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Subject: Some random thoughts about boardgaming!!! rss

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Echo Chan
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I recently post a thread in my company's forum regarding eurogames. What I said was if anyone was interested on eurogames or already in the hobby please contact me, and I will be glad to teach if he or she was a newbie. First my company roughy has a 30,000 employees. After 2 hrs of posting there was almost 300 viewed and only one reply. I realize something and came up with a conclusion is that only 1 out of every 200-300 people are interested in this hobby. So based on july 2007 US population is 301,139,947, the number of people that is interested on boardgames so be like roughly almost to 1 million. I know this calcuation is quite stupid but what I am trying to say is I would never imagine this community can be so small. THis is my reason that I should keep introducing euroboardgaming to everyone. Feel free to comment.cry
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Brandon Pennington
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The hardest thing is getting people past the idea that all boardgames are like the ones you find at Wal-Mart and generally aren't that fun. I have only introduced about 15 people to Euro/Designer games and every single person enjoyed themselves and couldn't believe there were boardgames out there that were fun. The hardest part is getting people to give them a try, once you do it is easy to get people interested. I understand they aren't for everybody, but there are still a lot of people out there to be converted
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(ʇllıʍ)
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Maybe the real statistic is that 1 out of 300 are willing to admit to being a geek in front of their coworkers.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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1 million sounds high to me.
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Dave Dyer
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Even among dedicated followers of a particular cause, the response rate to email is vanishingly small. There's just too much clutter, too many messages all shouting "me! me! read me!"

However, don't take too much solace from this observation. It means that spreading the word is hard, and will remain hard.

Here's a little story I use to illustrate the point.

Recently I was randomly monitoring my site, Boardspace.net, and saw a genuine flash crowd of guests, up to 30 of them at a time, all speaking German, all playing Hex. Naturally, I had to wonder what was going on, and eventually I determined that "A Beautiful Mind" was showing on German TV. Ok, so do the math - millions of viewers simultaneously saw Hex portrayed favorably on TV, and maybe 100 got sufficiently motivated to go to the Wiki article for Hex and follow links to Boardspace. .. Only 100 .. and they haven't been back.
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Jeff Hinrickson
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I have thought about doing the same thing and possibly setting up a game night. Then I thought to myself, "How far can I move up in a company when management know's I like to play games, can they ever look at me seriously again?"

I opted against the post, for now at least.
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Brent Mair
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Yesterday, after five years of not attempting board game play at my work I decided to take the plunge. I advertised Ticket to Ride and had four other players show, four come by to find out if we would be doing it again, and three people who love Ticket to Ride but don't think they should play at lunch (President and CEO were two of them). Since there are 24 people at my work I have to conclude that roughly 1 in every two players likes Eurogames. With over 300 million people in the U.S. that means that about 150 million Americans like boardgames.

True story. Except for the bad math at the end. But that just means neither Echo nor I should go into statistics.

Good luck with gaming at work Echo! My group wants to meet once a week or more often now.
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Jeff Hinrickson
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sdiberar wrote:
1 million sounds high to me.


So are you saying that board gamers are also weed smokers?

Oh wait, I think I misunderstood.
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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jjloc wrote:
Oh wait, I think I misunderstood.

No, you got it right.
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Max Jamelli
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jjloc wrote:
I have thought about doing the same thing and possibly setting up a game night. Then I thought to myself, "How far can I move up in a company when management know's I like to play games, can they ever look at me seriously again?"

I opted against the post, for now at least.


I took vacation time to go to WBC this year. My boss told one of our clients and friends where I was. Everytime he comes in, he asks me "play any good board games lately"

I told him about the new game I'm learning called Agricola. He seemed mildly interested and asked a little more and after I told him how complex the game is, he seemed to have an epiphany that OMG, Max isn't playing trouble or checkers every night.
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True Blue Jon
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Needs more randomness.
 
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Andy Lorino
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I don't seem to have this problem. Maybe you guys are just in the wrong industry :P

Joking aside, I work as a video game developer and in the gaming industry it is quite easy to find people who are interested in playing games, electronic or board. We have a group of 8-12 people who play games during lunch every day, and we get together once or twice a month for gaming after work. Outside of work, again most of my friends are video game players, I found that I have a lot of people interested in playing some games every once in a while.

Now if only my girlfriend wanted to play more often ;)
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Jeff Hinrickson
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sigtaulefty wrote:
jjloc wrote:
I have thought about doing the same thing and possibly setting up a game night. Then I thought to myself, "How far can I move up in a company when management know's I like to play games, can they ever look at me seriously again?"

