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Subject: Are Gamer's made or discovered? rss

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Carl Garber
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I originally had written a big long post but I deleted it for the sake of hearing other peoples opinions on the matter instead of hearing people simply respond to my own.

So here is the question put simply:

Can you pull someone from disinterest to interest when it comes to boardgames(by finding the "right" gateway game experience for them) or can you simply discover boardgamers at heart who instantly are drawn to the boardgaming world once exposed to it?

Happy Gaming!
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patrick murphy
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maybe they are one in the same
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Jay Sachs
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What does "interest" imply? That they respond positively to suggestions to game, that they proactively suggest gaming, that they actually purchase (or at least suggest the purchase of) a game?
 
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Carl Garber
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That they respond positively to suggestions to game (although if this is true they probably will at some point proactively suggest to game as well).

But positively doesn't mean neutral(ie. I guess I'd be willing to play a game of ____).
 
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It's like getting pandas to mate; all the conditions have to be just right. The individual has to have an open mind, a degree of patience, an open niche in their lifestyle, etc etc.

If someone had tried to "convert" me when I was younger, they would have been wasting their time, but later on in my life, the planets had aligned just right, and I was easy prey.

For many (probably most) people, the conditions will never be just right for their inner gamer to be activated. Or the window of opportunity will come and go, maybe to be filled by some other interest or hobby.
 
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Chris Ferejohn
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Quote:
Re: Are Gamer's made or discovered?


Are gamer's *what* made or discovered?

#apostropheSnaps
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Gary Selkirk
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I think the answer is both - made and discovered.
Most gamers, it seems, comes from the fact that they played games as children. An enormous number started out with checkers, chess and card games, among a myriad of other games. A lot of gamers stayed with say, chess and didn't go any further, but became very good at it. Others will play any game, while others got into historical, fantasy and any game going. These are your 'true gamers'. For myself, I play only historical wargames. My interest was sparked in 1967 and I never looked back.
A discovered gamer is someone like yourself or anybody else who likes playing games, who simply happens across other gamers. Some of these you develop a bond with. Several people get together for games' night or sometimes it's just 2 or 3 gamers that get together regularly to play their favourites. However, interested partys are always welcomed. They might become a regular or never show up again. That's how gaming clubs are formed.
Nice thread.
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Sharon Khan
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I don't think there's any point pulling someone in who's initially disinterested. Everyone has their own hobbies, and although some people might become lukewarm about gaming, and willing to try some aspects of it, if they're not interested in the first place at the idea of it, then they're unlikely to ever get hooked - the most you can expect is that they'll agree to play when socially it's right to do so, and although they might enjoy it at the time, there's no great desire to repeat the experience too often.

However there are many people out there who are boardgamers at heart, but never knew of the "adult boardgame" world, and when they get exposed to it, those people are usually very interested. In those cases there's an instant interest at the idea, and I find I get lots of questions about the types of games I play, and how it works as a hobby, even if sometimes it takes a while for them to actually jump in and try some games! People usually have a fairly good idea what their natural likes/dislikes are, and you're not going to change that!
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Board games addict
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I don't think you can turn just anyone into a gamer. There has to be a spark of inherent "gamer-ness" within in order for a true gamer to flourish and be born. Some people, sadly, just don't have the interest in games, and/or have attitudes such as - "Why waste my time" or "Games are for kids, that is kid stuff" or "I don't want to chance not looking cool by being a gamer, they have a poor social reputation".

A true gamer has a predilection already present towards gaming, like a musical prodigy.
{Note: my post has a bit of a tongue in cheek tone to it.}

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Matthew Lock
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In my experience they are discovered. I was completely unaware of board gaming. Someone showed me the site for Days of Wonder and I knew as soon as I saw it that it was for me. I didn't even play a game and I became a gamer.

I have played with dozens of people, many of who enjoyed the games, none of them became gamers.
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Alphonse Leathernuts
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I think they are discovered.

The first thing I thought of that I think would be very similar is golf. I never even considered playing golf for the first thirty some years of my life. Then I got talked in to a company golf tournament, much to my protest. I was instantly hooked, and shocked that I was naturally good at it.

The point I'm trying to get at is since I got hooked I've played a lot of golf, and tried to introduce many people to the game. The results were always the same. The person got a little taste and either they like it and wanted more, or they became frustrated and wanted to go home.

Board games are the same way. No matter how you approach an attempt at getting someone into gaming they are either going to be a gamer or not going to be a gamer.

 
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Patar Absurdus the Shananigator
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Perhaps it's a mix.

I had no interest in Board games before 2010. I would say yes to playing to be polite but didn't want to play again later. I kind of wanted to like them but none of them were engaging and all of them seemed so flawed or far too nerdy (MtG). I didn't know that there were good games and didn't want to keep having poor gaming experiences.

When my wife and I were invited to play Dominion I refused, she had to really push me into it. 2 years later and I am neck deep in this awesome hobby.

I don't think I was totally discovered or made. The Dominion player in me was discovered and it made me into a gamer in general. I had played Carcassonne before and thought it was meh. After playing a ton of Dominion and various other games I now enjoy Carcassonne fairly well. So for me there was a perfect gateway game that led me to the hobby.
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GeekInsight
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I think it can be either, but gamers are more often discovered than made.

In my own experience in meeting gamers, the majority were gamers from an early age. Often in RPGs, sometimes in video games, but there was a gamer core. Then, a gateway game drew them into the designer games and Bam! gamer discovered.

I think people who are non-gamers don't generally get made into gamers. I've introduced a number of games to my family, and some have gone over well. In fact, my folks recently asked for games for Christmas (Puerto Rico and Sentinels of the Multiverse to be specific). But they still aren't "gamers." In fact, they generally play games only when I'm in town or once in a blue moon at a specific game-centric event.

I think most people can be convinced that there is such a thing as a fun board game. But I think most "gamers" - people who geekily explore the hobby - are discovered.
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David Boeren
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Gamers are only unmade.

We all start life with curiosity, the desire to play and try things, all the traits of a gamer, but then many of us lose it. Their minds close, their gamer spark goes out, they start to view intellectual experimenting fun as a horrible punishment (whether because it is scary, kid-stuff, or whatever), and they become non-gamers.
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