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Subject: Good advice for someone's first meetup? rss

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Carl Frodge
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I'm writing a blog post to give advice to someone going to their first gaming meetup.

What would you tell someone going to their first meetup? Advice, tips, whatever.

UPDATE: Here are the blog posts:
Your First Gaming Meetup: At Someone's House
Your First Gaming Meetup: At a Gaming Store
 
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Marco
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Expect the unexpected!
Someone going to a meetup for the first time might be suprised by several things:
-Some people don't want food or drinks on the table.
-Explaining rules can take really long, don't think you'll be playing games all night long.
-Some people will take the game really serious or get really into the game. When they start shouting or cursing, don't take it to personal. It's all about the game.
-Most people don't allow phones at the table. Take it out of your pocket after you see someone else using it or after asking it if you really need to use it.
-Some people might charge a small fee for the food, drinks or the use of the games. Take some money with you! (maybe you'll even order pizza and you need money then, don't you?)

And my last tip:
If you have a game, take it with you. Everyone can appreciate it if you bring your own game(s).
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M M
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Be friendly.

End of blog post.
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Arrive on time.
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David C
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agentkuo wrote:
I'm writing a blog post to give advice to someone going to their first gaming meetup.

What would you tell someone going to their first meetup? Advice, tips, whatever.

Bring a game that's easy to teach to a varied audience... but mostly you'll be playing everyone else's games.

--David (looks at wall of games and cries)

(Sorry Pete, it was perfect. I had to steal it.)
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Marc Nelson Jr.
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Mabuchi wrote:
Arrive on time.

This is a really important one! I would even say "get there early."

If you get there late, everyone may already be split up and playing. You'll be stuck waiting for a game to finish. And if you're early, you can get a couple of regulars to show you the ropes rather than going in cold to a full room of strangers.
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Kendahl Johnson
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Deodorant and breath mints
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MARCUS GABRIEL
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"Five cents, please," his front door said when he tried to open it. The toll door had an innate stubborness to it... UBIK
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Perhaps reading up on a few games on BGG and watching some play through videos to familiarize yourself with some common games would be helpful. I did this recently before Michicon 2015 and was well prepared for the games I joined in and had more fun than I have had years before.
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I've honestly considered going to a few of these in my area but I guess maybe I'm picky. If I am going to dedicate a few hours or even half of a day to gaming, I want to play something a bit deeper than the typical titles that I see being played at these things.

Kinda sucks, but most of these groups are not really into deeper games.

Not trying to rain on your parade OP! I'm sure you'll have a good time
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Dennis McCarthy
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If it's at someone's house, bring cookies.
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Isaac Finkelstein
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papagamer72 wrote:
I've honestly considered going to a few of these in my area but I guess maybe I'm picky. If I am going to dedicate a few hours or even half of a day to gaming, I want to play something a bit deeper than the typical titles that I see being played at these things.

Kinda sucks, but most of these groups are not really into deeper games.

Not trying to rain on your parade OP! I'm sure you'll have a good time

The flip side of this is you may end up playing a single deep game for the first time for the whole meetup with a few other people who are pros at it and spend four hours floundering around. Not a great experience.
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papagamer72 wrote:
I've honestly considered going to a few of these in my area but I guess maybe I'm picky. If I am going to dedicate a few hours or even half of a day to gaming, I want to play something a bit deeper than the typical titles that I see being played at these things.

Kinda sucks, but most of these groups are not really into deeper games.

Not trying to rain on your parade OP! I'm sure you'll have a good time

In my experience, groups like this are not against deeper games, they just tend to gravitate toward simpler games where there isn't much structure or preparation. What really helped in my case was a discussion board and deciding before the meetup what games would be slated and people would sign up for seats. This is also helpful because people can lookup playthroughs and tips on their own so they don't have to learn a game from scratch at the meetup.

It takes a little effort and preparation, but it is worth it.
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Scottgun wrote:
papagamer72 wrote:
I've honestly considered going to a few of these in my area but I guess maybe I'm picky. If I am going to dedicate a few hours or even half of a day to gaming, I want to play something a bit deeper than the typical titles that I see being played at these things.

Kinda sucks, but most of these groups are not really into deeper games.

Not trying to rain on your parade OP! I'm sure you'll have a good time

In my experience, groups like this are not against deeper games, they just tend to gravitate toward simpler games where there isn't much structure or preparation. What really helped in my case was a discussion board and deciding before the meetup what games would be slated and people would sign up for seats. This is also helpful because people can lookup playthroughs and tips on their own so they don't have to learn a game from scratch at the meetup.

It takes a little effort and preparation, but it is worth it.

That is actually an excellent idea.

My fear is going in to one of these not knowing anyone... playing what they have available and then suggesting something else and getting brushed aside. You know... the whole new guy syndrome.

I prefer to think and use my gray matter first, and then socialize second. From the ones I've observed (seen on some threads, etc) its normally socialize first and whatever is played is played second.

The other poster does make a great point though... He doesnt want to get stuck playing a brainburner for 4 hours and floundering about in last place.

I'm not talking anything like Twilight Imperium or Mage Knight length games. Something like Agricola or Terra Mystica which most games are over in 2 hours tops.
 
