Friday, September 3, 2010

Guest post: Dealing with the stigma...

Apparently my buddy Rami takes this blog much more seriously than me.  Here's another well-thought-out contribution: 

Rami here again. So this has been puzzling me for a long time: I unfortunately do not have the privilege of having a large group of personal friends who enjoy boardgaming. While trying to convert some, I noticed that there is often a huge stigma associated with boardgames. Either people think they are childish, are too difficult, or can in no way be fun. I try to get past this. Show them small little games at first, where skill could come a little later, and make them really simplistic and fun. With some this has worked, but others refused even this treatment.

When I ask people why they don’t want to play, I often get bland and uninformative answers. They rarely have a reason, or if they do have one, they rarely want to tell it to me. The weirdest thing is they will refuse a game and then go sit around and do nothing (it’s not that we alienate them, there’s a bunch of people not playing games around) – so it seems like they’d rather do nothing than try a boardgame. This just boggles my mind! How horribly do you have to see this game so that doing nothing at all looks good in comparison?

So I have this one friend that always refused to play any game. At one point I somehow managed to convince him to play one game of Coloretto – and he loved it! However, when a few days later I recommended another game, the stigma still stuck. He is now willing to play Coloretto if I bring out the game, but anything else gets an automatic 'No' without any consideration. So even though I showed him that these games are simple and fun, the stigma still persists.

What is it about games or maybe about us as players that make these games so… repulsive to other people? Why do these fears continue to exist even as boardgames are becoming more of a mainstream activity? How the hell do I get more of my friends to embrace boardgames?!?!

Rami is an occasional writer for DeathofMonopoly. If his commentary dazes, confuses, excites, intrigues, or congests you, then feel free to tell him about it by emailing him at rfinkelshtein@gmail.com

4 comments:

  1. I'm trying to convince Rami to post some pics and give a report of his visit to Gen Con 2010. Cross fingers...

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  2. I always have difficulties converting friends to gamers. Some are not interested at all, some are not interested for long enough and just don't see themselves playing boardgames on a regular basis. So what I do now is (1) I go out to get to know other boardgamers in the city where I live, and (2) I don't spend much more effort trying to convince friends who are not interested. I move on and try other friends or other new friends to see whether they may be interested.

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  3. lol he should start a blog!
    Dude I hear you, even worse than the people who poo poo on playing games are the ones who flat out look down on us for playing them like we have some sort of social leprosy.

    Games are fun and most people if they give them half a chance really enjoy a game or two. Even though many people don't get crazy into it, they still have fun.

    I agree with the commenter, about not bothering anymore. I try to convince people to give it a go, and if they won't then forget them. Let them be bored in the corner while we play, they usually want to join in eventually.

    My advice is to just move on, when people are being childish about it.

    It's really too bad though, since gaming is such a fun and healthy pass-time :). Speaking of which I wonder if anyone wants to play.

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  4. Re: Eric
    I dunno so much gencon stuff already hit the web I might be far too late for this :P

    Re: Magdalicious00
    I should start a blog but then I will never update it myself :P...this lets me post on a blog hassle free. And believe me you will be seeing more of me around here (just returned for a vacation)

    Re: hiew chok sien
    See I agree with you I just managed to cycle through all my friends...it has gotten to the point that I rarely play with friends and more of a "game group" while Eric and the other people at Monday night gaming are stand up gents and galls I haven't really made the connection with them to be friends (and maybe thats my fault) if that makes any sense.

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