Saturday, September 22, 2012

Top 7 Places to Play Games

Often times we focus just on the games, but this time we're going to focus on where we play games.  Environment has a lot to do with the enjoyment of a game.  You don't always want to play in a loud environment, or in an environment where you're afraid to make noise.  What most people want is a place where they can be comfortable, make some noise, have a good time.

#7 Library
Several libraries have a place for people to get together for activities.  It's generally separated from the main area so people can make some noise without disturbing the non gamers.  Libraries tend to have space for people to spread out, with plenty of tables and chairs.  They also have the opportunity to attract people who aren't gamers.  Sometimes the hours are restrictive, but they're typically free to use, so that's a plus for a game group.

#6 On-the-Go
I'm kinda cheating here, since "On-the-Go" isn't really a place, but it's a way to play games.  I enjoy having my phone and tablet to play games on long rides(when I'm not driving) or even when I'm waiting for food or a beverage.  I rarely play a full game of something while waiting, but making a move in an async game is a good use of my time.  I enjoy playing Forbidden Island or Small World on my tablet, since it is a lot faster way to play.

#5 Online
Again, kinda cheating, but hear me out.  A lot of times you can't get together with your your friends for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes they're out of town, or need to be home.  This is where playing a game online can come in handy.  Lately, I've been playing Dominion with a friend via Skype.  It gives us a chance to use the new cards, and do something we wouldn't be able to do, since we live ~300 miles apart.  There are a few different sites to play games online with people from all over the world, and I recommend hunting some down.  It can be a great way to learn a new game and try it before you invest in the cardboard version.

#4 Coffee House/Bookstore
Here's another great place to get together with people.  They're typically in an area with a lot around, restaurants, stores, etc. so you get a lot of foot traffic.  This enables passersby to come in and see what's going on.  There is also food/drink available, which is great for longer game sessions.  There are typically a lot of tables around, which gives you many places to play.  The atmosphere is also very casual, so some noise (not yelling and screaming) is perfectly fine.

#3 Game Store
Game stores are a mixed bag when it comes to boardgames.  Many of them cater to the CCG and miniatures crowd, and don't have much time for boardgames.  Other stores do have open gaming tables that people can use for whatever they want, so long as their isn't a pre-planned event.  Stores with tables offer a lot for gamers.  It gives people a fun environment to play, and it gives gamers a chance to meet other gamers.

#2 College Common Area
I spent 4 happy years in college playing games in the dorm lounges.  There were two round tables with chairs around, though we typically only needed one table.  This enabled us to get a group together without having to go far.  It also gave us foot traffic, since a lot of people come in and out of the dorms on a Friday or Saturday night.  We had a few people come back and play because they saw us playing and all the fun we were having.

#1 Private Home
Most of us start playing games at home.  As the hobby grows for us, we find other places to play for many reasons.  Sometimes it's a space issue, sometimes you just don't want to play host all the time.  I've been fortunate to have a few houses to play games at.  You've heard me mention my gaming family in other posts, and this is how they earned that name.  They continue to invite me into their home, and it does feel like I'm part of the family.

There are many great places to play games.  It really does come down to the people, but the atmosphere goes a long way towards making the gaming time enjoyable.

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