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Subject: Gaming as volunteer work rss

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Andreas
Germany
Nagold
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Dear fellow geeks,

I live in a small city in southern Germany. I found myself with some time on my hands, a love for board games and a growing games collection that did not see any reasonable amount of play due to lack of a gaming group. So I decided to look out for a suitable target group. I first called a homeless shelter. This was operated by the city and the folks running it seemed a bit less than enthusiastic. Anyways obviously volunteers in homeless shelters are supposed to perform magic (David Copperfield style) only or read books. Gaming seems to be too much of an effort. After I moved for a new work my gaming collection grew even faster than before and I called a home for handicapped people. Mentally handicapped that is. And Yes they were interested and I found this a very worthy group for gaming. They have their challenges and need suitable games and frequent coaching, but are downright enthusiastic when the right game comes along. After all being mentally disabled does not prevent those ladies and gentlemen from learning things or just plain having a fun evening.
I suggest You read the geeklist I made about games that are appropriate and work well: http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/102803/gaming-with-handica...?

Has anyone else experience in volunteer gaming with homeless, handicapped, elderly or special needs people? Anyone else has ideas where the gaming community can make a difference and give back a little bit of what was given to us?
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David
Switzerland
Buchs
St. Gallen
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I organize regular gaming nights and I need it very much... Does that count?

That's a very nice thing you're doing for them! I'm sure they appreciate the break from their usual routine. The closest thing for is when we went to visit my Grandmother in the retirement home and often brought playing cards or Snakes and Ladders with us.
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Andreas
Germany
Nagold
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Organizing gaming nights is a very good thing too to spread the joy of boardgaming. And I think an elder peoples home would be great to have a boardgame group, maybe a hospital too.
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Jules
Belgium
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Hot damm! Good on your for doing so, I've always wanted do the same, in a retirement home or a hospital but I'm lazy and I don't want to play hungry hungry hippo's or Parcheesi :/
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Andreas
Germany
Nagold
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I am lazy too. Who isnt. Well pacheesi is one of those games that works well... but there are others. I made a habit of not playing myself. Its unfair: You the experienced gamer and there the inexperienced people. Even more unfair when You play with mentally challenged ladies and gentlemen. Its fun being the coach too isnt it? And You can try the game before, learn the rules, tell a bit about the games history and its designer.
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ani
Canada
Laval
Quebec
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I think what you are doing is wonderful! It's great that you have used something you love to do to bring joy to others. You're an inspiration.

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Eigen
United Kingdom
Sheffield
South Yorkshire
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This is a brilliant idea, I know that elderly people in homes will really appreciate having things to do, and people to talk to- and if you can get them to play games they they enjoy, but have some strategy, it may even be beneficial to their health!

Keep it up, and good luck finding more people to game with!
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