Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Spoiling the Ambassador

After I'd made my post on Tabletop Ambassadors I got to thinking about when that pro-hobby stance can go too far in 1 direction almost becoming a Zealot about the hobby or more specifically a particular part of the hobby.

When does the Tabletop Ambassador go too far and tip into being a Zealot who achieves nothing other than decreasing the ability of the hobby to reach new audiences?

That's a pretty big question but then again it has to be if the role of the Ambassador is to be a real one.

Promote rather than Preach
Talk about, demonstrate and generally make positive noises about the hobby.  Do not be so enthusiastic about the hobby as to suggest that nothing else compares to it.
Something I am prone to do is provide a superiority emphasis on tabletop games over any other form of gaming, most notably video games and in particular online video games.
I'm happy to debate the pros and cons of each for reaching new players and the social interactions that both hobbies provide but I suspect that my "preach" element is something that stems from my enthusiasm for the hobby.

Show rather than tell
This is a bit of an old chestnut but it's also true.  To convince people of the merits of anything you need to be able to demonstrate it.  The beauty of tabletop games is that demoing a game is pretty easy to do.  The challenge with this from a balance perspective is to ensure that you're showcasing the pros of the hobby as a whole.  That can't be done in a oner, sure you can pick a game that's most appealing to the target audience and provide a demo of that game but to show off the hobby as a whole that needs multiple demos or perhaps something larger like a convention...
Alternatively the "demo" can be simply watching a group of gamers or indeed several groups enjoy their hobby.  This works especially well in FLGS' that have gaming space but moreso at clubs where multiple formats of gaming are embraced.

What else can spoil the role of the Ambassador?