Sunday, August 31, 2008

More building thoughts:

Stokes of The Grand Duchy of Stollen, 1768 has posted an interesting, thought-provoking question :

How Do We Introduce New Blood to the Wargaming Hobby?

Here is my response, posted in an effort to expand the conversation:

Thank you for re-posting your thoughts Stokes.

Having been part of a larger club and moved about during my military career gave me exposure to different regions of Canada and locations with vastly different population density.

Where there are lots of people, you will find lots of players.

Just basic statistics.

Now some demographic thoughts:
age 6-13 (male or female) will play in almost anything. Keep it fast-paced with simple 'game' methods and they will stay 'in' the game.
Girl Gamer Thoughts and;
Girls & Minis
13-17 Boys: generally a transition time and while there are some that will either start or continue with minis during this time it has been my experience that this is the 'drift away' period for many. It is the 'experimantation' factor that comes into play and keeping anything consistent can be a challenge.
13-17 Girls: The first flower of womanhood comes on most stronly here. To many our hobby is seen as "childish" (even though giants like Winston Churchill played games with toy soldiers his whole life), and just as dolls and toy horses are put away during this time for girls so too are the colorful miniatures.

-->please remember these are generalizations and there are always exceptions<--

17-24 Male and Female: This is the 'bonding' time for many, when great and giant changes are happening. When the migration goes on, leaving home (just for a while or permanently), changing from high school to more advanced education or becoming a part of the workforce. All these adjustments take a toll in time for everyone. Especially when new children are brought into the mix.
This age cohort has always been the hardest for any organization to hold onto (past 19 or so) or to attract for a volunteer basis. Yes playing in these games or within our activity is equivalent to a volunteer organization. One where the tangible results are less are not 'raising money' for some cause (though I have seen one group that did that during thier annual convention) or building a reservoir or some such 'tangible' thing. Awareness of history in a person is such a hard thing to place a value on.

25-32: Men; now it gets easier to attract them to our they are often set within a career (for a while) and may have some time or inclination to have a small escape. The Trumpeter Club has had a good result with many from this age group whom have continued within the hobby. Certainly for me it was when I 'came back' to minis hobby actions.

25-???: Women: Here I will admit no awareness as I just do not see many active. Unless their spouses and or children are taking part, then they are involved either as part of set-up or organizing such things as the canteen at the events or driving the younger set from home to the event locations.

32-++ Men: It has been my experience that the groups will catch the fellows later in life only if those groups take any effort to advertise. They may catch the men as fathers of younger players (such as those that come out to a role-play or 40K tournament and see some historical game display or such like), or outright as advertised minis games. The point here is you will not 'introduce' anybody to anything unless you are extending your hand. Take some time to advertise, put on a demo game at a hobby store, run a game at the local recreation center (if they will let you in see: my own challenges and success for some details.

In the end Stokes the answer to your question is to, as grimsby mariner puts it, POR = Press On Regardless.

Do a demo at your university, better yet do it with written orders in one of the foreign language classes that you teach and time the written orders section so that there is no time to 'research' the right phrases but you have to do it in real time, just like the real world.

You do not need anything more than what you already have, use the Charge! rules and have plenty of snacks on hand...see what results!

1 comment:

rpardo said...

I was bond to wargaming when 24 years old after I started my married life!