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Subject: How do you convince people to learn how to play this game? rss

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Brian McKeever
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Because I don't get it. I've failed to convert all of my friends. I've explained it to the best of my abilities. I've shown some general play errors, and they've all tried it. They've all decided they don't get it and would rather play something else than learn how.
 
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Andrew Gross
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The "Hikaru No Go" manga and/or anime might be useful, if they're at all into that sort of thing.
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Donald Wilbur III
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This is what they call a lifestyle game. Only a tiny subset of the potential gamer community can be convinced to spend the kind of time this game requires.

I often hear comments like, "If you want to learn this game, you need to lose your first 100 games as quickly as possible". That's probably an exageration but even so, this game is not one that most people can get an easy feel for after a few short games. That leaves them feeling like they're just laying down stones for nothing. When confronted with the choice of learning a game or playing a game most people choose to play.

Sorry, but here in the western world this is a hard sell.
 
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Ashfield
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Re: How do you convince people to learn how to play this gam
It can be difficult to teach new players without crushing them accidentally. What I like to do is point them to the old standby, http://playgo.to/interactive/ then once they know the basics, play some 9x9 at a large handicap.

The best way is if you can get two novices learning at once by playing each other. They don't have to be playing well, just having a good time, which is the point of the exercise after all. By playing another learner, they can see all of the mistakes that they need to avoid, which is something an experienced player might have trouble showing them in context.

And you can hook them up with the appropriate books also. The Hikaru suggestion is good too.
 
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marc lecours
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Re: How do you convince people to learn how to play this gam
play games on 9X9 boards with handicaps.

1. DOn't show them how to play well. That takes all the fun out of learning the game. Teach only if they want tips. And even then, never give tips during the game, only after the game when you replay the game. Finding out tricks is the whole fun of the game.

2. If you want to take on the master/pupil relationship then don't play. The master does not play with the pupil more than once a year or so (special occasions).The master reviews games with the pupil. I assume that you want to play , in that case don't teach.

3. WEsterners hate handicaps. But that is what you must convince your opponent to take. Play on a 9x9. Start with a 5 stone handicap. Everytime they win lower the handicap by 1. Everytime you win , raise it by one.THis maximizes the challenge for both players (since each of you has 50%chance of winning).

4. A 9x9 board keeps the game short and fun. They learn better to associate their move with the final score which happens soon since the game is short. After a while they will either quit go or be ready to progress to a 19x19 board.

5. Make sure you have enough friends who begin at the same time that they can play each other (almost equal opponents) and not just have to play super strong you.

6. If your friends don't already enjoy abstract games (chess, yinsh, othello, etc. then they are not likely to enjoy go.
 
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Jeff Thompson
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Re: How do you convince people to learn how to play this gam
I think this old metaphor works best...


You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

(Ok, maybe that's a little harsh.)


Seriously, the game either captures a person's imagination or it does not. You can show them go but you can't make them play it.

The best thing to do if you love go is to spread the word. Most people don't even know it exists. I know I enjoy go and can get excited and overwhelm others. So I hold back. I tell them more about the history of go and almost nothing about how it works. I might describe what it looks like but then go on to a story describing some attribute of go. If someone is intrigued and wants to know more I answer their questions. When they ask to play I begin talking about the rules.

I've also noticed that if someone plays a few games and can understand the concept of two eyes, they may take the next step. If they can't get the concept of two eyes, even when it's explained to them, then they are done. Move on.

Every go player except myself that I know plays go and only go and nothing but go. They play it all the time, usually meeting in clubs or peoples' houses 2 or 3 times a week. Oh wait, when I played a lot that was me too. I've since seen the light and play lots of other games.

You have not failed. You have spread the word. That is enough. There is a BGG room on Kisiedo go server. Meeting other BGG there might help "show" them the game a little.

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Lyman Hurd
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Re: How do you convince people to learn how to play this gam
I have seen it suggested that a good way to start is to introduce people to first capture wins go. It greatly simplifies the rules but still gives a challenge.

My first games were played with a five stone handicap on the 13x13 but to be fair it was versus an amateur 5d.
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marc lecours
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Re: How do you convince people to learn how to play this gam
With total beginners who aren't really gamers, I usually show first capture go.

I personally believe that first capture go must have been the original way go was played thousands of years ago. First capture go naturally evolves into the go we all know and love.

This is why I believe that go could be discovered (notice that I use the word discovered and not invented) on another planet independently. The natural game that would be discovered is first capture go which has really really easy rules.

First capture go leads so smoothly and obviously to regular go that I think regular go could also exist elsewhere in the universe than on Earth.
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Billy McBoatface
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Re: How do you convince people to learn how to play this gam
I've never really been able to convince any friends to learn the game.

Either people want to learn on their own, or they don't. I've never been able to sway a person over.
 
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T Jesper Edmark
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Re: How do you convince people to learn how to play this gam
I have had some success with tricking people into using the board and stones... I simply teach them Pente, it's fast and easy to learn. Once they have gotten used to the feel of the board and stones I switch to Capturing Go and I have often sparked an interest in them for the whole game after that.

However, due to RL limitations of time, I have had to stop playing myself... been almost a year now... cry
 
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Jacco Versteeg
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My biggest problem with playing Go (apart from being totally crap at it) is indeed finding other people who'd like to (learn to) play it. Although I think I have one or two people in my current games group who might be interested. The kind of people that enjoy chess and backgammon, that sort of thing.

Now to get me an actual board (have only played online sofar).
 
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Blorb Plorbst
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Re: How do you convince people to learn how to play this gam
I'd never heard of the game until I read Shibumi by Trevanian in college.

http://www.trevanian.com/books/shibumi.htm

It's not a book about Go but is a spy novel about a master assassin who also happens to be a master Go player. I was so intrigued by the game that a friend and I learned to play.

If your friends are readers, maybe this book might do the trick.
 
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Jared Hayter

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Many of my friends are chess players and board gamers and I've had good success getting them to play first capture go but not much luck beyond that. Actually, for me first capture is enough fun that if it stops there I'm still satisfied. The suggestion above of starting with Pente is also not bad. Pente strategy is of course completely different but it plays quickly like capture go and is all about tactics so someone who likes one will probably like the other.
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Try using a bit of sex appeal. I've found that people are willing play some Capture Go just for the enjoyment of handling my nice, smooth oiled-up stones.
 
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