Not long ago, on The Dice Tower Podcast, there was a segment about how to interest non-gamers into playing board games and the final recommendation was not to overload new players with tons of requests to play games or you risk burning them out.
How about you just don’t be a gaming fanatic?
I’m sorry, the first couple of ideas were actually good. Try to interest them by showing them the themes of the games. Get people to play games that appeal to their other sensibilities. There are games available to appeal to virtually any interest. Great idea! Or try to get people to play by appealing to their interest in the game mechanics. Fine some kinds of games they like to play, then draw them in with similar mechanics in other games. Fantastic! But a warning not to take new players and constantly badger them with demands to do nothing but play game after game after game with you? That’s just shooting yourself in the foot!
And the idea that you should limit your requests to once a week, like that’s some massive challenge for gaming fanatics, is absurd. Look, I love to play games, really I do, but I don’t play games once a week. Sometimes I don’t play games once a month. I play games when the interest strikes me and there are other people around who want to play as well, but I have a lot of other hobbies and interests, I’m not a one-trick pony like a lot of people seem to be. There are far too many people who spend every spare second of every single day trying to engage in a single activity to the exclusion of all else. Sorry, there’s something seriously wrong with these people. These are not well-adjusted people with a wide array of interests, these are addicts. These people don’t need a game group, they need a support group. They need professional help.
The fact that anyone has to bring this up is even worse. It’s one thing to be an addict, quite another to not even be aware of your addiction. How people can be so totally blinded to their own problems is beyond me. Did they not notice that they have nothing but board games in their house? Did they not realize that they are eating cat food so they can feed their board game addiction?
I mean, I’ve talked about this many times before and I still don’t get it. Maybe I lack that addictive gene and if so, I can’t tell you how grateful I am and how much I pity those who are stuck with it. It’s nothing to be proud of.
I guess in the end, if you want to find people to play games with, maybe you should just make friends with people with whom you share common interests. Don’t have one single monolithic interest that consumes your life. You’re only asking for trouble. I had a friend, many, many years ago, who was like that with roleplaying games. He thought about them 24/7. He thought about them so much that he got thrown out of college because he failed all of his classes. He thought about them so much that he got fired from his job because he’d just stop working and go hang out at the game store all day long. This guy had problems. He isn’t to be envied, he’s to be pitied. So is anyone else whose sum total focus in life is moving bits around a board and rolling dice. Maybe if you have to forcibly stop yourself from accosting people on the streets to play games with you, maybe it isn’t them that has the problem. Maybe its you.