Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Questions - Where do people play games?

Continuing the theme of re-asking the questions I've come to a revisit of this post on where to play games.

I focussed a bit too heavily on the FLGS side in that earlier post and I think in this post I want to focus on the majority of gamers that are out there and where they play.

The majority of gamers out there are home based gamers or "kitchen table" gamers as I've referred to this demographic in the past.  Yes there are clubs all over the world that exist purely for gamers to congregate and share their hobby, but what I'm saying is that the majority of gamers out there are perfectly happy playing at home with a small select group of fellow gamers.

This was how I started out.  At home with my friends, usually on a weeknight or Saturday night and we'd get together to play a RPG of some form or another.  Nowadays though that home-based group plays a lot more than RPGs.

I know more people who play games at home than do at the clubs I've attended over the years. In fact I'd go so far to say that the home based group is not just the majority of gamers out there but is probably something in the region of 70% of the gaming population - particularly in relation to RPGs and Board/Card Games.

FLGS' and clubs help to draw these people out into their gaming spaces on a part time basis and of course enabling them to participate in the overall hobby community can help the kitchen table gamer to meet new gamers. In the main though these home based groups aren't interested in doing anything more than simply play games at home.

As time has moved on the solitary gamer has perhaps found it harder to find the community around them as in the main it's a static community which either isn't a) looking for more gamers and b) bothered about that wider community.

So what's the answer to the question Dave?

People play games all over the place whether that be the home game, the gaming group/club that meets up in the pub/cafe/wherever and the community that's hosted in your FLGS.  Personally I feel it keeps coming back to the fact that whilst this is a social hobby the majority of those targeted as part of that community aren't really that bothered in being social about it beyond their kitchen table with their usual set of players.

None of this is wrong but what it does do perhaps is say that the majority of gamers are not interested in or really all that bothered about the community of gaming.  They like to game - yes.  But the community around the hobby is much more than simply that which exists in clubs and stores around the world.  The majority of gamers just aren't that bothered about all that, they just want to play games at home with friends.