Monday, December 13, 2010

So how do you grow your gaming network?

I have a lot of sympathy for Wargame Dork's recent howl of despair at recruiting new gamers into a group, or new non-gamers into the hobby. Here's something I found especially poignant:

Its all been an utter failure. Nobody on player finders, nobody on forums, nobody through Player's Wanted posters, nobody through store Yahoo groups or Facebook pages.  Nobody on IRC.  Nobody at work who claims to be a gamer.

Our little group is facing a similar challenge. We've had a couple of players drop out indefinitely, one because of new parenthood, the other because of a crushing work schedule. And, personally, I'm stumped about how to find more players like us. Which is weird, given how there's a humongous online forum for boardgamers in general, and another for wargamers.

Sure, there are tools, such as this BGG/Google Maps mash-up. It helps address one criterion for an opponent finder: Is this person close enough that we can get together on a regular basis? But it's missing the other criterion: Is this a person with whom I'd like to game on a regular basis? Or even invite into my home?

I'm sure someone has proposed that feature on BGG. Maybe it's there, but I'm missing it. While I do some excavating, it's worth mentioning that a for boardgamers would be a very helpful tool.

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