Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise with the next installment in my Meeples For Sheepish Peoples
series, discussing the social activity of board games in the lives of people who aren’t socially outgoing.
Last time, we spoke about how arriving right when a small to medium size convention opens its doors can help overcome shyness because you can be there when gaming groups are formed. But, what about those bigger conventions where no matter how early you arrive, you’re still going to find yourself bobbing in a sea of strangers, which sets you back to square one: shyly looming on the sidelines.
In those situations, I usually end up just trudging around the open gaming rooms, just hoping someone will say, “hey, you totally don’t look like a serial killer, come join us in this game”
... but that barely ever happens. The “join us in a game” part, I mean. The “you don’t look like a serial killer” part fortunately happens quite often. But not as often as it used to, now that I think about it.
But let me tell you about the smarty-smart clever system used at one of the larger conventions I attended that changed everything.
When I arrived, I passed by a table with a stack of tiny little pylons. At first, I wondered if someone was planning on having a tiny little parade, but then, as I started trudging around the room, not looking like a serial killer, I noticed that some players had set one of the tiny little pylons at the end of their table. And each one of those tables had something in common: they were all looking for players. Once the group has acquired enough players to fill their available seats, they took down the tiny little pylon.
I loved the idea so much that I took the liberty of donating a stack of tiny little pylons to my town’s annual convention. They graciously accepted the helpful gift, completely unaware that I was actually donating the comforting cones solely for my own, selfish anti-anxiety purposes. If the medium to large sized conventions in your area don’t already use a similar system, I encourage you to suggest it. It’s brilliant, simple and effective. And, best of all, it takes a lot of the anxiety out of approaching a table to ask to join their game.
Alright. But what if you’re not in the mood to wander the open gaming area, hunting for orange cones of awesomeness? Next time, we’ll talk about going in with a game plan. Literally.