What’s the easiest way to introduce someone to gaming?
If you’re the gamer in your friend group or family, you often get asked about the various games you play, be they video games, tabletop RPGs, board games — I have lost track of the amount of times I’ve been asked to explain Catan to people — and you’re put in the position of serving as a sort of unofficial ambassador for the hobbies you participate in and enjoy. All this is something I personally enjoy, but it also leads me into dangerous situations where I have to try and figure out which games are the ones my interrogators would be the most interested in. I mean, if you’re being asked by a bunch of adults looking for a game they can pick up and play for an hour at night after the kids go to bed, I probably shouldn’t try and get them into Diablo 3, right?
I tend to try and tailor what I introduce people to along the lines of their interests, but I’ve also had pretty good success just tossing people into the deep end — when people ask me about tabletop RPGs I often just offer to run a game for them and let them experience it that way. And I remember, back when I was just starting out in World of Warcraft, it was exactly this — my wife (we weren’t married yet, but we were dating) literally just made me a character on her account and told me to start exploring, and here we are these years later and I’m still playing. Even got my own account.
So now I turn to you, dear readers — when you are tasked with introducing people to games, how do you approach it? Try and ease them into it? Just fling them into the deep end? Maybe give them a game you think of as emblematic of a genre, like Baldur’s Gate for CRPGs, or Mass Effect for action FPS RPGs, or Final Fantasy XIV for MMOs? How do you deal with being an ambassador to your hobby?
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