Hello, Dice Tower viewers. Chaz Marler from the Pair Of Dice Paradise board game podcast here welcoming you to part five of my hopelessly misnumbered series on running a gaming group. Today I want to share the first question that I’ve received in response to these segments, which is pretty darn cool. Jarb2104 wrote and asked:
“Do you have any ideas for including non English speakers in a gaming group? Making games easier for them, how to interest them, etc.??”
My first suggestion is to reduce the language barrier. Try to find games that don’t contain a lot of text. Some games do a very good job of using iconography to communicate ideas. Which is good, because even I have a hard enough time with English, and even then mastered it I still completely haven’t.
My second suggestion is to reduce the complexity barrier. Can you imagine how difficult it would be learning a game in your non-native tongue? Brutal. That’s why I’d recommend games with mechanisms that are as simple and universal as possible. This doesn’t mean it has to be a children’s game; more like a game with a straightforward objective, instead of multiple rules and exceptions to those rules.
I looked through my game collection to find ones that met these criteria, and came up with: Blokus, Cartagena, For Sale, Get Bit, Hey That’s My Fish, Incan Gold, No Thanks, Straw, Ticket To Ride, and Zombie Dice.
And I don’t even think it’s that good of a list, so help me out here, Dice Tower community. What’s your top, I dunno, Top Ten List of games that you’d use to introduce non-native language speakers to board games? I’d love to see your Top 10 list, from A to Zee.
I hope this helps with your multilingual mingle. Until next time, “Estoy diciendo algo acerca de los juegos de mesa”.