October 03, 2018
Finding people who share your board game passion can be challenging because most of your friends “just don't really play them”, or haven't had the right opportunity presented to get involved in playing board games. A great way to convert your friends from non-gamers to board game geeks, that will be calling you all the time to play, is to host a game night and show them just how much fun the world of board games can be.
Consider Inviting your friends over for a BBQ or a dinner party as the main focus and tell them you plan on playing a board game at some point in your evening. By making the board games an addition to the evening and not the main focus it will allow your guests to feel less pressure and ease them into the idea. (They won’t suspect your motives are to convert them into board game addicts)
It is important to gauge the group of friends you plan on inviting to the game night. Think about things like how focused you think they can actually be and what games would be good to play with them. Some games have many concepts and rules making for a rough time on your first game night. You don't want constant confusion and questions, so keep this in mind when choosing the board games to play. After all, you want everyone to have fun!
Choose games that are not going to take a really long time to play. There is no better way to turn board game virgins off of board games for life, than for their first experience to be a tedious three hour game. Especially since the first time playing a game always takes a lot longer. Some examples of classic board games with manageable play times are 7 Wonders, Dominion, Ticket to Ride, Catan.
Snacks are a must have when it comes to game nights. Being able to munch on some goodies during other peoples turns or while you're just chatting is a game changer, quite literally. Nothing ruins a game night more than wanting to leave the whole time because you're hungry.
Gateway games are exactly what they sound like. They are board games that people consider to be good starter games, before jumping into the more complex games that hardcore gamers love. Gateway games are an especially good idea for a successful first game night. Choosing board games that are fairly easy to learn and fun to play but still have depth, is definitely the way to go. Some great gateway games are Sushi Go, Codenames, Pandemic, Catan.
To ensure your game night goes well choose games that don't involve people having to sit out when having to wait for a round or game to end and a new one to begin. Losing a game or round of a game is one thing, but having to wait forever to jump back into play is another. Nobody wants to be new to a game and get out really fast and have to sit there watching the other people finish the game.
This is the most important step of them all. To have a good time and make sure all your guests are as well, after all it’s game night! It’s okay to switch to a new game if your guests are showing a lack of interest or simply want to try a different game that seems more up their alley. That being said, try to at least play the chosen game for a little while before switching, who knows they might actually enjoy it once they are playing.
You don’t have to have an excuse, like dinner or a BBQ, to gather and play board games, they are reason enough to get together! But if you want it to be a great experience that leads to more game nights and eventually change your friends from non-gamers to board game enthusiasts (wishful thinking) take into consideration these 7 steps!
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