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Subject: Frustrations in teaching games builds character rss

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Matt Mehlhoff
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Like most of you out there I have my gaming friends, my non-gaming friends and my family. I love games and the most difficult part of gaming is finding other people who are available and want to game as much as you do. I would game 3 times a week if people were interested but alas I maybe get one real evening of games per week or maybe every two weeks...withdrawl...

So what I do do? Of course I spread my gaming to nongamers. Some love it, some not so much. Just recently some of my previous non gamer friends have bought Cyclades, Agricola and Galaxy Trucker. This really makes a gamer feel proud that he's been able to expand a hobby that he loves to those close to him!

But the worst part for me, and probably most, is the initial "oh that seems hard", "there are so many pieces", "does it really last a whole hour and a half?" complaints that we all have to deal with as we gradually turn out nongamer people on to games.


But here's what I've come to realize:
Teaching games to nongamers builds character for us. It is very frustrating, wearing on the nerves and at times makes you just want to give people the evil eye until they stop asking 20 random questions you keep telling them you'll get to in a minute. But this helps one to grow in patience, grow in understanding, become a better listener, and grow as a leader to their friends or family.

And to that, it makes it worth it. I only write this because so many times I want to pull out my hair teaching my parents something as simple as Dominion but after all of the initial frustration not only have you helped them expand their minds but you've also increased your skills as well.

So when you can't take it anymore, think of what we gain of these experiences when we do it with a little patience.
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Jim Cote
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For me, a gamer is someone who buys and plays games on their own. I don't mean they play solo, but that they will initiate even without your influence or presence. People who just join in because others are playing do not count. Using that definition, I have never created a single new gamer in my lifetime. I have only discovered other gamers. For me, it's beyond frustrating; it's a pointless waste of time.
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James Wilhelm
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LannisterGold wrote:
..."does it really last a whole hour and a half?"


This comment made me literally laugh aloud. I've heard the same complaint from time to time, but the reason it made me laugh today is that I spent five or six hours playing 1861 for the first time last weekend. Sigh - America's attention span is so short.

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Matt Mehlhoff
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ekted wrote:
For me, a gamer is someone who buys and plays games on their own. I don't mean they play solo, but that they will initiate even without your influence or presence. People who just join in because others are playing do not count. Using that definition, I have never created a single new gamer in my lifetime. I have only discovered other gamers. For me, it's beyond frustrating; it's a pointless waste of time.


I can understand the frustration but everyone has to learn from someone right? I didn't start gaming until someone taught me settlers, then I bought Agricola on my own, then I tried Dominion etc. But someone has to introduce the hobby to someone to get them interested. It's too niche of a hobby for someone to just "try" out of the blue.
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Craig Somerton
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LannisterGold wrote:
I can understand the frustration but everyone has to learn from someone right? I didn't start gaming until someone taught me settlers, then I bought Agricola on my own, then I tried Dominion etc. But someone has to introduce the hobby to someone to get them interested. It's too niche of a hobby for someone to just "try" out of the blue.


Partially true. Most people played games as a kid and would love to do so again. Problem is that they are most commonly faced with the Hasbro style of simplistic games, and by association they often believe most games are either the usual "roll and move", or are so complex you need to be an astrophysicist to play them.

Or if they happen to go into a FLGS, they are overwhelmed by the array and variety, and have no concept of which game would best suit them. The supposed complexity is also a very scary aspect. Most people fear looking stupid, therefore they don't try new things.

Add to the fact that "gaming" itself is associated with images of nerdy D&D players sitting around a kitchen table, rolling strange shaped dice and speaking in funny voices. Surprisingly, for many people this is a complete turn-off. What would you rather be doing, sitting around with a bunch of geeks or interacting on social networks? I know which one most Gen Y's choose.

Therefore, most new people to the scene require a Guide to introduce them. Break the trail, someone who can smooth the way, allay their fears of the new, make it feel... less complex - less nerdy, and generally demonstrate all those confusing rules that will make them feel stupid.

Think of yourself and the vanguard into the new gaming frontier for these people. It's an adventure. You are leading them to exciting places they otherwise never would have gone, and in doing so their lives will be richer and they might finally use that brain, and you also get some pay-back, inasmuch as you gain new playing partners.

