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Subject: Is this a stupid idea? rss

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Marshall P.
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Wichita
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I’m always trying to think of new ways to improve my game group, to keep members engaged and coming back. To that end I had an idea while I was checking my frequent flyer miles for an airline. Why do airlines give you frequent flyer miles? Why does Subway give you little stickers when you buy a sandwich? To keep you coming back of course, to get you invested in using their company instead of their competitors.

So I thought why not do the same thing for my game group? I already keep track of who plays what games (but not who wins, we’re fairly non competitive. We do play to win but it’s not important when we don’t. I want to maintain that atmosphere because we are a very easy going and fast playing group.) So the idea is that every time somebody logs a multiple of 25 games played they get a “Game of the Week Token.” Such a token could then be cashed in for the right to select one game that will absolutely be played at the next game session.

Since I imagine that only one such token could be used per session players would have to “get in line” when they earned a token. The right to use a token would go to the first player in line. If you use a token you would then go to the back of the line (if you have more tokens). If we are regularly getting enough attendance and playing enough games maybe more than one token can be used per session.

That’s my idea but now I’m worried that it’s just too stupid or silly to use, that it’s nothing but chrome and the group won’t take to it. What do you think? Does your group do something similar? How would you receive this idea?

Here are the pros and cons as I see them:

Pro: Can help with the sometimes difficult task of selecting what games to play (although in truth my group doesn’t have much problem with this. We can pick a game in only a few seconds)

Pro: Can help making sure all the games played get logged (this would be a small help since I don’t play in every game sometimes I can miss some and not get them logged but it hasn’t been a big problem so far.)

Pro: Can help players get their favorite game on the table (this is an important reason. We play a wide variety of games and don’t replay all of them. It’s possible that somebody’s favorite game is being neglected and they haven’t spoken up about it.)

Con: It adds chrome and fiddliness but doesn’t add value (I hate it when games do this so why should I like when my game group does it)

Con: It could encourage people to play shorter and lighter games (not a big risk as we all like the medium weight euros)

Con: Semi-regulars could feel left out as they earn fewer tokens than regulars (but isn’t that the point? To reward regular participation?)

Thanks for your input.
 
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Philip Thomas
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Sounds great. Surely you are going to be collecting the most tokens though?
 
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Marshall P.
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Sounds great. Surely you are going to be collecting the most tokens though?


I'll be right up there for sure. In looking at my records since the group began I would have 2 tokens (and would be first in line) followed by two others with 2 tokens, one with 1 token, and three about ready to earn their first token.

If I do it I think I would award the postumous tokens to get the program seeded. So there would be 7 tokens out there when we start. That should last us awhile as I think we'll burn the tokens faster than we earn them. With a starting balance of 7 tokens in the group I have some time to see how it balances out before I have to start awarding more (or less).
 
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Jon
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Be prepared for someone to abuse the system.

You know, two guys who just sit down and play a very quick, light, two-player game, log that as a "game played", then repeat the cycle for the rest of the gaming session.

Next week, they return, and insist on playing Campaign for North Africa.
 
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Jon
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To keep members engaged, let them play the games they want to play; not have to earn the right by playing 25 other games first.

The sandwich card gives a person a free sandwich, not the right to choose which style of sandwich they buy after buying 25 of whatever Subway tells them.

I go to a game group where there is a great deal of choice, and if someone wants to play something, we play it. It's awesome, and I love it.

From the situation you outlined, it looks like the problem you're trying to solve is keeping people with mid-level interest returning to the games meetings. Ask them what games they like, and play them.

My opinion is that a 25-game program that is most rewarding to the obsessive gamer (you) and least rewarding to the casual person (your "target" in this discussion) is going to have the opposite effect of what you want.

Quick brainstorm of other possibilities:
* Do you have a ton of games? Have a "lottery" at each game session, and give one away to a lucky participant.
* Have a couple Theme Nights. Publicize. That would turn a game meeting into an event. Horror night, outer space night, elf night... "Are you going to mdp's Pirate Party?" "Heck yes, wouldn't miss that!"
* After playing 25 games, you buy the participant a sandwich.
* Have game meetings less frequently, so people will be more psyched up to attend them when they're available.
 
