Wil Wheaton summed up his feelings on making fandoms in just four words: “Don’t be a dick.”
More and more people are becoming fans of tabletop gaming and it is the duty of us who are already neck deep in board games to welcome new blood and give them positive experiences playing games. There are a lot of unwritten rules that support Wheaton’s Law, as it’s come to be known, so having everything collected in one place can be handy. Author Teri Litorco, a long-time contributor to Geek & Sundry, collected theses rules, suggestions and common sense ideas in her new book The Civilized Guide To Tabletop Gaming. We read the book and asked Teri a few questions about the excellent advice found inside.
The book covers a lot of evergreen topics like finding a good Friendly Local Gaming Store to use as a base of operations to the important of proper hygiene while at conventions and other public places while gaming. From lending out games to how to keep your party together (and playing nice) in an RPG, Litorco covers the basics of everything you need to know before you step foot in your local gaming store. And if you don’t have a game store to call your own, Litorco has some advice for you.
“Buy online from companies with brick-and-mortar storefronts that advertise what they specialize in. They can offer a lot of the benefits of an FLGS (the ability to make great recommendations based on the things you like, offer a level of personal service you can’t get from big online retailers) and may be able to do nice things to match special offers, like signing you up for in-store reward points or whatever other system they have.”
Another common question discussed in the book is how to get friends and family interested in tabletop gaming.”Use their existing fandoms or accessible games like small box games to get them accustomed to tabletop gaming,” said Litorco “If someone is a huge fan of Battlestar Galactica, I wouldn’t hesitate to introduce them to tabletop gaming using that game because, while the mechanics seem fiddly, they actually reflect the universe and the conflicts therein very well and it’s easy to use that familiarity translate into game knowledge. Similarly, a game like Sushi Go is easy and accessible, and nobody can feel too intimated by a short game with cute art.”
When asked about what she thought of Wheaton’s Law, Litorco said, “Care about the experience of those around you as much as your own gaming experience. A great game is had when everyone around is all having fun. It’s why Wil can enjoy playing games on TableTop even though he always loses, because when you care about those around you more than you care about whether or not you win, you’ll always end up having a great time.”
For more great advice like this, check out The Civilized Guide To Tabletop Gaming by Teri Litorco. It’s a great gift for that gamer wanting to get deeper into the gamer scene, FLGS owners looking to reach out to new customers, and more!
What piece of advice would you give to make gaming more civilized? Let us know in the comments!
Image credit Avon Books