The biggest issue you might face in starting a game night is finding people to play with. We’re fortunate enough to have a close group of friends who like to play and live nearby. What can you do to find some gamers? Here are two options for finding victims—er, players.
Join An Existing Game Group
Meetup.com and Facebook are the two best tools to find a group in your area. At Meetup, search for groups in the “Games” category. You may even be lucky enough to have subcategories to choose from and really narrow down your search. Facebook has groups too. Try searching for groups with “board gaming” in their name. Finally, boardgamegeek.com has a tool to help find gamers as well. If you click on the Misc. menu button near the top, select “Find Users,” and you’ll see “Find Gamers.” Select it, put your zip code in, how many miles you’re willing to go and see what gamers show up.
Meetup and Facebook will both provide details about where and when the group meets and what kind of games they focus on. If it all checks out, go for it.
Show up prepared to make new friends and play new games. Even if the game group wasn’t what you expected, it might be smart to give it one more chance before writing it off—some game groups can vary a lot from night to night.
After meeting with an existing group several times, you’ll have a good pool of people to invite if you start your own game night. Which brings us to:
Start Your Own Game Group
If you don’t have any groups in your area yet, or just want to set the tone and time of the game night yourself, start your own group and list it on Facebook or Meetup. You’ll have to be patient with this route. If there are no groups yet, the community might be really small in your area. One way to get a group jumpstarted is to visit your local game store and ask the manager if you can post a notice about it.
Pick a night and time that works for a few of your fellow gamer friends, but keep it open to a others as well. Consider inviting friends who aren’t even into board games (yet!). They may find they like it. Many of the people in our game group were not board gamers before joining us.
Keep your events regular, even if you have no one lined up to come ahead of time. A predictable pattern makes it easier for people to plan for. And keep your group looking lively with occasional posts about the games you play, or pictures of new games you have.
Got any other tips for finding gamers to play with? Let us know in the comments!