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Subject: Help starting a Gaming Group in College rss

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Corey Hoover
United States
Pennsylvania
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Hi guys I have a a pretty decent small collection of board games and I am trying to make a game group at my college. One of the problems I am facing is when I try to get people to join the strong response is "I love Monopoly/Risk/Clue" Now when I explain that we can play those but I would like to play a little heavier games none are really interested in learning how to play Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan. Suprisingly it's even hard to get people to try Resistance. Can anyone give me any tips to help draw people in so that I can get to the heavier games in the hobby with some new people who could enjoy it?
 
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Christian Bank
United States
Sacramento
California
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I'm curious about this too. At my school I sometimes walk by the "gaming" area in hopes I will see someone playing something other than Magic...but so far no success.
 
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B. L.
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Just make some good friends and then ask them if they would be interested in playing a game. Usually this works better than trying to find friends specifically for gaming.
 
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Corey Hoover
United States
Pennsylvania
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My friends don't really have an interest in it which is why I am having such trouble. It is hard to just meet new people and gauge whether or not they could be into board games.
 
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Kate
Australia
Sydney
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It turned out that the electronic gaming club at my uni had a really impressive tabletop collection (about 100 or so), so if you have a club like that at your college then maybe reach out and see if any of their members would be interested in board gaming?

Otherwise you may have to start with things like Risk and Clue until the group gathers enough interest that they want to branch out. I've never had trouble getting people to play Resistance, so maybe if you ever have half a dozen people together you can just whip it out and make it happen

The other group at my uni who play games have never gone for anything heavier than Catan, as they prefer large social games. Could be because that's the Quidditch club...

Hopefully you have some luck, but it could just be the wrong forum for the games you'd like to play.
 
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Chris Rufener
United States
State College
Pennsylvania
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Try three things. First, make them a deal - I will play a game of monopoly/risk/clue if you agree to give Ticket to Ride a try. Secondly, try getting games that do their preferred games better. For example, Mystery of the Abbey instead of clue, Small World or 1775: Rebellion instead of risk, and Chinatown or Genoa instead of monopoly. Finally, try a cooperative game! I find that they are often the best gateway games because they are less intimidating to non-gamers. Just make sure you don't control the decision making process or they will get bored or frustrated easily. I most recommend pandemic - finding cures to viruses is a theme most people can get behind. Sentinels of the Multiverse & Shadows Over Camelot would also work well and both have great themes
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Zsolt Lengyel
Hungary
Budapest
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It needed time to convince the others, but after that it wasn't that hard to find some more followers. We play once or twice a week and i don't even care to teach them the easier games.

We play these with huge succes:
-Glory To Rome
-Power Grid
-Tichu
-Innovation
-Fleet
-The Castles Of Burgundy
-Carcassonne with first two expansion
-Race For The Galaxy with first expansion
-Love Letter

However it helps that the players im playing with learning in the Mathematics and some similar area and because of this they like to solve difficult puzzles.
 
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Sonya ~
United States
California
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I recommend starting with a game that has simple rules that can be explained very quickly and has a relatively short playing time. You wouldn't want to get your peers to the point where they are tentatively open to trying new games, but then have them leave that first gaming session saying, "we spent like half an hour just listening to an explanation of the rules, it was confusing, and then the game itself lasted two hours! Never again!"

No Thanks! can be explained in 2 minutes and is usually enjoyed by "non-gamers". Another option would be Dixit, which might seem somewhat familiar to them if they've played Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity; Dixit is easy to explain and it's simple to stop the game after fewer rounds if their interest wanes and they want to play something else.

I also like that suggestion of Pandemic. If some of your players like Risk, the sight of the big map covering the Pandemic board may be comfortingly familiar to them. Being a cooperative game makes it easy to explain some rules along the way, instead of overwhelming new players with too many rules in advance. And the theme usually pulls non-gamers into being very engaged while playing Pandemic
 
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Sithrak - The god who hates you unconditionally
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Try the computer science or engineering departments, never had any problems finding interested people there.
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Under the paving stones, the beach
United Kingdom
Huddersfield
West Yorkshire
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Do you have a Student Union (or whatever the US equivalent is)? They'll hopefully be used to helping people set up societies.

Organising taster events might be a good next step. (Sadly, you've missed the fresher's events, which is one of our main recruitment pools).
 
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Bryce Spence
United States
Hilliard
Ohio
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lotrfan1976 wrote:
Try three things. First, make them a deal - I will play a game of monopoly/risk/clue if you agree to give Ticket to Ride a try. Secondly, try getting games that do their preferred games better. For example, Mystery of the Abbey instead of clue, Small World or 1775: Rebellion instead of risk, and Chinatown or Genoa instead of monopoly. Finally, try a cooperative game! I find that they are often the best gateway games because they are less intimidating to non-gamers. Just make sure you don't control the decision making process or they will get bored or frustrated easily. I most recommend pandemic - finding cures to viruses is a theme most people can get behind. Sentinels of the Multiverse & Shadows Over Camelot would also work well and both have great themes


I would agree with the above...

Try and find the similarities to the games they know...

I have had to do the same thing, I have friends (we are out of college) that were not into gaming at all (all they knew was Risk and Monopoly) and now they are on me all the time about when the next game night is. I did the same thing listed above and it worked pretty well for me.
 
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maf man
United States
Portage
Wisconsin
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I started with framing the game night as more of a competition thing. And the first night did pictionary and catch phrase. And i built deeper from there. I had the big advantage of knowing my audience though (my dorm floor).

What kind of majors do you have or are trying to attract?
Its time you put some marketing skills to task! Make posters:
for engineers- flow charts, pros cons lists, mechanics used, all to prove your the most efficient and effective
for business- "if you thought monopoly was a success check out these games that are actually good and well liked by single males 18-34 years old with disposable income"
for artistes- the future medium [then just a bunch of images of games like abyss]
 
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Paul Brudz
United States
Connecticut
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Some suggestions:
-Advertise: use the resources of dorms, student unions, Meetup, Facebook, etc. The wider group of people you reach the more likely you are to attract your intended audience.

-Meet often at first - Scheduling game nights 1-3 times a week at first will help you reach people with different schedules.

-Serve the group: The growth of the group is more important at first than meeting your desire to play heavier games.

-Perseverance: It may take 1-3 months for your group to find its legs.

-Filler/party weight: Have a bunch of filler weight games that you can use for "when you're waiting for everyone to arrive" to get your foot in the door about trying new games. Party games are often easy sells for beginning/end of night activities as well.

-Them/mechanics: Find games that have similar theme/mechanics from games they like to introduce ones that have deeper game play.
 
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Dustin Rhoades
United States
Lawton
Oklahoma
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I love the irony that you're getting resistance to play Resistance. lol.
But seriously, I got about a half dozen non-board gamers to play Pandemic based on my incessant prodding. Once they did and we finished the game they all had the same response, "Can we play again?" And viola! You're hooked. Now all you have to do is give them the ol "if you like this then you'll love XYZ."
But above all dont give up.
 
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lampeter
United States
Pennsylvania
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Being a somewhat passive person, I'd set myself up in a popular gathering place and start playing a cooperative game solo.
 
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