How to run a great games night and make it inclusive and supportive of well being and neurodiversity

There is no perfect answer to this but the following tips, should create a welcome friendly environment. Everyone likes to know the lie of the land, the basic rules and what to expect but more so if you have anxiety, autistic tendencies or a number of other issues.
So double check and make sure everything is clear even down to signage and drinks options. Set and manage expectations

Step one: Prepare:

1) Advertise, find your players but clearly set expectations of the kind of games being played but also cover the administration.
a. Where, when, what food and drink is available what is the cost?
2) Take requests for games and ask if people are bringing games to teach.
3) Send out rules videos or lists of the games being played so people can research
4) Include photos of the venue and gaming space.
5) Provide a second private channel for information and feedback. (Messenger)

Step two: The night

1) Ensure the venue is well signed so you are easy to find. I include A4 laminated signed the whole way
2) Friendly greeter to welcome all guests to assign them to an appropriate game and game teacher.
3) An appropriate game is dependent on the gamer but be aware of:
a. overly competitive games,
b. overall complex games for new games.
c. games which are too extrovert or social and / or involve lying and bluffing.
d. Game which rules change too much, having known and controlled rules can be more comfortable.
4) The game teacher should be patient but also enthusiastic and welcoming
5) Ensure the venue has appropriate lighting,
6) Enough space between the gaming tables.
7) Control the noise including reducing or eliminating background music (Provide space between games helps with this).
8) Be patient and tolerant, gamers with additional needs may be harder to please, may not react to social cues.
9) Ensure staff are identifiable. (Even having a different colour lanyard or badge)
10) Name stickers or name tags for all guests removes the pressure of asking or remembering names.

Step three: The growth

1) Grow and nurture the culture to be friendly, inclusive and welcoming.
2) Ask for feedback
3) Allow volunteers to step up and be involved. (Ownership of tasks and feeling of belonging)
4) Do not take rejection personally, even with perfect planning you cannot please everyone. Doubly so if people have additional issues.

This is not a once size fits all guide everyone is different and i am a gamer with an interest in inclusivity and making sure everyone has a good time not a medical professional. Hopefully these tips will help, they are mostly obvious.

Happy gaming!

This is work in progress so I’d love any feedback or comments.

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Charity Events 2018 for Herefordshire Mind

Herefordshire Mind is our Charity for this year (until our birthday in July)

Our mega charity day is May 19th at the core. 

Our last event in May 2017 raised over £525

We are attempting at 24 hour game a to on March 3rd, it could be interesting. the donation page is here

We also have a mini charity game day on March 31st 12 hours gaming for a small donation of £2 to Mind

Overall I really want us to raise £1000 this year for Mind, any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

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Best of facebook

We have a great facebook community here is a quick best of from over the last few months.

Introduce yourself:

Our Game collections:

Online codenames:

Our top nine games:

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Basically Wooden Review: Scythe and Village insert.

This isn’t a full review, just a few thoughts and lots of picture of building some inserts. Basically Wooden make fine accessories for board games and you can buy them pre build or DIY

The build process was quite easy, only one part was fiddly and took a few attempts, it took a whole ball of elastic bands and best part of a bottle of PVA glue.

Once built they make organising, sorting and getting the game to the table much quicker. The Scythe insert is brilliant. The village insert isn’t quite as polished but still makes getting the game on the table a breeze, but this an early Basically Wooden insert and it shows how much the company and product has matured. They are active and listen to the community, we are lucky to have them in the county

A quick gallery of the build process for the Inserts / game tidies. You can buy them complete or DIY. This is for Scythe…

Posted by Ad Best on Tuesday, April 4, 2017

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