Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Reflections on Recruiting Gamers

I’ve always sought to recruit new players to roleplaying games. My earliest efforts included drafting neighborhood kids, though eventually I happened upon a few like-minded friends who occasionally gathered for games. (Alas, I discovered Dungeons & Dragons at the tail end of junior high school, which, for a brief time, sponsored a D&D club before overly concerned parents shut it down). Although I discovered several kids on my high school bus route played D&D, none really wanted anything to do with an overly enthusiastic freshman. I can imagine many gamers in the early to mid 1980s tried finding other players, balancing the social stigma against the potential reward of expanding their player base, all with the cloud of the anti-D&D hysteria looming overhead. In those days my blind enthusiasm drove my clumsy efforts to find and lure new recruits to the adventure gaming hobby. But by the time I got to college I started more consciously to consider strategies to involve people in my (admittedly limited) social circles in gaming.