Sam
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I've seen some WBC reports raving about the colour-coded open gaming kiosks, e.g.:
remus wrote:
Open gaming was much more "user friendly" than two years previous. They had color-coded kiosks you could put on tables. Basically set up a game and a kiosk and let people join you. Green kiosks meant you were looking for players who could either teach you the game, or learn to play the game with you. Yellow kiosks meant you are experienced in the game on the table and you are willing to teach it to others. Inexperienced and experienced welcome. Red kiosks meant you are looking for experienced players only. We had great success with this method. If you have patience (you might be sitting around a bit while waiting for players to join you), this method works great. Also, YOU pick the game! It's a perfect situation, really. You could set up Sid Meier's Civilization or 7 Wonders or Merchants and Maurauders or whatever and put the Kiosk out and let people come to you.

It sounds like a great idea, so some of us would like to have something similar at Cancon in January.

Reasonably, the organisers want more information before they'll commit, and the above quote is the most detail I have been able to find. Can anyone provide more information that would help someone organise something like this? Like, did you only have a few kiosks, and people returned them once they had enough players? Did they ever run out? Was there any negative feedback? Were there just signs up to explain things or were volunteers constantly having to give instructions?

I'm not even sure exactly what is meant by "kiosk" -- are there any photos?

If you think it's not worth pursuing at a smaller convention, of course that is the most valuable feedback of all. Is 100 gamers enough? 50?

Thanks!
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Brook Gentlestream
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After my last gaming convention, I realized that my friends and I should bring signs next time such as "Looking for 2 more players" or "Next game starting in 1 hour", etc.

This sounds like a more codified version of the same idea. Signs to put on the table are great. In addition to conveying information it makes people feel a little less like they are interrupting something.
 
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Rich Shipley
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My son and I used one of the signs at WBC to find and teach a person to play RoboRally.
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Richard Irving
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"Kiosks" are triangular signs used at the WBC to indicate the location of various tournament events in a large room or outside a small one during play and for posting information (such as rules, which players advanced, etc.) about the tournament between rounds.

Last year, they made some additional ones for the open gaming area so the people could easily find tables that needed additional players or some help in the rules. They were kept in the library and were supposed to be returned once the game started.

BGG.con uses a similar idea with "Player Wanted" and "Teacher Wanted" signs.
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Sam
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rri1 wrote:
"Kiosks" are triangular signs used at the WBC to indicate the location of various tournament events in a large room or outside a small one during play and for posting information (such as rules, which players advanced, etc.) about the tournament between rounds.

Ahhh, these things?
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Andy Latto
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I think there were something like 2 each of red, yellow, and green kiosks. The meaning of the color coding was also written on the kiosk: "Looking for experienced players" on the red, "learn this game with us or teach us on the green", or something like that.

My experience was that it worked great, but people weren't good about returning the kiosks once they started to play. But this wasn't much of a problem. If I went to a kiosk interested in playing, and they had already started, I would return the kiosk for them. If I wanted a kiosk, and there wasn't one available, I'd go to one seemingly in use, and if the game had already started (so that they had no more use for it), take it away and use it.
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andylatto wrote:
I think there were something like 2 each of red, yellow, and green kiosks. The meaning of the color coding was also written on the kiosk: "Looking for experienced players" on the red, "learn this game with us or teach us on the green", or something like that.

My experience was that it worked great, but people weren't good about returning the kiosks once they started to play. But this wasn't much of a problem. If I went to a kiosk interested in playing, and they had already started, I would return the kiosk for them. If I wanted a kiosk, and there wasn't one available, I'd go to one seemingly in use, and if the game had already started (so that they had no more use for it), take it away and use it.


It worked well for me. I was alone at the convention for parts of it and was able to join some people to play a few games. I was also able to get a few games going that way without knowing anyone. It was kind of an icebreaker if you didn't know anyone there.

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Randy Cox
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I would think the greatest risk is poor utilization of table space.

If people set up The Longest Day and Die Macher and the like with kiosks stating that they're looking for players and to be taught, the table space could be wasted for a long time.
 
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Andy Latto
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Randy Cox wrote:
I would think the greatest risk is poor utilization of table space.

If people set up The Longest Day and Die Macher and the like with kiosks stating that they're looking for players and to be taught, the table space could be wasted for a long time.

This wasn't a problem in practice, and I don't think it's likely to be. People know that if they tried this, they would likely be waiting for hours, and they don't want to wait around for hours, so they don't do this.

For games like the ones you mention, where it will take awhile to recruit sufficient interested parties, other techniques than kiosks work better; there is a message board, where people can put up notes like "interested in playing Die Macher at 3PM Tuesday? Call ". But for games where it's likely that there are sufficient people around to get a pickup game started quickly, the kiosks are great for helping those people find each other.
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Sam
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andylatto wrote:
For games like the ones you mention, where it will take awhile to recruit sufficient interested parties, other techniques than kiosks work better; there is a message board, where people can put up notes like "interested in playing Die Macher at 3PM Tuesday? Call "

Thanks Andy, that's a great suggestion. There's a copy of Twilight Imperium III in the proposed list for the games library that I did think was unlikely to see many pick-up games...
 
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