When I ask people if they play board games it's sort of a loaded question. In a way it's the first question in a questionnaire that has formed naturally without me even noticing. It's definitely a product of games being a prominent theme in my existence, especially recently. From one answer, I learn, and then that leads to the next question and so on. These questions might look like this:
Do you like games?
Do you like BOARD games? (As a blanket category and not to exclude games without boards)
When was the last time you played a board game?
What did you play?
Sometimes the subject fizzles out right around here. One might say they like to play board games, but they might just be saying that because they don't have any real objection to them. Or, they're just being polite and making conversation. This is sometimes brought to light if their answer is: "Uno, when I was twelve." Now at this point if their response was the latter I usually go into "missionary" mode and see if I can convert a follower to the beam of light that is tabletop gaming and all it's glory. This could go a number of ways depending on the individual's interest in the subject, but know that I am quite persistent in this area. You'll learn why later. Now, if they give a response that dictates a time frame in the last month or so, then that's a good sign. The game that they played is important to me, but not near as important as the fact that they are "currently" playing games. That at least tells me that they are interested in games and enjoy them to some extent. From here, even if they aren't privy to the modern world of board games, you can at least move the conversation into in that direction and begin the educational hype machine (<-band name).
I'm getting anxious just looking at this
This is Uno on psychedelics.
Back to the line of questioning! Depending on what game(s) they mention can really tell me a lot. For the sake of continuing the generic questions let's stick with Uno being their answer though.
5. What are some of your favorite games? 6. Have you ever heard of or played...? 7. Would you ever want to play...?
You get the idea here. There definitely seems to be a number of responses regarding the games an individual has played that can tell me the most. One answer is actually kind of deceiving though. Can you guess what the number one game people mention if they know anything about the board game world is? Hint: It's that big photo over there.
Why is it deceiving when I people mention this game? Well, it's overall a great thing that they mention it or have played it. It's becoming a classic in the field and is a great gateway game into an ever-expanding hobby. However, I feel like Catan is sort of becoming this game that makes you "cool" if you've played it. It's like a pop icon for a certain segment of nerdom. On one hand it's a great gamer's game that exhibits some more in-depth mechanics and strategy, on the other hand, people will talk about it even if they've played it once and don't really have too much experience elsewhere. This really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. I'm stoked either way. Now, if the individual mentions D&D (Dungeons and Dragons), then that's a something that get's my gamer blood flowing.
What am I trying to accomplish with this line of questioning? It get's me excited to see others that share the same passion for analog gaming. I ask to gauge what level of geek-out we can reach together. Can we share some good times with games together? And, if they're not that into games or have much base knowledge of them, how can I share my passions with them? How can I get them pumped on it as well? Playing games brings me happiness and I believe it has many benefits to those who play. More than anything, I want to share this happiness.
How do you feel about Settlers of Catan? What are some other games that people mention that tell you a lot about that individual's gaming involvement? Leave you comments below and have a juicy day! - Shelby