I opted against the post, for now at least.


I took vacation time to go to WBC this year. My boss told one of our clients and friends where I was. Everytime he comes in, he asks me "play any good board games lately"

I told him about the new game I'm learning called Agricola. He seemed mildly interested and asked a little more and after I told him how complex the game is, he seemed to have an epiphany that OMG, Max isn't playing trouble or checkers every night.


I had something similar happen. I had an account manager for one of our carriers come in one day. I have a Pirates of the Spanish Main Ship on my monitor at work and the guy said, "Hey I know that game."
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Jeff Hinrickson
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chaincranker wrote:
I don't seem to have this problem. Maybe you guys are just in the wrong industry

Joking aside, I work as a video game developer and in the gaming industry it is quite easy to find people who are interested in playing games, electronic or board. We have a group of 8-12 people who play games during lunch every day, and we get together once or twice a month for gaming after work. Outside of work, again most of my friends are video game players, I found that I have a lot of people interested in playing some games every once in a while.

Now if only my girlfriend wanted to play more often


You nerd.
 
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| Don Pion |
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I noticed when i watchted tom Vasel's top 100 on youtube that his posts hadn't that much views compared to other ones (1000 average). A top 10 of wii games by some guy gets like more than 100 000 views...
I have to agree, i also do think that the community is rather small.
 
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Echo Chan
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TGov wrote:
The hardest thing is getting people past the idea that all boardgames are like the ones you find at Wal-Mart and generally aren't that fun. I have only introduced about 15 people to Euro/Designer games and every single person enjoyed themselves and couldn't believe there were boardgames out there that were fun. The hardest part is getting people to give them a try, once you do it is easy to get people interested. I understand they aren't for everybody, but there are still a lot of people out there to be converted



Also I think another turn off to newbie would be the rules explanation. Most of the times where I try to introduce a game to them, for example in the year of the dragon or pr, most of them tend to doze off or recommend me to explain as we play along. They don't understand the fact that if u don't know what u are doing then the game would seem boring and pointless. That is y i always have to practice on explaining the game efficiently with an extreme short period of time. Side note: some people just don't like the fact that they have to think to play a game.
 
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Graham Smallwood
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I worked in a PC game company of around 300. Emails got me nowhere, and this was a game company. I eventually had to just grab one guy (my lifetime enabler) and play in an open space. That got people interested. A random person hearing the word "boardgame" will immediately think of Monopoly and Grandmas. But seeing a farm full of little wood sheep will make them stop and think.
 
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Michael Ziegler
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I have been gaming now for over 40 years. My early experiences were on Summer afternoons on the block (we played outdoors most of the time) with the "American Heritage" series of "wargames". I had a copy of Broadside and Dogfight. Two brothers across the street had "Battle Cry" and another kid up the street had "Hit the Beach". We played these and "Stratego" endlessly that Summer. It was 1966.

Fast forward to the early 1970s. I have discovered Avalon Hill in a mall hobby store. I bought Luftwaffe, 1914, Afrika Korps and Stalingrad. One older friend at college owns "Tactics II" . He and I play these games during another Summer, finishing with Blitzkrieg using all tournament rules. I realize that this is a "limited" area for gamers, not many people are willing to devote the time and effort necessary in study of rules to play these games. So the gamers are narrowed.

Enter the 1980s. I now have my own family and a substantial game collection. I am attending Origins, playing in a wider forum of games. Collecting games becomes an excellent pastime. I begin teaching my own sons the games that I have, they introduce them to others. Interest expands.

Then in the 1990s I have some of the younger college crowd after Church services over on weekends to play multi-player type games such as "Civilization", "Britannia", and "History of the World" and "Kingmaker" among others. Both men and women play them and we are having a great time.

As the College kids graduate, the people disperse, now at the turn of the Century, the felling is that gaming is dying. The demise of Avalon Hill, SPI, and just about everyone else leaves me with a sense that I should start to sell off my games that I don't play very often.

My sons take over. They buy games. They play them with their friends. I become very selective about any purchase, maybe only one or two per year. I join in every now and then when their friends are around but at least I have been successful in passing on some image of the tradition.

Where will all of this end up? I see some positives in the market, boardgames are not going to expire like I thought they would but I think that the "gaming chits" of the old days of Avalon Hill are being replaced by better merchandise. Certainly the 60 page rulebook is becoming a thing of the past.
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