it, have an "elevator pitch" ready about modern board games and invite them to either join in immediately (if that works) to to participate the next time.

plezercruz wrote:
I've always thought about doing this, but then I've always thought that this would send a message to my bosses I'd rather they not get...

Pete (thinks people understand taking time away from your desk to eat, but not taking time off to game)


I work at a start-up tech company, so it has been generally well received. There was one concern raised when we had some investors come in, but now we'll just draw the curtains. Of course, the fact that my supervisor is now a big proponent of board game lunches doesn't hurt! If there are games you can play while eating it might improve the optics.
Well, I'm a lawyer, so I guess maybe I've got to keep appearances up more than most...

Pete (envies you guys)


I trained in employment rights when becoming a lawyer, which might explain my attitude, although I can definitely feel for you as we do get some funny looks occasionally from people who probably wonder who we are billing it to
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No No No Sheep
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you will get blamed for the loss of productivity later..
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Kurt Van Hoeyveld
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Thanks for all your answers. Which game to pick to introduce gaming to collegues isn't really the problem. I've got my favorites already lined up for this task (for example Love Letter, Hanabi, Carcassonne,...

It looks like the best way is to make a paper to attach to the message board and if I can find one or two collegues interested in trying, then others who see it might wanna join in.

We'll see how it goes
 
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Drew Davidson
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Over a period of 10 years or so, I'd temp'ed in a variety of workplaces, both office & factory. After some thought, I figure about 1/10 of the businesses I've worked with had a lunch hour/break room/corporate culture that would have allowed for gaming during the work day.

So, don't be discouraged if it doesn't work where you are. The stars have to align just right for a midday gaming oasis, and it may take some time.

But good luck!

Drew Davidson
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James Austin
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go for real quick and easy games first... maybe Skull and roses?
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Mitch Willis
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We play in the snackroom at lunch 2 or 3 days a week. There were 3 of us who were gamers so that helped start things up; we were able to recruit other co-workers who saw us playing and asked what we were doing. Games that have worked real well for us, particularly recently, have been:

Splendor (this has been the biggest hit and has had lots of staying power)
Love Letter
Palastgeflüster
Hanabi
The Builders: Middle Ages

We also occasionally can squeeze in a game of Ticket to Ride...
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Alex Rodriguez
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show them this list?

"what we play at Pixar"

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First:
Splendor
Ticket to Ride
Forbidden Island

Second:
Can you find out where those tables are available to purchase? I like them and they look like a good fit for a project I'm working on.

Third:
My work has "board games" in the break room (scrabble, taboo, trivial pursuit etc) so I brought some of mine in and I overheard people make fun of them derogatorily calling them things like "pokemon for adults", "wizard world", and "make believe".

I was very disappointed in them.
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Kevin Garnica
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I would start with small card games, and only ask one or two coworkers. You have to grow it organically. This does two things, 1) it doesn't put any pressure on anyone, and 2) those who enjoyed themselves are more likely to agree to playing again.

In short, this sort of weeds out those who wouldn't care for them. You'll eventually have the players who enjoy games playing more regularly. At that point, you might even ask them if they want to get together outside of work hours to play at your place, or even this very break room (off-hours, of course).

Some games to begin with:

Love Letter
Hanabi
Haggis
Jaipur
The Builders: Middle Ages
Coup
Valley of the Kings
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Pete
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Lobotnik wrote:
plezercruz wrote:
Ehzed wrote:
In talking to people at work I found some other people who are also interested in board games. Some have played before, and others thought it sounded interesting. We started with maybe 4-5 people and a couple of months later there's now 10 of involved in our company of about 30. We've played Settlers, Ticket to Ride, Fluxx, Munchkin, and The Resistance. Love Letter's a great idea too though we haven't done it yet. If people come over and look interested or ask about it, have an "elevator pitch" ready about modern board games and invite them to either join in immediately (if that works) to to participate the next time.

plezercruz wrote:
I've always thought about doing this, but then I've always thought that this would send a message to my bosses I'd rather they not get...

Pete (thinks people understand taking time away from your desk to eat, but not taking time off to game)


I work at a start-up tech company, so it has been generally well received. There was one concern raised when we had some investors come in, but now we'll just draw the curtains. Of course, the fact that my supervisor is now a big proponent of board game lunches doesn't hurt! If there are games you can play while eating it might improve the optics.
Well, I'm a lawyer, so I guess maybe I've got to keep appearances up more than most...

Pete (envies you guys)


I trained in employment rights when becoming a lawyer, which might explain my attitude, although I can definitely feel for you as we do get some funny looks occasionally from people who probably wonder who we are billing it to
Rumor has it that where I work, there used to be a CEO (not the current one, or the previous, but the guy before) who had a mandatory Pinochle game with his executive team at lunch once every week, at which work was not permitted to be discussed.

Pete (thinks that's a pretty cool story)
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Kurt Van Hoeyveld
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Horror Leader wrote:


Second:
Can you find out where those tables are available to purchase? I like them and they look like a good fit for a project I'm working on.

No idea. I guess somewhere in Belgium (all of our 25 stores use the same tables) or somewhere in Germany (we're part of a German holding).
 
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Nick E
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godthedj wrote:
go for real quick and easy games first... maybe Skull and roses?

If only it were easy to obtain on the cheap.
 
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Katie Dunn
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EYEL1NER wrote:
godthedj wrote:
go for real quick and easy games first... maybe Skull and roses?

If only it were easy to obtain on the cheap.


You can use just about anything for Skull & Roses. My game group uses old Magic cards with red for skull and green for roses. Find skull and rose pictures online and print them on cardstock. Draw Xs and Os on index cards. Use some combination of playing cards. AS long as the backs are the same it will work.
 
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James C
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Horror Leader wrote:
I overheard people make fun of them derogatorily calling them things like "pokemon for adults", "wizard world", and "make believe".

I was very disappointed in them.


Pokemon for Adults is better than just Pokemon, surely. There's a positive in everything. Hah. Though I certainly think games without scifi or fantasy themes are much better for this sort of thing.
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