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Subject: 3-4 minutes to bring our hobby to non-gamers, what game to teach? rss

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Ryan Bruns
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So it looks like I'll be on a local tv show Tuesday here in Utah. I have a 4-5 minute segment and about half of that time to bring and briefly teach the hosts a game.

So which game to bring and teach? Suggestions?

My initial thoughts are Jungle Speed or Dixit or Telestrations. Thoughts?

The knee jerk response would be Ticket to Ride or Settlers but with such a short window of time I thought it was to much to wedge explanation and game play in. I am going to mention those games though.

I love this hobby and although it is a small potatoes tv market here I still feel a responsibility to gamers to represent well and to introduce the public to such an awesome world of games.
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Kent Reuber
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I might do something like Ingenious. The rules are simple: place a tile, score, take another turn if a color hits 18, draw or swap tiles. Scoring is your worst color at the end of the game. And it's an engaging game.

I'd be tempted to do a more thematic game such as Thebes. You can't really explain the game in detail, but you can explain that people move around Europe gaining knowledge and other resources, then go off to dig in various sites. Pulling the artifacts out of the bag is a cool mechanism that should attract attention.
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Davido
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No Thanks! or Coloretto

Coloretto is colorful and engaging, and teachable in that window, but No Thanks is even easier. Both card games don't require much if any setup and a full game is playable in that window of time.

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Scott Nicholson
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I've done a few similar segments on local TV.

I've got them online here -

http://scottnicholson.com/games/hourcny.html

Watching them will give you a good idea of what works and doesn't work in the short time.


My advice -

Dexterity games are the best to have the hosts play. I've tried other things - Wits and Wagers, for example - and they didn't work as well. Something you can explain in a sentence and is clear will be best.

Many of the suggestions here are just too complex to come across on TV. Stay away from the traditional gateway games - they take too long.

On TV segments, the hosts really won't be listening too much to you, so something they can do VERY easily is important. Telestrations is too much, but you could show and talk about it. Word on the Street would work better.

Jungle Speed might work - Set it up so you get a match on card 3 or 4, and another one on card 5 or 6.

4-5 minutes will go by VERY fast, as they will ask questions. Prep no more than 3 games.

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Brad Miller
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No Thanks!

Can teach it in about 15 seconds, and play in about 4.
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Scott Nicholson
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Windopaene wrote:
No Thanks!

Can teach it in about 15 seconds, and play in about 4.


The problem with No Thanks is that it doesn't look very interesting to the outsider, and given the length of his segment, he will have about 30-45 seconds to play the game. It does take more about 10 minutes to play a game of it, especially with hosts who are not gamers and don't really know what's going on. The viewers are also not gamers, and No Thanks will look like a bunch of numbered cards... and not very interesting.

For someone new to the game, it doesn't click until they've gotten into it - it takes about half of a game for someone to get it.

What you want to avoid is something where you just tell each host what to do. That won't come across well. Something where someone can take one "action", have fun with it, and make it make sense works well. Villa Palletti, for example, is a good one for this.

Think something that screams FUN, and will do so across the TV to people who don't play games.
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Steve Duff
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Scott's advice of teaching the dexterity game is excellent.

I'd mention Settlers, Carcassone, or Ticket to Ride in your talk, so that the folks you do hook have something that they'll be able to find easily.
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Mitch Willis
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Perhaps Tsuro...simple rules, visually appealing, and minimal downtime. Another I'm thinking might work (for the same reasons) is Diamant/Diamant...
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Peter B
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With only 4 minutes? I'd say Apples to Apples. Interactive, quick, and creates lots of funny repartee.
 
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Freelance Police
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snicholson wrote:
Dexterity games are the best to have the hosts play.


Whenever I introduce new games to non-gamers, it's always Rattlesnake. Mention that it's officially a children's game, but it works great as an adult party game.

I think Ingenious works b/c it's a tile game (Dominoes) with a rack (Scrabble) and you lay down tiles on a grid (Scrabble). Mention that the *least* points in a color wins -- that gets the viewer's minds grinding. Unfortuately, without that bit of info, you'll lose the viewer.

Which brings me to another point. Games demand attention and you *never* get that on teevee. That's why dexterity games work. You can see a dexterity game at *any* point, and immediately know how the rules work. You may be talking about games, but you're really providing *passive entertainment*. That's what sports on teevee are. They're not games people can play, they're games people *watch* and you need to show games like that.
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The Galaxy is Just Packed!
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Your initial choice of Ticket to Ride is spot on.

