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How do you share your game opinions with newbies?
The thing is, they are very excited about games and, hence, ask me a lot of questions. A very large number of questions. And most of them are about my opinion on certain games or topics. What are my favourite games? Is Wingspan amazing? Isn't Ticket to Ride one of the best games ever made? What do you think of Awkard Guests? What about Dune, the new one, is it a great game?
It's not that I don't want to help them out. I just don't want to lay one controversial opinion after the other. And I don't want to lie to them and tell them Wingspan is amazing or that Awkard Guests isn't broken. They also have no frames of reference so talking about the "real" Dune or Cosmic Encounter or even Magic goes over their heads.
And I just wonder: What do you do in these situations? How do you balance not lying about your opinions, even through omission, with actually answering to the questions others have? I want to know what you think and how you deal with this. We have a lot of critics on this board, someone must have also been in the awkard position of not being able to hide you are very opinated. What do you do?
When it comes to games I don't like but totally understand why people like them, I tend to agree there are some really fun things about X and say it isn't my taste but it sounds like they're having fun---Wingspan would be a good example here. I would play a game like that with them no problem.
I say nothing at all about real fucking trash like exploding kittens or whatever and I'd only let go both barrels if someone really pressed me specifically on it.
As I've gotten older I've really consciously tried to get away from being the "no"-man persona. It's just a shitty way to live.
No, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. Like garysax says, it's all good. This is a nice hobby, and it's fun and engaging, and I try to keep it that way. The only game I actively badmouth is CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY. That game is funny once, and only if you're drunk and/or an asshole. I hate that shit.
As you get to know the newbie, you should be able to start to discern what to recommend/ steer them towards/politely suggest.
Different people like different things in games, and the best thing you can do is guide them to a variety so they can find what they like. Right now they’re assuming they’ll like what you like, which could be a wrong path for them.
Basically I emphasize how, just like movies or music there's a huge variety of stuff here and people have different tastes among the different genres.
A lot of people new to a hobby want to swallow the whole elephant right away and don't yet see how large and varied it is. It's tough for me to tell people I read comics because I'm personally not interested at all in superhero stuff and for most folks that *is* comics. For some reason it comes off as snobby when it's just a subgroup of the medium that I'm not into. Lots of people enjoy reading fiction without being interested in westerns or crime or whatever.
If I can go off a bit, this is *sorr* of related to the weird attitude among nerds that to be interested in one bit is to be interested in all of it, that because I watch Doctor Who or love Fallout then *naturally* I saw the latest Marvel movie or have a working knowledge of Cowboy Bebop and am still mad about Firefly being cancelled. This is part of why I'm hesitant to identify as a nerd anymore.
But mostly it's just excitement at finding this new area and having no road map with which to navigate so they're just sticking to the main thoroughfares and popular destinations. We've all been there, and in time they'll have enough info to follow their own gut.
Keep in mind I ran a store for awhile so the selling angle was part of it. I often felt like my personal preferences were kind of inconsequential when trying to help guide newbies. So I’d try to direct them to do some more self-analysis.
In the context of a club, I generally just bring games I enjoy and know I can get a couple other regulars into. And try to be excited and knowledgeable during teaching and explanation, although that probably goes without saying.
So my answer is to deflect and avoid reducing their enthusiasm for things.
Party games are my go to, or a very light and thematic game. That way I can find out if they really just want a socialization facilitator or can focus for a real game. For casuals raised on roll and moves or card games a lot of board game concepts can overwhelm.
Whatever game I play, I tend to go easy and while I don't just let them win, I offer more advise on decisions, or at least explain why I'M doing what i'm doing so they can see the strategies without me just telling them what to do. When that "ah hah!" light bulb goes off it is a wonderful thing.
Shellhead wrote: In all seriousness, I ask about what kind of games they've enjoyed and then suggest other games that share certain similarities. But I definitely try to encourage people to at least try ameritrash games. BGG has brainwashed a generation of gamers to seek low-interaction economic simulations with historical settings and brown components, so they can all sit and quietly run numbers in their heads and pretend that they are having fun. I have no doubt that there are some people who would truly enjoy such games, but am willing to bet that plenty of others would be happier with other types of games if they tried them.
It’s a heartwarming tale about the possibility of change: BGG is no longer a place that encourages soulless brown-paletted point optimization, but is now a community of people reveling in ridiculous overconsumption, funded by interest-free loans to sketchy businessmen.