After his brief expedition to the post-brexit hellscape of the formerly “just fine” Britain, Ben talks about his experiences at the UK Games Expo.
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Which Games Would You Choose?
I just listened to the UKGE review, thanks!
I had the privilege of attending for the first time in 2017, and had a wonderful experience. It was my first game convention, having only been in the hobby for a couple of years, and it was wonderful to meet some of the people I had begun to know on BGG, and to be surrounded by thousands of fellow gamers. Sadly, San Diego to the UK is not a cheap flight, so I couldn’t make it this year, but I am already making my plans to return for 2019.
I was most interested in your comments about the open gaming areas. My experience last year was mixed. I attended alone, and as I fall squarely in the middle range between cowering wallflower and gregarious party animal, my success at finding games to play was mixed. I did manage to stumble into some great games (mostly with local Brits) through pure luck – a fun couple and their friend invited me for Great Western Trail, a couple of erstwhile X-Wing teams allowed me to join them for a rousing couple of games of Secret Hitler, and a few others. I also played a few games in the excellent company of several members of the 1-Player Guild, and enjoyed putting some of those names to faces.
However, I also spent more time than I would have liked simply walking the aisles looking for openings, and, like you, I felt that more could have been done to facilitate bringing people together. “Players Wanted” and “Teachers Wanted” signs for tables, and maybe “Invite Me To Sit Down” badges to attach to your lanyard. If they wanted to go a bit further, why not one attendant at a table with a microphone. “There’s a game of Gaia Project starting on table 34, looking for one more player. Game will be taught before starting”, or “Pixie Queen is starting at table 8, looking for 2 or 3 players who have played at least once before.”
Anyway, I hope the organizers take your advice. Looking forward to my return to England and the NEC, and hopefully I will have a chance to run into you and thank you personally for all the great stuff you’ve put out.
Absolutely. Travelling there alone meant I spent some time alone. It’s a very simple fix. I certainly hope you make it over to Europe again.