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Gathering of Engineers

Ludographic considerations from the Silicon Forest

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Proliferation, Expansion, Cultivation

Sounds like spam.

Anyway, the topic at hand: The Eternal Question. "Have you grown the hobby?" Every hobby I've been seriously involved with has asked that question, and I've answered it for at least three different hobbies. And, surprisingly the answer is yes on two of them.

Wargames
Not a whole heck of a lot. In fact, probably nothing outside of participating in GMT's P500 program which helps GMT get more games published. So, I guess I am helping in a roundabout way.

Miniatures
I haven't done that much to grow the miniatures hobby, but I do run a tournament at our regional annual convention, and I'm a contributor on a number of mailing lists. Of course, that's a bit of preaching to the converted. I have only rarely played miniatures in a setting open to the public, so I guess you could say I haven't really grown the hobby, only maintained it.

Boardgames
Okay, here the answer is a little more palatable. I've founded or co-founded two different gaming groups that met in (semi-)public areas.

A few years ago, WizKids opened up a retail outlet in Redmond, WA. This was within walking distance of my office. They had a decent selection of boardgames in addition to miniatures, RPGs, and (of course) WizKids products. I approached the lady behind the counter (who turned out to be the manager - Hi, Cynthia, if you're out there!) and asked if they'd be interested in hosting a boardgaming night.

We decided on Tuesdays, and I put together a flyer and sent email out to Spielfrieks and (I think) Nigglybits. I may have posted on the geek as well, but the memories are hazy.

To my knowledge, that group (with lots of turnover) remains to this day. I had to effectively drop out as we had moved south to Gig Harbor, and Cynthia had a baby and sold their interest in the store after WizKids was bought by Topps. I believe it's a Games and Gizmos now, but I'm not entirely sure what it's called. At least one other group has spun off from it as well.

Met some good people through that group. Jim Campbell, Alex Rockwell, Brad Miller and many others. (Hi, guys. Chime in if you read this. I'd love to hear what you all are up to.)

The second group was one Chris and I co-founded at work. We meet every Friday at lunch in the cafeteria which is open to the public, but not very much public comes by. We regularly have between five and eight players, so it's a pretty healthy group - I'm sure there's been some people introduced to eurogames via the people in this group if not the group directly.

National Games Week


Will I be putting on anything? Nope. Will I play in something? Most Likely. We really don't have any major plans over the holiday weekend, so I'm sure we'll find some time for gaming.

Further Thoughts


One question that came to mind, and Dave touched on it a bit in yesterday's post, is "do we really want to grow the hobby?" There's a LOT of discussion there, and it wouldn't surprise me if somebody picks that up as a future question of the month on here.

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