Friday, June 29, 2012

Upcoming Show Topic: Finding Other Gamers

A tip of the hat to guild member, Art V. (pirateart on BGG) for this upcoming show topic.

So you've just discovered hobby board games and you are now hooked. Maybe you are lucky enough to play with your significant other, spouse or roommate or maybe now you want to expand social circle of hobby game players.

How do you go about finding those other players?

If you are a veteran gamer that now plays with a regular group, how did you go about finding other players?

Any suggestions, tips, or tricks for our next episode?

Update: The episode that partially resulted from this discussion is here: Finding a Game Group


  1. Most of my local fellow gamers are co-workers and friends who either already played or whom I recruited into gaming with a good gateway (probably Settlers). But I also got involved in another group I'd never have known about if not for having gone to a gaming convention (Congress of Gamers, in this case).

    Each convention badge included the wearer's home town, so it was easy to identify fellow gamers who were from the same neck of the woods as yourself. In the Agricola tournament, I was at the table with a woman from a town not far from where I live. I must have made a good impression, because after our game, she told me that she has a monthly Euro game group that convenes at her house and asked if I'd be interested in joining them. Just like that, I found a whole new venue for regular gaming.

  2. When I started gaming I subjected my friends to my new found love. Some of them enjoyed it, others hated it and just wouldn't say so. I had one close friend who got into the hobby as much as I did. Then I got married and he got married and we started having kids and we just don't see each other much anymore. That is when I start taking matters into my own hands.

    After draining my friend pool, we began going to a new church (not because of gaming), and I found a bunch of people that were willing to try out games. Through this we began inviting people over and had game nights at our house. We still do this about six times a year. We invite about 40 people over and usually 15 or so show up on a given night to play games. Some are new and some are old, so we get a good mix of people.

    Once we have these nights we are able to see who really enjoys games. Those who ask you what you are playing and what's new in the gaming world. Those are the folks that are hooked. We then try to have those people over for a smaller gathering of more "serious" gamers.

    Another great way is to invite 2-3 people over for dinner and then play games with them. This allows for a more intimate setting. People can enjoy each other and learn a new game that they may have never heard of before. It's a great way to spread the hobby and you get to play games.

    Finally, recently I have been going to our local group. They have a game night 3-4 times a week, which makes it easy to attend. I have met some cool people doing this. You can also attend your local conventions. These are usually smaller than Gen Con or Origins and you can get to know some people that live nearby and invite them to come over and play games with you.

    Hope that was helpful.


  3. I'd love to know this answer too. I live just across the river from you, and emailed your wife about a month ago asking about board gaming, but never got an answer. We would really like to find either a group in the Evansville/Henderson area, or some couples who would like to get together.

  4. I already contacted the op via Reddit, but for others reading, I'd love to get your feedback about a website I've been designing to try and help with this very issue.

    Gamer's Roll Call, lets you flag games you want to play as "beacons", or find others in the area who are looking to play games (via their beacons). Of course, it also has regular game session scheduling (public or private) and searching, gaming groups, lets you link your collection with BoardGameGeek, and a bunch of other stuff.

    I'd appreciate any opinions you have about it-- good or bad.

    Thanks all!

    -- Jason

  5. When I started my game group, I began with a location (my FLGS) and recruited a few people from there who were already playing other games. Then, I got onto BGG and looked for local gamers using their "Find Users" function. A few geekmails later, I had a game group that's been going strong for over 5 years now.

    I just checked out the Gamer's Roll Call site, which seems to be a really cool idea. It's still pretty buggy for me, and would only be valuable if it reached a critical mass of gamers, but especially the ability to schedule game sessions and set "beacons" for games you want to play are really cool.

  6. Thanks for checking out the site, Chris!

    For the others reading, (I've been emailing Chris already), and yes, it's still growing, but that critical mass won't get reached until those bugs are worked out. I'm rapidly working through the issues people are having (apparently there are lots on IE). Firefox and Chrome seem to work better in the meantime, but my goal is to get it working on as many browsers as possible.

    If anyone reading has the chance, I'd appreciate hearing what was buggy for you so that I can fix it and make sure others don't run in to the same problems. Also, I'm very open to suggestions for how it might be more useful to you as well.

    Either way, thank you very much!

    -- Jason

  7. I took probably the least efficient route, at least financially, to find gaming partners. We (re)opened our gaming shop! It's been a great way to meet new people, and have fun with games, but it's certainly not a cheap plan.