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Subject: Non-Gamers You Play With rss

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David McMullen
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Maryland
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Similar to a thread I posted weeks ago,

What do you do to get non-gamers into something other than Risk or Monopoly? What games in particular? What are the common factors among "non-gamers" you play with?

I say this because I have friends who I only play with certain friends a few times a year but I want to play with people other than the "casuals."

(Sorry for all the "air-quotes"... also, any suggestions for improving this thread or future threads would be appreciated)
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Chris Graves
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Oregon
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Looks like you own Catan...you have started there, right? Can I recommend Betrayal at House on the Hill? It is one that I have used 100% successfully. I even got my wife to play (she NEVER plays games and actively says she hates games), but she had a blast. It's easy to teach/learn, and there is so much story that it is a really, really fun. Just make sure the group is age appropriate because it's horror. As I've said in another post, if you can just get ONE person to really like games, that is a great success. There are tons of 2 player games to play, and then you can see if that person has any friends that may like to play. Pretty soon, you'll have a third person, and so on...
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George Louie
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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where in Maryland are you? There are a number of gaming conventions in MD, that you can use to meet people. Congress of Gamers in Rockville, MD.. I think theres at least one based in Baltimore area. If you're close to DC, you can try WashingCon.

Also, join www.meetup.com and search on board games.. you'll probably find a bunch of groups near you.. lots of times they meeting local coffee houses, restaurants, or in private homes.. you just have to join the group online..
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15 Keys
United States
Living in the Delco
Pennsylvania
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Maybe they don't want to play other games? Maybe they truly are non-gamers or casual gamers? Maybe nothing here would interest them?

Oftentimes people who like games won't be shy about it, so you won't doubt it. Most people, in general, won't like these types of games we play.

I suggest finding a compatible game group (easier said than done!), but you seem to live in Maryland (my home state!). As said above, if you live in the more densely populated counties, you should be able to find a group.

You might want to post in the Northeast USA group or browse around that board to find a group near you.

Good luck!
 
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Joshua Hibbert
Australia
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My go to games are social deduction games like:

Spyfall
The Resistance
Love Letter
Coup

Or party games:

Codenames
Codenames: Pictures
BANG! The Dice Game
Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game

Or Cooperative games:

Mysterium

Or lightweight, fun games:

King of New York
Machi Koro

Or simple, abstract games:

Qwirkle
Tsuro
Marrakech

I think the themes here are: fun, lightweight, simple. Cooperative is also an interesting tactic as heavier gamers can 'carry' those that are less into board games.
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Steve C
United States
Minnesota
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Don't think about gamer vs non-gamer. Think about what kinds of things they might like, either themes or mechanics. For example, some people like chucking dice, so I would try King of Tokyo. Aybe it goes well, maybe not.

When all else fails, play 3-4 filler games and see if any are well received. They go quick, most have very simple rules, and they're cheap. No point in trying to get them hooked on the good stuff right away, start with gateway dru... games.
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Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
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Usually abstract games with simple minimalist rules, e.g. Blokus, Qwirkle, Tantrix, RED and other nestorgames, Stack Control and other games with Looney Pyramids, etc.

In terms of games more popular with typical BGG users, Kingdom Builder has been a huge hit with one friend we converted from a complete non-gamer into a casual gamer. Also The City was popular with several such people, if you don't mind it not existing in an English published version.
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Peter Knapp
United Kingdom
East Sussex
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Most "non-gamer" friends know I like games and can that I can be enthusiastic about it...

So I try not to force/coerce/strong arm... If an evening is going a certain way and me introducing a board game seems natural, I'll ask. Then I'll say something like "there's something for everyone", or ask about themes that interest. Time and time again Carcassonne goes down so well. I reckon owing to its simplicity, yet potential for strategy and that it is so different from things like Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit and others...

If I've invited people round to play games and they accepted, well, they kinda accepted to come and play games... I will still put a selection out so that if they really don't enjoy one, there should be something for them
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Alexandre Santos
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Brussels
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+1 for Kingdom Builder

Other hits with non-gamers (parents, grand-parents, etc.):
Dixit - very original, and fosters the imagination while remaining friendly to all
Augustus - a bingo game, very simple to pick up and play
Bohnanza - another game that favors lots of talk and participation through the bean trading mechanic
Camel Up - betting on camel races. Very easy and fosters a lively mood at the table

Now if you are playing with (non-)gamers whom you think might become board gamers, then you can basically start with anything, as long as you do a decent job of teaching the game well.
 
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Paul Kellett
United Kingdom
Preston
Lancashire
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I've been away on business a couple of times this year with my boss and another colleague for 3 days each time. They know I'm a gamer so my boss asked me to bring something interesting to play in the evenings. Neither of them have played any modern games but we are structural engineers so fairly intelligent.

I brought Snowdonia with me and they really enjoyed it. It tooka few rounds to get the basics down but from the second game, they were in full swing and proper into it.

When work calms down a bit, they want to start having a lunchtime games session on Fridays.

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Matthew J. Wilson
United States
Coronado
California
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I don't actively try to get any "casual" to play a game. Some people just aren't gamers and that's fine. If I have guests over, I would try to accommodate to what they would find interesting or would want to do while hanging out. I don't ever ask, "Hey do you want to play a board game?"

