Yesterday I had to opportunity to play games with two people whom I had been in contact with through Instagram, and meet in person for the first time. What followed was about nine hours of fun and I was able to play four games I had never played before. It has been a while since I have had the opportunity to play with new gamers, but I think it is an important part of the hobby. I figured I would share my top five reasons that I highly suggest playing with new players:
- You have the opportunity to connect with someone that is interested in the same hobby as you. People who enjoy board games can connect and share things about games. I always enjoy hearing people share stories about gaming, and being able to introduce other people who I think may get along. Those connections are a huge part of the reason I enjoy the board gaming community.
- Learn new games. When you play with someone you haven’t met before, they will likely bring games you have never played. This gives you an opportunity to try something new and see if you like it before buying a game.
- Challenge yourself. Often times we get into a routine with people who we normally play with. We know how they play certain games, and know the strategies to use against them. When playing against someone we do not know, we have to be more focused on how we play, and how they play. It helps me to learn new strategies, and learn games better.
- Get better at teaching games. Other players won’t be the only one teaching games. When you go to a game night, chances are you may end up teaching one of your games to someone you don’t know. It really helps you develop a sense of what works when teaching games and what does not. It also feels nice to be the expert on a game, and share something that you love with another person. It is a great feeling at the end of the game if the person loved it too.
- Find people who enjoy similar kinds of games as you do. Each person is a unique gamer, and often times it can be difficult to find gamers who enjoy the same kinds of games as we do. When taking the time to play with different people, you also have the opportunity to forge connections with people who have different interests in mechanics or aesthetics. Chances are if you play with enough people, you will find someone with very similar tastes to you, that you enjoy playing with. This connection can help you get games to the table that you may otherwise not be able to play with your normal group of players.
Not sure of how to connect with other gamers? I highly suggest taking a look at the website Meetup to see if there are any local groups that you could attend. Beyond Meetup, you could ask your local store or library if they run anything, attend conventions (I suggest small conventions if you are looking to play consistently with these people afterwards) or reach out on one of the many social media groups that span the world. There is a good chance you can find someone nearby to try to play with.