So you just bought Dominion, Agricola, and Pandemic after reading my reviews. They arrived in the mail, you unboxed them, and gave a shout of glee when you saw the beautiful components. Then a harsh, cruel, reality hit you: you have no one to play board games with!
Maybe you even have lots and lots of friends. It's just that they're into more "typical" adult activities, such as getting drunk or divorced. You're not alone.
In fact, I'd estimate that a great deal of people hesitate to get into board games or buy games that look good to them simply because they have no one to play with. Perfectly understandable.
But I think that's a shame, because if those who want to play board games but have no one to play with just had a way to "connect", then everyone would be happy!
I can't give one piece of advice that will work for everyone's location, but I do have a few tips for finding or organizing other board gamers to play with.
1) Your Local Game Store
Many cities have their own independent local game stores. I'm not talking about your mainstream retailers, but rather unique small businesses that are in constant dire need of customers.
In order to attract more potential gamers to their store and to grow the community, many of these stores host "game nights" where games can meet. Unfortunately, they aren't always the best at advertising these events. Chances are you could be missing out on a weekly game night going on in your own city or town where you could meet new players, try new games, and have a blast.
If you already know of a local game store, try calling and asking them if they have any sort of game night. If you don't know if you have a local game store or not, try using the internet or the phone book to find out.
In my experience, many of these stores do in fact have some sort of regular events where people can get together and play games, often for free. If not, it's possible that they would let you organize and host one at their store, or consider starting one themselves, if you asked.
A useful website that has gained popularity on the internet in the past few years is Meetup.com. This website helps to organize people of various interests and backgrounds into a sort of social networking group. From there, they can host events at any location and easily communiate said events to the other members of the group.
Try using the website to search for a board game group in your area. If you live in a larger city, there probably alraedy is one.
If your search ends up fruitless, and you have the motivation or desire, consider starting a group yourself.
3) Use "Gateway Games" to Convert Your Regular Friends into Gamers!
Here's the last trick up my sleeve. If all else fails, convert your "regular" friends and families into gamers using a few powerfully seductive games!
A "Gateway Game" is a game that bridges the gap between a hobbyist board gamer and a person who plays no board games at all. These are NOT traditional board games that are boring for adults, or social/party games that are designed for the mainstream.
Instead, they are games that are designed for and played by serious gamers, but are also casual and easy enough to learn that they do not intimidate normal people.
They are extremely fun games that are simple at a basic level, but also have incredible depth in their tactics. Most importantly, they are fun to play, and will whet anyones appetite for more like games after they're done.
Want my suggestions on some "gateway games" to start with? Check out my "Essentials Board Games" list by clicking the sticky not below, and I'll give you my recommendations.
Hope you enjoyed the read, and found it helpful. Take care!
P.S. If you're looking for my "essential boards games list" of Gateway Games to get your existing friends into gaming, you've scrolled down too far! Click the yellow post-it note above :)