I love people, but I am also one of the most socially nervous people that you will ever meet. There are a lot of people like me, and I have met some of them in this lovely community that we know as the board gaming community.
That being said, how in the world did I end up in this community in the first place? How do you, as someone who may be a little new to the community, get what you need and connect with people that are a part of this awesome community? In this article, I’m going to make some suggestions as to how you can better connect with others in our awesome community!
Go on Twitter or Facebook. Many people get nervous when you say “Twitter” because they are worried that the communities there are not as friendly. The board gaming community is kind of awesome in that regard. I love the conversations, pictures, and opinions that I see all over my Twitter feed.
Want to get started on Twitter? Here are our Twitter handles:
– Open Seat Gaming general Twitter: @openseatgaming
– Marti (me!): @fluffymeeple
– Scott (The Solitary Meeple): @browarod
– Sarah: @confuzzldmeeple
Then, you can use those we follow – we all follow quite a few board gaming people on our Twitters, so you can get a big list of people to connect with!
Get involved in online communities. The internet is an amazing place, and if you get involved in online communities that have a lot of discussions, it can end up getting you very involved in the community. Whether you find groups based on podcasts that you like, topics you’re passionate about (I’m in an inclusive gamer group, for example), or even guilds on BoardGameGeek (ours will be up as soon as I get some GeekGold, lol), you will find that it can be really rewarding (and exciting) to get in on these communities.
Check out websites like Meetup to find local gaming groups. If you are looking for a local gaming group, look on various websites that focus on helping local people to connect with one another. Sometimes, you can find information about meetups on BGG as well!
Don’t have a local gaming group? Start One! If you aren’t having much luck finding a local gaming group (and in some areas, there may not be one), then it may be time for you to put one together. Whether you just start it with a group of friends or you utilize a public place in which you can hold one, you’ll find that it is much easier to get started than you may think. Find a location, let people know about it, and then have a great time – it will be worth that effort that you put into the process!
Go to Conventions. Sarah and I went to Origins Game Fair for the first time this year, and we have already decided that it will not be the last time that we do so. Going to a convention can be stressful (especially for someone with social anxiety), but plan to go with a partner, friend, or meet up with someone that you’ve talked to in the other contexts that we’ve mentioned above. Going to a convention really opened me up and I got to make a ton of new friends that I still keep in touch with now. Origins is a great convention for people like me (anxious, socially awkward, etc) because even though there is a lot going on, there is a ton of open space and you never really feel stuck or crowded.
Some of these may be easier than other options and, because of that, you want to make sure that you look for the options that work out best for your needs.
Which of these have you done? How did it go for you? Which of them are you willing to try? What’s holding you back? Let us know in the comments or via social media!