Whenever you move to a new area, you have to figure out where all of your new “go-to’s” will be. Where is the best pizza in town? Where will you buy your groceries? Which movie theater is best? As an avid gamer, you’ll need to find where your gaming venue will be. I’ve talked a little bit about this before, but I figured I could go a little more in depth as to how I find new places and people to game with.
My favorite way to find gamers is through Meetup.com. They have a search option that lets you search within a certain mile radius for groups with similar interests. One of the things that you can do on meetup that I’d recommend if there isn’t a specific board game group, is contact the organizers of similar groups. If there’s a chess players meetup or a D&D meetup, see if the organizers know anybody that would be interested in playing board games. Generally speaking, these people will know a lot of the participants and they may be able to point you in the right direction.
The second thing I do when looking for gaming, is to simply do a google search for game stores in the area we move to. While some areas might not have specific game groups, if they have a good game store, there’s most likely gaming held at that location. Most game stores will have a calendar on their website that outlines all the events at their store and open gaming may be listed. Again, always feel free to either call or email the stores to ask if there isn’t any information easily available. Even if they don’t have open gaming, you might be able to get at least the name or contact information of a “non-publicized” game group.
If neither of these strategies work, you may need to get a little creative. I always like to check out comic stores or “geek culture” stores. I’ve found a surprising availability of board games in videogame resale stores. Again, maybe I’ve just gotten lucky, but the employees at these locations can be incredibly helpful at finding fellow gamers.
With the board game hobby growing at the rate it currently is, more and more people are becoming familiar with gaming, and finding new groups is relatively easy. You may have to do a little digging, but the people are usually there. And who knows? Maybe you’ll go somewhere that doesn’t have gaming and you’ll be the person to introduce a new hobby for a brand new gathering of gamers.
What other strategies have you used to try to find new game groups?