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Isaac Finkelstein
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Really, the smart thing is to decide the game(s) in advance with everyone in the meetup comments. I would be much more likely to go to a meetup if I knew there was zero chance of getting stuck playing a game I hate for three hours or having to walk out. Plus, I would at least look the game up briefly to shorten the rules explanation if I was unfamiliar.
 
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Mike
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You want to steer clear of the assumption that everyone else is there to entertain you. That means not expecting other people to provide the games and not expecting other people to play the game you want.

So Rule #1 is bring a game of your own that you know how to play, can explain to others, and can be played under meetup conditions (multi-player and a reasonable amount of time).

And Rule #2 is don't expect to play your game. You're the new guy and you should go with the consensus of the existing group when it comes to choosing what game is played.
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Seth Brown
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bring snacks and games, show up on time, and generally be consciencious.
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Mike
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Bimm wrote:
Really, the smart thing is to decide the game(s) in advance with everyone in the meetup comments. I would be much more likely to go to a meetup if I knew there was zero chance of getting stuck playing a game I hate for three hours or having to walk out. Plus, I would at least look the game up briefly to shorten the rules explanation if I was unfamiliar.
In principle, I completely agree. I'd much rather know in advance what games are going to be played. That way I can read the rules and learn the game and enjoy the game much more.

But practically this doesn't happen. My experience is that most gamers like to wait until game night and go with whatever suits the mood of the group. Trying to be the guy who's imposing order just annoys people. So I've learned to accept the fact that I'll often be playing a game I've never heard of and picking it up as I go along.
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Wesley
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MK99 wrote:
Bimm wrote:
Really, the smart thing is to decide the game(s) in advance with everyone in the meetup comments. I would be much more likely to go to a meetup if I knew there was zero chance of getting stuck playing a game I hate for three hours or having to walk out. Plus, I would at least look the game up briefly to shorten the rules explanation if I was unfamiliar.
In principle, I completely agree. I'd much rather know in advance what games are going to be played. That way I can read the rules and learn the game and enjoy the game much more.

But practically this doesn't happen. My experience is that most gamers like to wait until game night and go with whatever suits the mood of the group. Trying to be the guy who's imposing order just annoys people. So I've learned to accept the fact that I'll often be playing a game I've never heard of and picking it up as I go along.

This is a great idea in theory, but there are many people who will go to a meetup, but not actually participate in any discussion before hand.

My one tip would be not to hold individual people's behavior against the group as a whole. If one person says something that offends you, don't assume that's the whole group's stance or opinion.
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Vladimir Enko
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Get ready to flip the table
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Carl Frodge
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A lot of good ideas and advice here. I think what I might have to do is make 2 separate posts about meetups. One for meetups at a persons house and one for meetups and an FLGS, because they seem to be quite different.


papagamer72 wrote:
Not trying to rain on your parade OP! I'm sure you'll have a good time
Thanks, but...it's not for me. I've been to plenty of meetups.
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George Louie
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papagamer72 wrote:
I've honestly considered going to a few of these in my area but I guess maybe I'm picky. If I am going to dedicate a few hours or even half of a day to gaming, I want to play something a bit deeper than the typical titles that I see being played at these things.

Kinda sucks, but most of these groups are not really into deeper games.

Not trying to rain on your parade OP! I'm sure you'll have a good time

I think this is an unfair assessment, especially from someone who has "considered" but not attended any meet ups..

I've only been to a few meet ups, but the ones I've been too, the gamers there are willing to play deeper and more complex games. I've personally played Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game and Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game at meet ups, and I've seen Robo-Rally (not really deep, but it can be complex) and A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) being played... as well as a bunch of others..

I think you'll find if you bring your deeper games to the table, people will play them. In particular, it would be a good idea to post to the meet up website page, beforehand that you want to play game XYZ... and see if anyone was interested... If you do that, i bet you'll get a few people who respond that they've either played before or would like to learn.
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George Louie
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MK99 wrote:
Bimm wrote:
Really, the smart thing is to decide the game(s) in advance with everyone in the meetup comments. I would be much more likely to go to a meetup if I knew there was zero chance of getting stuck playing a game I hate for three hours or having to walk out. Plus, I would at least look the game up briefly to shorten the rules explanation if I was unfamiliar.
In principle, I completely agree. I'd much rather know in advance what games are going to be played. That way I can read the rules and learn the game and enjoy the game much more.

But practically this doesn't happen. My experience is that most gamers like to wait until game night and go with whatever suits the mood of the group. Trying to be the guy who's imposing order just annoys people. So I've learned to accept the fact that I'll often be playing a game I've never heard of and picking it up as I go along.

you might not get EVERYONE in the meet up to respond, but then you don't really need or even want everyone to respond. you just need enough players to get the game to the table, then a few more may or may not join you..
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bort
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Just go ready to have fun and play games. A reasonable group isnt going to throw a new player into a rules heavy game on the first night.
 
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Make sure to tell everyone why their games are boring and only play the games that you bring. devil
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agentkuo wrote:
A lot of good ideas and advice here. I think what I might have to do is make 2 separate posts about meetups. One for meetups at a persons house and one for meetups and an FLGS, because they seem to be quite different.
I'd agree. I would be a bit more concerned about etiquette in someone's home. I would also be a bit more sensitive to group dynamics.
 
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