Like any adventure trek, you'd never lead an inexperienced group up Everest on a first outing, so stage your training, develop their capacity and stamina, short, gateway games games are a great warm-up exercise for more arduous journeys, to be undertaken later. And once their skills improve that are less fearful and more willing to undertake the challenges you provide.

You job as a guide is to support them, lead them and show them the wonders our hobby has to offer.

That's how I view teaching new games. And I never get frustrated.
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Lori
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anomander64 wrote:
What would you rather be doing, sitting around with a bunch of geeks or interacting on social networks?


Hmmm... spending time with intelligent, interesting people, in situations that might lead to boardgaming... or disconnecting from real life in order to overshare with my hordes of virtual acquaintances, in a mode where we don't really ever directly interact, just exchange press releases about trivia?

I'm laughing at how easy this question is.
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LannisterGold wrote:

Teaching games to nongamers builds character for us. It is very frustrating, wearing on the nerves and at times makes you just want to give people the evil eye ....


Try teaching new rules to seasoned gamers. It's 10 times worse.
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Matt Mehlhoff
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MWChapel wrote:
LannisterGold wrote:

Teaching games to nongamers builds character for us. It is very frustrating, wearing on the nerves and at times makes you just want to give people the evil eye ....


Try teaching new rules to seasoned gamers. It's 10 times worse.


Or a combination of both seasoned and newbs is the worst.
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Lucius Cornelius
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If we can only convert Justin Bieber or Lindsay Lohan into boardgames, no more frustration ... ever!!! thumbsup
Now ... who will take them on? whistle
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Joshua Lobkowicz
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Hastur13 wrote:
LannisterGold wrote:
..."does it really last a whole hour and a half?"


This comment made me literally laugh aloud. I've heard the ...


blah blah blah.
Get to the point already.

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Ziggi W
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MWChapel wrote:
LannisterGold wrote:

Teaching games to nongamers builds character for us. It is very frustrating, wearing on the nerves and at times makes you just want to give people the evil eye ....


Try teaching new rules to seasoned gamers. It's 10 times worse.


Nah seasoned gamers usually pick up the rules very quickly.
I'm usually the rules teacher and whilst I still SUCK at it (I always get the "you didn't mention that rule!!" comment, every frickin time, but that's my fault for explaining the rules quickly), I've gotten much better since I first started thanks to being the ONLY rules teacher in the group, also I've gotten better at controlling my frustrations.

My personal pet peeve is the QUESTION MONSTER, ie. the person whom asks the SAME BLOODY QUESTION every 5 minutes.
And coming in a close second, the RULES CHALLENGER the person whom says, "Why don't we get more than one sheep come harvest time, there should be more sheep, this is silly, these rules are stupid, they make no sense".
And the newest addition is the FRIEND, whom comes along and basically distracts the one player they know and the table with prize comments such as these, "This is SOOOO nerdy! You guys really ARE nerds! Why is this SOOO nerdy!"...meanwhile we're all thinking "Yeah, we get it, this isn't the most mainstream hobby, but we don't FRACKIN care and we won't tell you off b/c the person whom brought you will likely not return to the table out of shame."
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Patiently waiting for the zombie apocalypse...
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True in many cases....

However, I like to think that a character lesson for us could possibly lead to the 'good word' of board gaming converting another disciple.....

In the name of board games we pray...
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Michael Mehl
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CM Randall wrote:
True in many cases....

However, I like to think that a character lesson for us could possibly lead to the 'good word' of board gaming converting another disciple.....

In the name of board games we pray...


Amun-re
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Tara Roy
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Hastur13 wrote:
[q="LannisterGold"]..."does it really last a whole hour and a half?"


...but they'll play Monopoly, which is three hours long! Or Trivial Pursuit.
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Ziggi W
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ladylysis wrote:
Hastur13 wrote:
[q="LannisterGold"]..."does it really last a whole hour and a half?"


...but they'll play Monopoly, which is three hours long! Or Trivial Pursuit.


I'll play Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit for three hours, except that no one will want to play it with me afterwards. My 'Geek-DO' "TM" kicks in and I need to wheel and deal, game the system, manipulate other players and generally make the whole thing way more complicated than it should be but that's half the fun....correction, the ONLY fun in Monopoloy and Trivial Pursuit.
 
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Garcian Smith
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Does anyone have that list or thread about common complainer types?
 
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