Inteview with a gamer no1: Emily.

Welcome to the first of a new series, lets meet our gamers. (Small confession these were submitted nearly a year ago.)

Please introduce yourself

My name is Emily Beavan.  I am 43 years old and a relatively novice gamer compared to some members of the group.  I’m married to Rob, and have 3 children who are teens/adults now and we developed our love of gaming from introducing things like Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride and Pandemic to them as children and visiting the Board Game café in Exeter where my daughter is currently studying at Uni.  We play games regularly as a family and as my children are growing up its great to have a shared interest that we can still do together.  Our tastes in games has grown up too and we are enjoying very much learning about new games from the group and getting a chance to play them with likeminded people.

How many games do you own?

105. Rob made me make a spreadsheet.

How many of your games have you not played?

About 37

What is your oldest game?

A 1930s solitaire board made from Bakelite does that count?

Last game you played?

Walking Dead Card Game against Abi (of course)

Best gaming experience?

Playing  Dungeons and Dragons, in the 90s as a teen in a derelict Chapel by candle light!

Favourite colour to play?

Blue – Always Ravenclaw Blue

Favourite person / people to play with?

My kids

Your favourite game to play?

A new one.  The last game I played  is usually my new favourite. 

Which game would you save if there was a fire?

Um – None!  The Dogs!! But if the dogs were safe and I had time I’d grab my Harry Potter Cluedo as that edition is hard to find now.

What game advice do you have for a new gamer?

There are lots of different types of games out there – keep trying,  until you find a style of game you like.  Likewise there are lots of different types of gamers – some are more serious about it than others but don’t let that put you off!

You don’t have to be a Magic the Gathering Nerd or a Star Wars fan!  But if you are then it’s a great way to meet likeminded friends.

What type / themes / styles of games do you like to play?

I’m basically attracted to pretty artwork or games with cute meeples.  E.g. Yamatai, Kodama

I like to play games where you get to be a bit ruthless / competitive

But I love to play party  type games with friends like – Sushi Go, Snake Oil, Bring your own Book. Something that makes everyone laugh until snot comes out of their noses.

 I dislike long winded games like Talisman or things like X Wing where you have to keep spending money to buy another toy.

Can’t stand dice games or anything where you need to do maths as me and Numbers don’t get along.

 How competitive are you and how often do you win?

I am secretly SUPER competitive.  But I don’t sulk if I don’t win and still enjoy the game but play to win especially if playing against my husband Rob.

 Generally, I always win when playing against Rob – despite what he may believe

What would your ideal game session be, with whom, where and what game? Be creative

Hmm.  A party game like Codenames, Cards against humanity or snake oil at a social gathering somewhere cool – let’s say Hogwarts – and I’d  invite Stephen Fry, Barrack and Michelle Obama, Eddie Izzard and J.K.Rowling – just because I like to imagine they’d be my friends if we ever met!  

Have you any game and mental health / community related stories to share. Our charity this year is Mind and I think it is a great fit?

Playing board games with strangers is great if you suffer with social anxiety – like me.  Basically, we are a bunch of people avoiding eye contact and having fun, often pretending to be a different character.  It can be daunting meeting new people but board games provide a safe space and you have fun too.

 Board games are a great way to manage stress and depression – another personal experience.  It makes you re-connect and focus upon the now and the people in the room.  It’s hard to be worrying about life when you are busy finding a cure for a disease or trying to fit Vikings into a longboat with a chicken and a sheep….

Finally what question would you want to ask of the next gamer to take this quiz.

Card sleeves or no card sleeves?                                                                   

One month until our mega charity day! 100% of proceeds goes to Herefordshire Mind

One month to go! The last three events raised £500 and we are on target to double that this year with your help. It is a great cause and will be a nice day out. 100% of proceeds go to charity with all costs met by donations or the club members.

New gamers can be introduced to the wonderful world of gaming and maybe meet new friends and discover a new hobby.

Established gamers can enjoy 12 hours of relaxed gaming with a large games library to enjoy as well as friendly teachers to introduce them to new gamers.

Families can enjoy games together or play separate games in a safe environment.

There will be raffles, auctions, cake stall as well as onsite café. There will be side events in the form of giant Tsuro and … **redacted** as well as informal quizzes to enjoy.

The Core is wheel chair accessible, spacious and well lit so it should be a great day out for a great cause.

Please share the event if you can (and like this post), Facebook controls and limits what is seen so sharing is key. Also do drag your friends along it is a great event, great cause and should be good fun for all.

Posters to download and share are here

Charity event news; Sponsors 2018

Here are our sponsors so far!
Our main sponsor is Basically Wooden for the 3rd year running!
Excellent Board game retailers:
We are still after more prizes and this year we will be auctioning services as well… so if you have a talent or skill that we could sell please let us know! I’ll announce the services next weekend.
(Please note that is my terrible graphic design skills ruining Brendan Stephens awesome poster)

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: Advertise and set expectations

1) Advertise, find your players but clearly set expectations of the kind of games being played, what games are provided, are their teachers?
2) Is there a cost to the event
2). Where, when, what food and drink is available what is the cost?
3) Take requests for games and ask if people are bringing games to teach.
4) Send out rules videos or lists of the games being played so people can research
5) Include photos of the venue and gaming space. including accessibility information, stairs, lifts disabled toilets
6) Provide a map to the venue including parking information
7) Provide a second private channel for information and feedback. (Messenger) to answer questions before the event
8) Provide photos of the organizers
9) Provide photos of previous events to help set expectations.

Step two: The night: Ensure a friendly welcome atmosphere

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, we also separate the louder social games and the more thoughtful euro games).
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 would do)
10) Name stickers or name tags for all guests removes the pressure of asking or remembering names.
11) Provide a quiet or quieter space for people to unwind or decompress.
12) Include a flag or player match making system to make finding gamers easier if you don’t have an active host arranging this.

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.

It is also worth considering, players with vision issues including colour blindness, picking game carefully, marking up components, swapping components out or just helping to read public or open text.

Happy gaming!

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

Let’s keep in touch!

We have just launched twitter and instragram so come and say hi


Facebook Page: Announcements and advertising

Facebook Group: Hobby chat and Event management

Facebook: Game arranger: Planning meetups to play games (online and in person)

Meetup: Event management

Instagram: Sharing photographs and the hobby.

Twitter: Announcements and hobby chat

Boardgamegeek: IMDB of board games.