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(The Artist formerly known as) Arnest R
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1 more con:

I´d be worried about "having to" play a game I hate.


re: abuse :

no more than N games per session count.
 
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Marshall P.
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jwandke wrote:
To keep members engaged, let them play the games they want to play; not have to earn the right by playing 25 other games first.

From the situation you outlined, it looks like the problem you're trying to solve is keeping people with mid-level interest returning to the games meetings. Ask them what games they like, and play them.

My opinion is that a 25-game program that is most rewarding to the obsessive gamer (you) and least rewarding to the casual person (your "target" in this discussion) is going to have the opposite effect of what you want.


Those are some excellent points and are making me rethink the whole thing. Basically in the back of my mind I was thinking is this a solution to a problem that doesn't exist? We pretty much play whatever game is suggested anyway. So am I only considering it because I like playing with numbers? You've stated it very clearly.
 
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Marshall P.
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And I'll add that I really like your idea of the lottery. Maybe I can get my hands on a bunch of copies of a cheap game (like Coloretto which has been popular with the group, maybe the FLGS would give me a discount if I bought like 5 or 10 copies). And once a month (or however often) we can have a lottery where everyone in attendance has a chance of winning a game.
 
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Randy Cox
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The lottery sounds like a good idea, but I'd give each person a "ticket" for each game SESSION they attend, not for each game played. If not, you get the die Macher or Traders of Genoa guys complaining that others collected multiple tickets for playing Zirkus Flohcati and Wits & Wagers while they were laboring away to earn only one ticket (though a labor of love, no doubt). That way, you encourage attendance. Actually playing a few games is just gravy.
 
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Travis Cook
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I've only attended this once, but SoCal Games day does the lottery deal. They only have a meeting once every other month or thereabouts, so I think attendance tends to be higher as it is more of a "Don't Miss It" event. Anyway, at the door, you register and pay your $5 to play all day. They also have an honor bar with sodas and whatnot at a reasonable price. At the end of the evening, they have a lottery of a half dozen games or so. Some of them really cool. At 5pm they have a few words, do the drawings, then everybody goes back to their games. I think it's pretty cool to be able to win a new game. Admission price and honor bar probably more than offset the cost of giving those games away (probably pays for the gathering place as well). Anyway, it's a nice little touch that makes it enjoyable.

For a smaller group, perhaps you can do something similar. Maybe a small entry fee of a dollar or two or an honor bar to offset the cost of the prizes. For every 10-25 plays earned, you get an entry into the drawing held twice a year or so. (Christmas in July and Christmas drawings). It might be a bit of an incentive without that "Chucky Cheese" feel to it.

I also like the idea of theme nights. That would be a lot of fun. Maybe once a month so you don't overdo it.

Just a thought.
 
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Jonathan Kidsley
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AnakinOU wrote:
Be prepared for someone to abuse the system.

You know, two guys who just sit down and play a very quick, light, two-player game, log that as a "game played", then repeat the cycle for the rest of the gaming session.

Next week, they return, and insist on playing Campaign for North Africa.


lol
 
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Trenton
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In addition, to get more different games played place a dubloon on each unplayed game at the end of a session. The next player to select that game with their token also receives the dubloon.
 
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Sean Ahern
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Trenton wrote:
In addition, to get more different games played place a dubloon on each unplayed game at the end of a session. The next player to select that game with their token also receives the dubloon.


One of the gaming podcasts I listen to mentioned that their old university gaming group had a roll off to start their gaming session. They'd all roll 20 siders or something and whoever rolled the highest got the prize for the day. The person who rolled the lowest would get a new twenty sided for their trouble. Of course, they charged fees for the university club so they had a bit of a budget to buy some prizes. They used it to get people there on time.
 
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Marshall P.
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"Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky
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Trenton wrote:
In addition, to get more different games played place a dubloon on each unplayed game at the end of a session. The next player to select that game with their token also receives the dubloon.


LOL, the "Puerto Rico" solution laugh
 
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Stan Nerhaugen
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One other potential con, depending on tour group dynamic, could be that it would be harder to get new games played.
 
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SAKURA in KYOTO 2018 Back to Kansai
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Keep talking, keep talking! Stickyness bothers me too. It costs a lot to get in a new customer, it costs much less to keep existing customers. The loyalty cards you started with are one way businesses do it. More suggestions please!
 
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