How can we get more people playing?
That’s a good question. I wish I had a good answer. Hell, I wish I was that altruistic and selfless.
The real question to me is “how can I get more people that have the same interests and play style as me to play with?” How’s that for selfish? ~ The hobby seems to be going strong. However, the places local to me where one can find gamers typically have the usual suspects in terms of games being played, and many of the people I encounter have different expectations or intentions for their play experience than I do. ~ That’s not being negative. I’m glad that these people are having fun & that the hobby continues to exist & grow. They just aren’t having an experience that I’m interested in.
But, perhaps I should consider the bigger picture & be a nice guy while at the same time trying to cultivate a wider circle to play with. I think that means asking more questions.
How do we get the “right” people to play? That sounds elitist doesn’t it? Role Playing can be fun for a lot of people if they just tried it, but tell me this. ~ Have you ever met that person that you just “know” would love RPGs if they gave them a shot? Not just RPGs, but a specific one, or a specific type. But their exposure is watching the Big Bang Theory on TV, or maybe that one time their cousin talked them into playing a dungeon crawl in college, or maybe they simply associate it with card games played by nerdy teens. How do we help those people that would probably love a specific RPG experience to participate & give it a try?
What about those already involved in the hobby who are kind of “lost”? ~ You know what I mean…maybe. There are some people who love RPGs but they are clearly playing the “wrong game” for them. The experience it produces isn’t what they’re here for, & they’re frustrated. ~ How do we help them find the “right games” for them before they leave the hobby or spend years frustrated & miserable?
Which leads back to my original more self centered question. How do we get people to play our favorite games? How do we find kindred spirits? People who want the same out of the RPG experience as us?
I wish I had all the answers. I’m not much of a people-wrangler or a promoter. Most of my overtures to recruit new blood to the hobby among the people I know who I think would enjoy them have gone nowhere. It can be tough to get people to sign up for an oddball game as well.
At the end of the day, I think we all can have a small local effect. That’s all we really need anyway. The right people to play with, and a big enough group of them that we can at least find a few to play a specific game. Get enough of us together and you end up playing Venn Diagram, looking for the common ground, so it pays to have a big pool of friends.
These things take time, so consistent effort is part of the deal. It’s taken a while for me to cultivate a group of people online to play with, & I should get back to trying locally again.
Online play and posts on YouTube & social media can be a great way to expose the hobby and specific games to others. Online play doesn’t have to be flashy. In fact, I’m glad I was exposed to clunky platforms like hangouts, because I knew I could do that. If online play was presented to me in a more polished manner, I may not have taken the plunge into what is now my reliable way to play.
Perseverance and talking in a positive manner about the games we like, about the style of play we like, about why we love role playing, & about what it does for us seems to be the right way to go about getting more people to play. I don’t have any other answers.
But isn’t that what RPGaDAY is all about?
Perhaps we are well on our way.