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Gathering of Engineers

Ludographic considerations from the Silicon Forest

Monday, November 07, 2005

Short Answer(s): Little. No.

I just got back from five days of fun at BGG.CON (more on that next week) , so I'll be unusually brief in today's post in answering Mike's two-parter: "What have you done to help grow the hobby? Will you be doing anything to promote National Games Week?". I will likely expand on some of these points in the future, and it should be obvious to which points I am referring.

The first (implied) question to answer is if I even care whether or not the hobby grows. Actually, stepping back one step further, there's the question of how to define "hobby growth". Game production? No, in this case I would actually prefer hobby shrinkage. More acceptance by the masses? Being a fan of death metal has inured me to this; despite the challenges and growth opportunities, both intellectually and emotionally, that come from listening to intense music, I do not see myself selling relatives and co-workers on the finer points of Nile's "Lashed to the Slave Stick". Likewise, I think there are many aspects of playing Euros that would turn off most folks: calculating; competing; losing.

I think the only aspect of hobby growth I care about is providing means for folks to check it out on their own. I would cite Mike and KC's efforts in these areas, but I am sure they will talk about it in their entries. But each such effort only impacts a small handful of people. I really think the best way to do this in today's world is to support local game stores. I would not be in the hobby today if it were not for Gamekeeper in Albany, and Pegasus Games in Madison. I like to think that Rainy Day Games (RDG) has done the same for other folks, and that my early support of RDG has helped to make them the great store it is today.

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