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Bugs: Recent Topics Paging, Uploading Images & Preview (11 Dec 2020)

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× Talk about whatever you like related to games that doesn't fit anywhere else.

How do you share your game opinions with newbies?

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28 Jan 2022 18:53 #330225 by Erik Twice
So there are a couple newbies at my club. They have been playing Catan and Ticket Ride and joined us so they could play even more. Since they don't know many people yet, I've welcomed them under my wing for the last couple of days. They are fun and I'm glad to be able to show them a little bit of the hobby.

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?
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28 Jan 2022 19:19 - 28 Jan 2022 19:22 #330226 by Gary Sax
I handle it the way you do. I tend to go along with their excitement about games they like that I also like and used to play more of but I may not play much anymore. I also play those games with them and have fun---my big thing is not pushing anyone into a more complex game because that's what I tend to play.

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.
Last edit: 28 Jan 2022 19:22 by Gary Sax.
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28 Jan 2022 20:00 #330230 by jeb
"WRONG AGAIN, IDIOT"

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.
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28 Jan 2022 20:19 #330231 by Msample
I think it’s OK to communicate negative game opinions IF you can be calm and objective about it and specify WHY you don’t like a game. Perhaps the newbie will realize your reason might resonate with them. It’s impossible to like everything anyways, no reason to pretend everything is great.

As you get to know the newbie, you should be able to start to discern what to recommend/ steer them towards/politely suggest.

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28 Jan 2022 20:20 #330232 by Jackwraith
I've long been of the opinion that there's no way to tell someone else how to have fun so, like Gary, I'll tend toward the positive about most things, even if it's ambivalent positive. "Ticket to Ride isn't really my thing, but I know a lot of people that LOVE it." I generally don't try to sell them on what I mostly like if I know that they're mostly into things like Catan. I have a broad enough collection that I can suggest things that are closer to that model and then, once I've gotten to know them more, can point out more things that I'm into. But I don't think I would ever come to new players and insist that X game is the best game out there or that they NEED to play Y game. It's usually better if they make those discoveries on their own.

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28 Jan 2022 21:20 #330234 by Virabhadra
They're referred to as "gateway games" because they're a common entry point into the much larger hobby as a whole. I'm very open about having developed pretty specific tastes since I got into the hobby with titles like Shadows Over Camelot and Ticket to Ride. And I do my best to explain that I don't really play those games so often anymore, not because they're "bad" but because I've found other games that work better for me. It's like when you discover music that isn't on the radio.
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28 Jan 2022 22:04 #330235 by ChristopherMD
All those blah family games we moved away from are in fact amazing games that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to people. We just went to the opposite end of the gaming spectrum from non-gamer and those games are in the middle. Our opinions probably aren't as useful to them as we think.
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28 Jan 2022 22:37 #330238 by Shellhead
I use the exact voice of the Comic Book Shop Guy from the Simpsons. I tell them that the Settlers of Catan settled for a mediocre game that is practically an abstract. Then I switch to earnest evangelist voice and unleash the revelation of the superiority of ameritrash games. If possible, I guide them to a nearby table and get them to try Camp Grizzly. If they like it and ask about similar games, I talk about the better co-op adventure games first.
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29 Jan 2022 07:37 #330239 by Sagrilarus
Discovering such things on their own is a big part of the fun. Tell them you’re not going to give away the plot, but that you’ll help them find games to play if they are looking for something in particular.

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.
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29 Jan 2022 08:37 #330241 by Legomancer
I generally do as the others here say. I might also explain that I've been doing this for a long time, which has allowed me to both be able to home in on things that really appeal to me and get a little burned out on some things that aren't bad but aren't ss interesting to me.

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.
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29 Jan 2022 10:08 - 29 Jan 2022 10:12 #330243 by Jexik
“Oh, you like X? What do you like about X?” Listen. “You might also like Y.” I’d often find myself recommending games that were popular that I didn’t care for or hadn’t even played.

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. ;)
Last edit: 29 Jan 2022 10:12 by Jexik.

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29 Jan 2022 10:20 - 29 Jan 2022 10:23 #330244 by jason10mm
I like to start with a heavy weight euro, only explain half the rules, then proceed to crush them mercilessly. Only if they come back for more do I know that I have found a worthy opponent :P

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.
Last edit: 29 Jan 2022 10:23 by jason10mm.
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29 Jan 2022 10:33 #330245 by Shellhead
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.
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29 Jan 2022 14:16 #330248 by Ah_Pook

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.


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29 Jan 2022 15:11 #330249 by dysjunct
Yeah, I think that view of BGG is a little outdated, although it was broadly true maybe 15 years ago. The current top 25 has a lot of variety in it, and economic simulations are a minority.

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.

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