Gaming as a Social Stigma

… but first a welcome to my newest, shiniest follower, Tecian and, a belayed welcome to Dr. Warlock who I totally forgot to say hi to, that’s what you get for joining both Blogs!

So, as you may have realised by now the point of the fortnightly polls is to give me something to write about. Last week I got to thinking about introducing people to the Board Gaming Hobby, which, despite running a blog about Board Games is something I have failed to do, outside of my immediate family anyway.

Part of the reason for this is that, despite being out of school for over a decade, I still think people care about whether I’m cool or not, particularly girls!

So instead of being proud of this amazing hobby, I do all I can to hide it and it occurred to me that I cannot be the only one. I can’t be the only who keeps quite about what they do on the weekends for fear of ridicule from the unenlightened, hence the Poll.

How many people know about your gaming addiction:

No one... It's just me!  0 (0%)

Only the people I play with  1 (14%)

My Family  4 (57%)

Some Friends  2 (28%)

Most of my Friends  1 (14%)

Some Work Colleagues  2 (28%)

Most people at Work  1 (14%)

Nearly everyone I know  1 (14%)

Thanks to everyone who did vote, obviously there weren’t enough results to really draw proper conclusions from. I was glad to see that there were no closet gamers who didn’t share their hobby with anyone. The beauty of board gaming is that it is a social activity, whether it’s done with family, friends or complete strangers, it is a hobby that benefits from being shared.

As I said, I don’t advertise my hobby, I’ve never tried to convert those who think that board games start and end with monopoly. My family obviously knows about my gaming habits and most of my close friends too. However, of those friends, only two are regular(ish) gaming partners.

It’s not that I don't want to bring in new players, I would love to sit down to a proper games night with all my close friends, even if it was only once a month or so, but I’m scared of making that leap. Whenever I consider broaching the subject I suddenly feel like I’m back in high school and something inside me makes me clam up, even with friends who have shown an interest in the hobby.

I know, at the age of (nearly) 26 I shouldn't still be thinking that the cool kids play football and geeks join the chess club, especially at a time when Geek Culture dominates both Tv and Cinema, but I do.

As I said, I can’t be the only one out there, I can’t be the only one who didn’t tell his girlfriend, for SIX MONTHS, that he painted miniature figures for fear that she’d dump him.

However, now I’m not so sure that there is such a social stigma about Board Gaming, that actually it is a reasonably acceptable hobby for an adult male to have.

So, is it me then? Do I perhaps hide my geekiness from the world because I am ashamed of it? Rather than because I would be judged for it? I’d like to hope not. So maybe I should take the next step and try to bring some new people into the fold. One step at a time, maybe one day I’ll even be brave enough to play in public or attend a convention, and with Christmas fast approaching, there has never been a better time to get together with friends and try something new!

Well, that was a rather public insight into the life of an insecure blogger. Hopefully it wasn’t entirely pointless waffle. Don’t forget that Extra Life is this weekend if you want to get involved and raise cash for your local children’s hospital.

If anybody has any suggestions for ways to introduce new people to gaming or even how to go about bringing the subject up in a casual conversation, please feel free to email me through the Contact Us link in the sidebar.

For Sale

Final thing for this week, I’ve added a new feature to the site, a shop. Here I will be selling off old games that I no longer want. You can find the store in the sidebar by clicking on the For Sale link. At the moment there are only some star wars trading card decks, but I will be adding new products at sporadic intervals. When new products are added I will send out a tweet, so make sure to join the twitter feed if you want to be kept in the loop. P&P is free but I’m only shipping in the UK. Although if you contact me via email I can probably work something out if you live outside of Blighty.

Right, that really is it. I think it’s time for another If Only List soon, so expect a poll in someway related to that soon!