The comfort that comes from security doesn’t pass over Trading Card Games. Everyone likes the feeling of making secure investments and choices. Even if the game’s marketing strategies and mechanics seem flawless nothing is going to convince a person like a well foundered community. If you’re already invested in a game you become part of the reason the game flourishes or dies. I’ve played multiple new games upon their release and all throughout, including the brand new game Force of Will. I believe there are three important points to getting people fired up about a new game.
1. When they first discover the game and how you present the game
2. How you go about teaching the game
3. How you encourage them to continue playing
- New discoveries are often accompanied by plenty of question, so why should this scenario be any different? The first question you’ll often hear is, “Are you playing Magic the Gathering?” Don’t worry and don’t be offended! They’re not trying to label every game ever under one large umbrella of coastal wizardry. They probably are under the genuine impression that the game is Magic the Gathering and the worst thing you can do is go off on the person. Simply tell them what you’re playing and what it’s about. Maybe tell them why you like it in simple terms and show interests in their curiosity. You never know if the person you’re talking to can be the start of an 150 people weekly local tournament! That may be the start of the greatest friendship you’ve ever had. Try not to get too geeked out cause the person most likely has no idea what you’re talking about and will be turned away out of confusion, like Abra… Instant teleportation right after you’ve made your ONE move!
- When teaching the game don’t assume this person has played other card games or any games for that matter. Strategy and even mechanics as simply as “Tapping” may not come as easy as if did for you. Teaching someone requires patience and care. They may make the SAME mistake over and over again, but keep in mind there was a point where you knew nothing as well. Be the reason people make new friends and the game flourishes. If this step is too hard find someone to teach them or invite them to your local shop on the game’s night.
- After their intense or easy time learning the game the best think you can encourage them of the friendliness and care of you and the community. Simple lines such as, “If you like the game we can have so much fun playing together,” can make a big difference. People love making good friends and surrounding themselves with people who actually care. Next, if your store offers them, give him/her a demo deck or be even bolder and give him/her some of your cards. Show them the greatness of your game doesn’t end after best 2 out of 3 matches, but rather at the start of great friendship.
About three years ago I was beautifully displayed the importance and power of strong community by the store owner of Good Time Games, Rob Gruber. He built a big, strong, loving family in his locals that ranged from kids to adults that truly touched my heart. The power of great community transcends through generations and you should never underestimate your impact on the world. Now go out and have fun!