I went to someone's house once and the dude constantly bombarded me with asking if I wanted to ride his dirt bike and while I might have been interested if his backyard was in the middle of the Mojave dessert somewhere, we were on a Las Vegas suburban street. No thanks. But he was insistent and it was annoying me to the point where I wanted to leave.

Dirt bikes and board games are two very different hobbies, yes, but the whole idea of someone urging you on to do a particular activity of any type can be irritating.

Now if my guest or anyone becomes interested in my (small) collection and inquires about them, then I might be inclined to ask. It's all about gauging your audience.

NOTE: I didn't mean for this to sound like I was impugning the thread. I just typed out what was on my mind.
 
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N P
United Kingdom
Birmingham
UNITED KINGDOM
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Hook them with a theme they like! Of course, you also need to check through the rules and make sure it's fairly simple to learn whilst also being interesting enough that you don't think they'll get too bored. For example, are they interested in sewing or quilting? Try Patchwork. Interested in gardening? Try one with a gardening theme (Cottage Garden, Sanssouci). You get the picture.

Also, I find appealing artwork helps.

Also, just try Carcassonne because it's Carcassonne! It hooked me...

Some other games I have that I've actually got my family to play:
Morels - interesting theme, nice artwork
Hive - tactile and visual appeal
Indigo - great visual appeal
Marrakech - tactile and visual appeal
Dixit - visual appeal, a very different sort of game
Hey, That's My Fish! - cute penguins
Ticket to Ride - I don't know how I got them to play this I think because it was SO simple


I made the mistake of getting Cartagena and although the game was easy to learn and I think they would have enjoyed it once they'd got into it, they just didn't really give it a chance because the theme did nothing for them. If the very same game were rethemed I think they might have given it a better chance! Although having said that I thought they'd be grabbed by Takenoko because they thought it was cute but it was 'too complicated' and I had to put it away (I'll bring it out again soon).
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Bryan Carpenter
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Suffolk
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voodoochyl wrote:
Looks like you own Catan...you have started there, right? Can I recommend Betrayal at House on the Hill? It is one that I have used 100% successfully. I even got my wife to play (she NEVER plays games and actively says she hates games), but she had a blast. It's easy to teach/learn, and there is so much story that it is a really, really fun. Just make sure the group is age appropriate because it's horror.


Can I recommend not using Betrayal at House on the Hill to introduce people to games? If you have someone who isn't used to playing a lot of games in the group and they become the haunt then they've got to read a page of rules and try to understand how they work. It's one of the reasons I've never bought it: too many people I play games with would not be comfortable with that.

There are a lot of good recommendations for smaller, simpler and more streamlined games above. I would definitely suggest following that path with people who haven't played many different games.

Equally, as others have said, respect the fact that some people really aren't interested in games at all. Don't force them on anybody.
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João Rodrigues
Portugal
Lisboa
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joshnh wrote:
My go to games are social deduction games like:

Spyfall
The Resistance
Love Letter
Coup

Or party games:

Codenames
Codenames: Pictures
BANG! The Dice Game
Once Upon a Time: The Storytelling Card Game

Or Cooperative games:

Mysterium

Or lightweight, fun games:

King of New York
Machi Koro

Or simple, abstract games:

Qwirkle
Tsuro
Marrakech

I think the themes here are: fun, lightweight, simple. Cooperative is also an interesting tactic as heavier gamers can 'carry' those that are less into board games.


This! Exactly the games I play when my non-gamer friends join to the party.

I also add:
Concept
Dixit
Telestrations
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Dave Lartigue
United States
Springfield
Massachusetts
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I'm not an evangelist. I have plenty of gamer friends and don't see a need to try to convert non-gamer friends into gamers.

In the rare event where non-gamer friends show interest, I'll bring out something like Catan, For Sale, Codenames, Diamantes, or such.
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mortego
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New Kensington
Pennsylvania
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Yeah, I'm not into "converting" actively but when I have board game parties anyone who shows up knows that my kind of board games will be played so everyone already knows this when they arrive.

Most games that go over pretty well are:
Jamaica
Codenames
Are You a Werewolf?
Ticket to Ride
Splendor
to name a few
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Chris Mcpherson
Canada
Sarnia
Ontario
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I never understand users trying to disuade someone from trying to "convert" non-gamers. 2 or 3 years ago someone did that to me and I will be forever grateful. If you try and they show no interest and you keep beating them over the head with it, that might be a problem. Other than that, keep trying to introduce new people to these great games.
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Chris Graves
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Oregon
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jobby wrote:
voodoochyl wrote:
Looks like you own Catan...you have started there, right? Can I recommend Betrayal at House on the Hill? It is one that I have used 100% successfully. I even got my wife to play (she NEVER plays games and actively says she hates games), but she had a blast. It's easy to teach/learn, and there is so much story that it is a really, really fun. Just make sure the group is age appropriate because it's horror.


Can I recommend not using Betrayal at House on the Hill to introduce people to games? If you have someone who isn't used to playing a lot of games in the group and they become the haunt then they've got to read a page of rules and try to understand how they work. It's one of the reasons I've never bought it: too many people I play games with would not be comfortable with that.


Never had an issue, but to each their own. I teach the haunt rules when we get to it, and it's very simple. It's all about the story and immersion anyway. It's worked for me, but not for everybody, I suppose like any other game listed.
 
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