Example of Play

Commentary on Games Design

“Why the hell should I play your boring, paper game?”

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I just got CoD4 – have you played it? It’s aMAZING! Pfff, they’re called boardgames cos they make you “bored” hu huh uh”

Drinking for the Olympics

A friend of mine brought in Loopin’ louie for “games day” at work. In honour of the London Olympics they asked all the employees to bring in a game. The games would be played by everyone throughout the day as a team building exercise.

A few notes:

1. My friend is an avid hobby gamer. But he is a very capable teacher and understands barriers to entry well.

2. No body in the Office played boardgames except him

So my friend being understanding brought this game in for all the non-gamers to have a go at;

Ages 4 and up: In Loopin’ Louie, a battery-powered motor placed in the center of the table rotates a boom with a little plastic plane. Four radial arms lead out to the players’ barns and the chickens they’re trying to protect. Each player’s barn has a little lever, which is used to knock the rotating plane away from your chickens and hopefully into someone else’s. When only one player has chickens remaining, he or she wins the game.

That sounds fair right? Listed as one of the best received children’s boardgames ever, it seems like it was a great choice for the Office Olympics, not complicated at all, fun, and might even lead the way to starting the office interest in boardgames once the players have had their first taste.

Unfortunately the hopes of introducing some cardboard the wish of new office gamer friends was hammer-fist beaten and left twitching on the floor…

“Loopin Louie – Category: Boardgame – Rating: Very Hard

No one played it. It didn’t do very well. What game did the best and had the award for “Best game”? It was this gem:

“Drink a pint of Water very fast – Category: Activity- Rating: Easy

I can’t quite sigh enough. This paltry piece of text will have to do I suppose … *sigh*

How to stop this madness

Sell your game.

I don’t mean that in the “print it and charge money for it”. Please make your game sound exciting. Sell the fun and idea of your game to others. Sell the idea of GAMES to others. Make the most of it. Talk it up. Be cool. Boardgames are fun, some people just don’t know. Be Exciting! Take time, be genuine, be heartfelt, understand that boardgames can be very scary if you have not experienced them before. I’m sure all of you have opened up a boardgame at one point in your lives and said “Wo …” with all the chits and bits and rules and what not.

“It looks scary but its actually not complicated at all!” – how many times have you heard this? And remember, that is between gamers. Imagine how non-gamers see it? This whole exciting, new world of boardgames has opened up to them, “wait, there is MORE than monopoly and poker?” – Yes, it’s wonderful in here! It’s analogue, it’s social, it won’t fry your brain and your entire family can get involved! Just you? No problem – we have solo games for you! Love horror stuff? No problem – we have loads of scary games! Like shooting eachother? We have entire forums and societies dedicated to war games. Come in, sit down, and ooh-check out this dice: it’s got 12 sides! Help yourself to chips and dips and I’ll grab you a drink, I’m glad you’re here, we’re going to have a good time today 🙂

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One thought on ““Why the hell should I play your boring, paper game?”

  1. Chips and dips. Is there no game they don’t make better?

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