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Subject: Looking for advice on game day at Mall rss

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Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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Recently a representative from the local Mall contacted me. She was wondering if our game group was interested in hosting a "Game Day" at the mall. The details are a little hazy but from what I gather they'd rope off an area for us and we'd pretty much play games like normal except we'd be sure to accommodate anybody who wandered by and was interested. She specifically said she was looking for "unique" and "different" games. And not CCG's (I asked about that). She did say that perhaps we could run some tournaments.

Anyway, I think I'll have a lot of flexibility on how to run this so I'm looking for some ideas and advice. One problem I see already is if we have to use our own personal games. It's one thing to bring our games to a session with just ourselves where we are all know each other and all respect the games but it's another thing to let anybody who wanders by play with your personal copy. There could be lost pieces and a lot of wear and tear.

But assuming this can be overcome (either by the mall supplying games or just by using only cheap and replaceable games) are there any ideas for how to run something like this other than just as a big "open play" area (albeit one where we make sure a game teacher is available)?

Oh yeah, No outside the mall businesses can be involved (and the mall doesn't have a game store) and I'm meeting with her tomorrow to discuss the details, so feedback today is appreciated.

Thanks.


 
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Gabe Alvaro
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Berkeley
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Cool opportunity!

I'd say express your concern about the game supply and ask them to buy some of the games for you . Then be ready with a budget. You might also want to budget in for tables and chairs, unless they are provided and some sort of signage so passersby "get it". Also, in terms of games, you ought to consider having a number of ongoing filler and "join-in-progress" games that can take anybody dropping in or out at any time. People could play those games until a new more committed game starts up. Also, since you will be on display, have games that are the most visually appealing.

That's all I can think of at the moment, but I'm sure there is more than that to think of.

Edit: Removed some Geeklist suggestions that upon further review I deem inappropriate for the needs presented in this topic.
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John Goewert
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St. Louis
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Sounds like an odd way for them to draw up business. Get more people to come to the event to shop at the mall. And no outside support, that sounds odd and Westfield-y.

So, basically, you are volunteering to do a lot of work and pay for everything out of your own pocket. Knowing some Westfield practices, this sounds about on queue again. They don't want stores in the mall to put up any sort of advertising unless the stores are paying them to do it.

Still, if they allowed you specific place every month to play in, this wouldn't be a bad opportunity to get a game group going. If it's a onetime deal, use your instincts and turn it down at the first sign of fishiness.

As for running it, unless you have a well informed audience about the event or a lot of people you know to show up, expect to sit around and be ignored. You'll appear like that home remodeling guy trying to get you to sign up to win a remodeling that everyone with 1/2 a wit knows is a scam. The other half will wander by, mess up all your components and walk away when the rest of their friends do. Seriously.

Give a read through my geeklist on owning a gamestore in the mall and expect it to go like that as well - http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/16681
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Glenn Ironhat
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Syracuse
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What is the purpose of this in her mind? If the mall doesn't have a game store, I am not sure what she wants to accomplish. Does she like games herself? Maybe she likes you!

I would not count on mall copies. You definitely will lose pieces. And you should plan on games getting grungy.

If you get a white board on an easel you can make it look like you have a schedule of when games are starting. Or you cvan simply set everyone up as doing demos. Then anyone can join in at anytime (almost).

You might want to consider what the purpose of this is for your group as well. Ignore what she wants (for the most part) and make sure you guys have fun. It may be that she doesn't know what to expect, so you have to tell her that.

You can protect cards by putting them in plastic sleeves and you can protect your board with a plastic cover of some sort. And a table colth on the tables of course.

I think I would go with the "cheap games that can be replaced method" and expect the worst.

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Gabe Alvaro
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mdp4828 wrote:
Recently a representative from the local Mall contacted me. She was wondering if our game group was interested in hosting a "Game Day" at the mall. The details are a little hazy but from what I gather they'd rope off an area for us and we'd pretty much play games like normal except we'd be sure to accommodate anybody who wandered by and was interested. She specifically said she was looking for "unique" and "different" games. And not CCG's (I asked about that). She did say that perhaps we could run some tournaments.

I've got a burning curiosity to know what her angle is. Just what exactly will the mall be getting out of this? Perhaps that "Game Day" as she calls it is the same day that some retail chain rep would be coming to the mall to discuss opening a game store there? Maybe this mall rep wants to use you and your group to make a good impression on somebody they are attempting to woo to bring a store there? Could that be it? I don't know how these things work, but aren't you curious? I am.
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Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
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To everybody asking what is the Mall's purpose here since they don't have a game store, what do they have to gain? I am wondering the same thing.

In my first response to her I asked what her "vision" for this was and suggested sponsership from the game store across the street (but not affliated with the mall). The only thing really clear so far is that outside businesses can't be involved (in response to my game store suggestion I suspect). She hasn't really clarified what the Mall's angle here is (maybe she doesn't even know herself. She may think these games are more popular than they are, I tried to be honest about that). I hope to learn more tomorrow when we meet face to face.

And, while I will be doing this for free (it looks like). I don't really intend to incur any significant expenses myself other than time. If I'm forced to use my games I'll only use cheap/replacable/hard to damage ones.
 
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Marshall P.
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
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There is grandeur in this view of life, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
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Thanks for the responses so far btw cool
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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mdp4828 wrote:
The only thing really clear so far is that outside businesses can't be involved (in response to my game store suggestion I suspect). She hasn't really clarified what the Mall's angle here is (maybe she doesn't even know herself. She may think these games are more popular than they are, I tried to be honest about that). I hope to learn more tomorrow when we meet face to face.

So what did you learn? I'm still curious.
 
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Rob Brock
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I know there is a lot of discussion around the Mall's purposes and restrictions, but it seems like it could be fun. I'd be more concerned about the game shop accross the street than about any ulterior motives the Mall may have. Have you talked to the game shop? It seems like the most logical question for people watching to ask is "where can I buy this game". Since the answer appears to be, "not in the mall," the easy follow-up would be, "but there is a game shop right across the street". No outside business sponsorship or involvement there, but how else are you going to answer the question you would inevitably get countless times throughout the day?

As far as games, the geek lists posted above don't really appeal to me. I agree that you want some visually appealling games, but these shouldn't be obscure or too complex. This seems like a great opportunity to introduce people to some of the classic gateway games, some of which people may have already heard of or seen. These immediately came to my mind as having both a visual appeal and an easy to learn, addictive quality:

Tikal
Ticket to Ride
Carcassonne
Catan

I hope it goes well for you. If you do this event, you should post a session report of your experiences for the day. I'd love to hear how it went!
 
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Gabe Alvaro
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rbrockfam wrote:
As far as games, the geek lists posted above don't really appeal to me. I agree that you want some visually appealling games, but these shouldn't be obscure or too complex. This seems like a great opportunity to introduce people to some of the classic gateway games, some of which people may have already heard of or seen. These immediately came to my mind as having both a visual appeal and an easy to learn, addictive quality:

Tikal
Ticket to Ride
Carcassonne
Catan

I hope it goes well for you. If you do this event, you should post a session report of your experiences for the day. I'd love to hear how it went!

I agree. I went back and looked closer at those geeklists I orginally posted and it appears to me they didn't really fit the need here, so I removed them. I think a geeklist about visually-appealing-games-to-lure-the-non-gamer-in-a-public-place" is in order. You could probably even include audibly-appealing games too I think.
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