Negative Stereotypes and misconceptions
Gaming is awesome and healthy, but still very much misunderstood. I always try and stay away from negatives but we have decided to challenge some of the negative stereotypes, these could be the barrier than needs to be knocked aside to welcome new folks into the hobby, where the can find many hours of fun, meet new people.
Sure, I partially agree, there are some games I find boring, but there are not thousands of games 13 000 on Board Game Geek the IMDB of board games.
It is likely this misconception stems from games which tended to have three major flaws which are not very common in games made in the last 25 years.
1) No choice, no decisions, no strategy. Roll a dice and move.
2) Player elimination, You are out of the and and have to watch
3) Takes too long / Out stays their welcome.
If you are judging all board games on Monopoly which was made in 1936 or Risk 1957 (One of the first games to use dice for combat).
Consider what other kinds of entertainment was around then,. RIsk was made 10 years before colour TV!
Pacman and pong are not all video games. Monopoly is not all board games.
Modern board games what I call games made in the last 30 year or so, (Catan 1995) often have lots more decisions, you are not dependant on dice. Often decisions are based on a range of actions you can pick either by placing something on a board or by playing cards or combinations of cards.
Very few games have player elimination now and most have a way for the game to end, weather that is a fixed number of turns, when a deck of cards is emptied.
Modern games are very varied from 5 minutes to many hours and will often feature very rich themes, you can be Star Wars X wing pilot, or a barbarian or pirate. Often you will take turns simultaneous or be able to interact on other players turns keeping you involved and engaged rather than waiting for your turn.
Another factor is game as social, try playing with different people, who are less competiitive or better at explain games and see how you enjoy the experience.
Games may not be for you, but there are many many games out there so open your mind and give a few a go before you judge.
Games clubs are unwelcoming
Again this may be true in some cases but all. Herefordshire Board Gamers and many other clubs, cafes and conventions try extrememly hard to be welcome, good signage, greeters, friendly teachers, a great culture backed up by a code of conduct means many game spaces are very welcome and will bend over backwards. Bad behaviour is not tolerated in most places do report any issues and give the club the benefit of the doubt,.
Every club or group will have their own culture, some focusing on an single aspect of the hobby perhaps wargames or role play games, do try more than one club find one where the culture suits you as does the games that are played.
Perhaps swap the word gamer with another group of people or venue and see how it reads…. Pubs are unwelcoming..
I personally haven’t noticed this, but if you get enough people in a small space with bad ventilation it may happen. The bigger conventions do challenge this by having refresh stations including deodorant.
I am not saying this doesn’t happen I’m sure it doesn’t but I believe this is an unfair sterotype and venues / hosts do actively challenge guests with hygiene issues.
Games are for kids / Games are a waste of time
There is a stigma that gaming is shamefull, for children or a waste of time, perhaps some adults have forgot how to have fun, Play and relaxation time is so important you should work to live not live to work.
Do want you enjoy, and don’t judge other peoples hobbies.
There are games for children, adults and everything in between. Gaming is an incredibly health and valuable past time, its’ great for socialization, learning and staying sharp.
Games are too easy / Games are too hard
There are literally thousands of games, some will be too hard, or too easy for you, or too wordy, too extrovert. Find a game you do like, do some research, ask in a community or go to a games night.
There are some great games which take classic gamess like Yahtzee, guess who and dominos and make them into beautiful engaging games. These are ideal as gateway games to learn more about what you like and build your confidence.
I’m too old / too stupid to play games
Absolutely not, there are games from beautiful simple like Rhino Hero or timelines to complete. Or those based on classic set up like Dinosaur Tea Party which is basically guess who but up to four player. There is very likely a game out there for you. Find it love and don’t be embarrassed by it even it’s not a game you’d expect to love.
I have found lots of adults and older children worry about making mistakes or looking foolish. They may want to get things right first time or win or have forgotten how to learn and learn from mistakes.Games are about socialisation, learning, trying new things, even if you don’t get all the rules first time try again. Finding the right game and the right group to play with is key.
Board games are a great way to try, dabble, experiment, by more aggressive than you usually are, try new strategy. If you don’t win, don’t worry about it, try again. I love learning new games and working out what makes the work. but if that isn’t for you play your favourite game.
Games are expensive
Modern games do on the whole cost more than mass products games printed by the hundred thousands and with no real effort made to change or improvement. Modern games tend to have smaller print run, often have beautiful expensive and and a multi year development and play testing cycle. Card games tend to be £10-20 medium box games £25 to 40 and there are big box games with can be over £75.
There are reusabble can take many plays and often hold their value really well. Try playing other peoples copies, borow some from a library if you are lucky enough to have access to one. (We have 250 plus games we lend out www.herefordshireboardgamers.co.uk)
Gaming like any hobby can be addictive, pace yourself work out what you like and what you will actually play before buying to many and if you new stay away from kickstarter and the hype on there before you learn what you like.
There are grains of truth in each of these, but a lot of the information it is based on is very out dated as board gaming is not mainstream in the same way video games are, you can’t buy modern board games on every highstreet. So give it a go and I expect you will be pleasantly surprised
Board gaming has developed as much as video games, with new mechanics, ideas, better graphics, cooperative play and even games which make use of apps to help tell the story, narrate using amazing voice acting or act as an opponent to defeat. If you take nothing else away take that away.
Video games are not pacman. Board games are not monopoly. Herefordshire Board Gamers
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