Bringing Board Games News, Reviews, and Goodness to the Interwebs.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Q&A: Finding Your Group of Gamers

 Disclaimer:  Your gaggle of gamers may or may not resemble this group...

Thursday brings us back around to our weekly Q&A session.  I'm still trying to come up with a clever name for this little segment, but my creative brain has used up all its smarts in other areas.  

Ruth wrote:
what's the best way for a young woman in her 20s to find other people to game with in a big city?

Finding gamers can be daunting.  From my own personal experience, about half the people I have gamed with (including RPGs) turn out to be totally awesome human beings who I enjoy spending time with.  The other half, well lets just say they turn out to be the 'wrong kind' of nerd.

First, as a young woman, I would definitely take a friend with you to any new group you're attending.  You don't want to show up with Ticket to Ride under your arm only to find the filming of Eyes Wide Shut.

So, here are some of the best ways to meet gamers:

1.  Through Friends.  Like in business, it's best to network.  You'll be surprised how many people your close friends know that they don't regularly talk about with you.  I'd try this method first because this is the one most likely to find success.  Plus, you at least know one person in common who can vouch that the potential gaming group isn't the 'wrong kind' of nerd.  You can expand your friend network through other individuals you meet in church, through sports teams, or the like.  I've always been able to find one or two that share my interest. 

2.  Local Hobby Shop.  Every town has a local hobby shop somewhere in the surrounding environs.  And quite a few of them will host games.  Usually there will be one or two nights per week of one collectible card game or another (big profit centers for the shops - gotta catch 'em all!).  And, there will often be a night where they play some board games (also with the hope that you buy it and play with your friends).  You can meet people here who share your interest and get to know them in the setting for which you intend to befriend them.  The only downside here is that there are, inevitably, one or two who take their game too seriously or make it their purpose to explain why you're a newb.  That can be a real bummer while playing.  But, avoid them as best you can, put up with it for a few weeks, and then you can make some friends with the cool geeks.

3.   Local Events.  Little board game conventions pop up more often than you'd think.  They can be a great way to meet like-minded folk.

4.  BoardGameGeek.  Then, there's the online dating of the gaming world.  There are a number of online meet-ups, chats, etc., keyed to finding a gaming group.  One of the better ones is at BoardGameGeek here.  A large number of Board Game Geekers frequent that site and include information in their profile about their location.  You can then search by your zip code and preferred radius and find a number of nearby gamers.  Most of them will be attached to a group of some kind.  As with all internet meetups, be sure to feel them out through e-mail first.  They also have a forum dedicated to people starting or finding gaming groups in their particular locality here

Hopefully, that gets you started off on the right foot.  And, if they are playing Settlers of Catan, you're in the right spot.  If they tell you how awesome Killer Bunnies is, you're either among the insane, or have stepped into a parallel dimension.  Either way, best of luck with that.

(Questions for next week can be sent to me over twitter, via e-mail, or left as comments to this post)
blog comments powered by Disqus