Board games have a lot of secrets. I am not talking about the hidden tiles on the board. I am not talking about the unknown cards in other players hands. I am not talking about the monsters yet to be revealed.
I am talking about the the benefits board games have to offer.
Gamers already know the benefits that games have to offer. What I want to do with this new series is present the benefits of gaming as reasons for more people to get into games. While I spend most of my time focusing on board games, I don’t think the ideas in this series apply strictly to board games.
I was inspired to start this series because I run into the same thing when I tell people I design and make board games. They ask me if I make games like Monopoly and Scrabble. Sometimes I will get a person who will ask if I make games like Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity. Regardless of where the conversation goes from there, I have concluded that people who are not in the hobby have a frame of reference where games are just what they played as a kid or offer little more than a few laughs reading off funny combinations of cards. Most of the people I tell that I make game express an excitement at the idea of knowing someone who designs games, but the next problem comes when they see the games I design. People will make reference to their assumed complexity of the game or will make reference to not understanding the mechanics involved. There is a built in barrier to the games we make and love and this is what I want to change with this series.
But, I want to take a different angle.
Rather than try and explain the themes and mechanics of the games we love; I want to talk about the benefits board games have to offer.
I think the major block for getting new people into the games hobby is the lack of reference people have for modern game mechanics and themes. I think the task of learning rules while looking at a board full of pieces in a game where the theme is about farming can be too much for people to want to learn, especially when the alternative is look at a hand of funny cards and pick one.
In order to break through this wall, I want to tell people about the benefits of games. I want to tell people about the educational benefits of games, the social benefits of games and the medical benefits of games…no joke…medical benefits. I want to give people a different frame of reference in order to make games more approachable.
I want to give my gamer friends (that’s you!) something they can share with their non-gamer friends that will give them a reason to sit down to play a board game. If we can use an alternate reasons to get people to the table to play games with us, the barrier is low. People will be more receptive to the fun and interest that modern games have to offer. If we can expand people gaming horizons a little bit at a time over the course of a lifetime, the benefit to them and to the hobby will grow exponentially.
I hope you are able to share this with your friends and use this series as a starting point to get more people to get into the hobby we know and love.
If you have any comments or questions, leave a comment here or email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org