As the comments on my post on diversity seem to be drifting this way anyway, perhaps it’s worth starting a topic about new recruits.
Gaming seems to be doing pretty well these days. The rise of English language Euro games, the ever increasing popularity of video games, plus Kickstarter’s helping hand to all and sundry have all helped. I’ve said it before: it’s a Golden Age. However, not all aspects are doing as well as each other. I’d contend that figure gaming is, perhaps, benefitting least, and historical figure gaming least of all. Don’t get me wrong here: I’m not for a moment suggesting that we are about the see the death of it, far from it. I’m just wondering out loud if we could be doing even better.
The area this seems most noticeable to me is in recruiting new players. It’s always a tricky thing because miniature games don’t have the pick-up-and-playness of the latest shiny Playstation goodness. It takes more effort and dedication to be a miniatures gamer. It’s harder to make a start. For this reason, I expect it will always be one of the smaller gaming styles. Still, even if this is all true, there’s no reason to believe that we have tapped all of the possible gamers out there. I believe that many simply wait to be shown the way 🙂
So how do we do that? Well partly I think the games companies themselves can do things to recruit. Promotion (especially cross-promotion), starter box events, and store events are a few obvious things. GW is well known for this. But are games companies the ones best placed to do this recruiting? I’m not sure they are. I think the best recruiters may be you and me.
As it takes an effort to get started in a miniatures game, especially if it’s your first, having someone to show you the ropes is almost a necessity. A few hardy souls will make it on their own. Most will start because they know someone that plays already. This, I would suggest, puts the power of recruitment in the hands of every gamer.
Recruiting is something most gamers do without really thinking about it. Someone you know asks about a game and you’re only to happy to show them. After all, another opponent is always good. At other times you may evangelise the game you’ve recently been enthused by, aiming to gain a few folk to play against within your existing group – though this aspect does tend to be more within existing player groups rather than with new ones.
These days, many games companies have a group of uber fans that promote their games locally. This is great too, but again they tend to be talking to existing players rather than new ones.
So I’ve got two questions for you:
1) Do you think it’s worth the effort to seek out new recruits (and if not, why not)?
2) If you said yes to (1), how would you go about it?