Easy theme to grasp.
Easy game concept to convey.
Easy to understand board.

If you have 3-4 minutes and you can't directly interact with your audience, then you need to make sure the game does most its talking for you.

You won't have time to teach or play any game, and frankly that would be boring to watch. You just need to convey the concept and create the appeal. Remember, your audience is people who will watch that show. Probably moms.

I've done a similar segment on TV - that 3-4 minutes will FLY by.

Ticket to Ride is a slam dunk.
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Mike Adams
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Shogun. You know you want to.

Which show is it? I'd like to check it out. Good luck.
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nick s
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Scott speaks wisdom. In my field, we have to communicate with people that have VERY short attention spans, and the rule of thumb is "if you can't explain it in one sentence, keep working til you can". 3-4 minutes doesn't sound so much like "let's teach you a game and play a round" as much as an opportunity to give a blurb about 3-4 things and show them the pretty bling. Personally I would try to come up with some nice one-sentence explanations about whhere the fun comes from that make someone say "I want to do that!" about a handful of nice looking games.

If you decide to go ahead and attempt "playing", what is your plan when the host spends 1 of your precious 5 minutes commenting on the amount of pieces in the box or some other trivial thing? Need to be flexible.
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Luke Morris
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Pitchcar.
I can teach it to Japanese kids who can hardly speak English in about 2 minutes.
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Kevin Garnica
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The post above me says Pitch Car and I agree. Or something like Tumbling Dice would be good, or even Dixit. I think what it comes down to is whether or not the host(s) is going to actually play a quick turn or two. If not, then you can certainly *TALK* about games quickly like, for example, Finca, or something of that caliber.
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Kevin Shillinglaw
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+1 for Tsuro.
 
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Ægir Æxx
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Stone Age has worked best for me + it's actually a fun game!
 
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Karl Bunyan
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Is it a late night show? Busen Memo
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Alex P
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Dixit - definitely. The gist of the game is simple "describe a card so that someone - but not everyone - chooses your card" and, as a bonus, the cards are telegenic.

I would, also suggest a cooperative game just so that people's minds are opened to what is possible. Most people think "game" and they think "winner", "loser" and (often) "hurt feelings". But if you just tease a game like, say, Pandemic and just describe it as a game "where all the players work together, versus the game itself (!), to stop global catastrophe".
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Morgan Dontanville
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No Thanks!
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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kingofthegrill wrote:
So it looks like I'll be on a local tv show Tuesday here in Utah. I have a 4-5 minute segment and about half of that time to bring and briefly teach the hosts a game.

So which game to bring and teach? Suggestions?


I suggest James Ernt's "Fight!" (Also known as "Pennywise") It's a simple subtraction game using coins that takes about 3-4 minutes to play. Maybe instead of coins, you could use loud poker chips or toy coins so the action is easier to catch and show on camera.

I like your idea of dexterity games and think Pitch Car would be a great choice. I'd think you'd have to set up short track, though.
 
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Ryan Bruns
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Great responses. Sorry for the delay in messaging. Went to the parent's for Christmas and couldn't get the Wi-Fi working.

I like the dexterity angle, Pitch Car and Tumblin Dice sound like great options for this. I also like the idea of just giving blurbs about games too. They did ask to bring a bunch of games down and bring one that I could teach the hosts during that time period.

Dixit would be a great option as it's approaching New Year's and that typically fits the party game theme.

I appreciate Scott's input. That makes sense that the hosts are really tunning in and it helps not to have a game that needs plenty of hand holding through the rules. I guess Chaos in the Old World is out.
 
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Ryan Bruns
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Mike A wrote:
Shogun. You know you want to.

Which show is it? I'd like to check it out. Good luck.


Thank Mike - Shogun might work. Maybe Space Hulk!

It's on Channel 2 - The show is called Fresh Living. We're taping at 10:30 and it airs at 1 or 1:30 I think.
 
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Seth Brown
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I agree dexterity or real-time games are definitely the most awesome to watch on TV, so Jungle Speed makes sense.

Coloretto is good for a more demure card game.

I always like Oregon as a simple but good-looking game.

And you might want something with cool-looking chrome, like Shear Panic or Cleopatra & Society of Architects.
 
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Sicaria Occaeco
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What show and when? I want to call in and give you what for.
 
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