Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How did you meet your gamers?

It's a simple enough questions, but how did you meet your gamers?

I know a lot of people game with "other gamers" - that is, they meet as gamers and end up playing together. In my case, most of my gamers were known to me as friends (or relatives of friends) and we knew each other socially before we started playing. But I decided to trace the path of how I met these guys. This is only my current group - I also have a wider web of former gamers who just aren't showing up to kill owlbears on Sundays.

Where and how did you meet your current gamers?

My gaming group is assembled out of people I knew outside of gaming (mostly - see below), who I recruited into my gaming group. They often gamed before joining my group, but they were all friends first. In my current group of 7+1 (one guy can't game right now, but we're holding him a seat), in rough chronological order:

- the "plus one" was the younger brother of my High School gaming buddy's on-again, off-again girlfriend/best friend. I met him at her house, and then years later another gaming buddy brought him along to join in a small GURPS game. He liked the rules, but for assorted reasons we didn't play much after that.

- two are the younger brothers of a High School friend. One got the other into gaming, and when I met them they were between games. The guy I just mentioned was in the same grade as the older one, and told him how awesome GURPS was. So he wanted to play, and he and the first guy made up guys the next day and we started to play. Eventually his younger brother joined in, too, after the infamous "giant sundew" story*

- one guy played AD&D with me in 7th grade. We weren't friends in High School due to me being a jerk to him in 8th grade and just never getting put in the same classes, ever (impressive over four years in a small school). Years later, we ended up working in the same IT department at the same company. We'd talk gaming and wargaming and video games, and then we eventually decided to set up a game of GURPS and see if he liked it. My existing group joined and we haven't stopped much since then.

- one guy was friends with the first three, and joined in on and off over the years. Amusingly he was (at least briefly) friends with one of my cousins, and despite the fact he could snap my neck with one hand I still do an impression of his 10-year old self introducing himself to me. He was also one of my karate buddies, from when we trained in one of our instructor's home-made backyard dojo. Our senior student was also one of my fellow gamers from back in the day.

- another guy was friend with the younger of the two brothers, and played a one-off GURPS game and I recruited him into the group on the spot. He hasn't left since, although he's been in and out of regular play over the years due to exciting real-life adventures across the US and the globe.

- the last two I knew online without realizing I was living so close by. I started posting questions to a private mailing list we're all on (by virtue of similar interests). He chimed in with comments about missing AD&D and fantasy gaming, and I invited him for a try out. He fit right in. Turned out another of that mailing list's members was his old gaming buddy and lived even closer to us. He showed up for a session and, again, he fit right in like he'd been there all the time.

It's a funny and convoluted set of connections when you put it down on paper, but that's how I met the guys who are currently playing (or played) in my Dungeon Fantasy game.

* So there I am, running a canned AD&D module, and describe a sticky pile of old rags in the corner of the room just as Younger Brother is walking through the room. One player starts to say "Okay, I'll search the rags . . . " and YB says "Hmmm. That sounds just like the description of a Giant Sundew." The player stops and says "Okay, I draw my sword and poke the pile of rags . . . "

Yes, it was a giant sundew.

We pretty much just added YB to the game immediately after. May as well.


  1. My first group, into which I was recruited, was made up entirely of school friends, all of the same age more or less. Other members who joined later were also school pupils. As the years went on, we added one, who I met through work and eventually we all went our separate ways. My brother was involved at a certain point but didn't last that long, although I still have his figures and his PHB.

    My new group is my nine-year-old son, his school friends and my wife. No old gamers seem to live anywhere near me.

  2. One is from work. We formed a group about a decade ago out of people in a physics department (where we all worked as technicians and research engineers -- all save one). Another I met through gaming. I ran a short lived campaign with a couple of his players in college (20+ years ago). When I couldn't maintain it (due to school pressures), they invited me to his game. We've been gaming off and on for 2 decades and are friends outside of gaming as a result. The other I met strictly through gaming. Ultimately, though, everyone in the group that I'm currently in (small as it is -- just the 4 of us) got together because of and for gaming.

  3. First group: friends from junior high. We continued playing through high school.

    Second group: exclusively GURPS players in the late 80s at university, but for the life of me, I can't remember how we actually met.

    Third group: GURPS players who had been the only group to play the game I ran at a convention in the early 90s. When I relocated to the city where they lived, we reconnected and created a group.

    Fourth group: a return to AD&D with a group of friends I met while living in Jasper, AB in the late 90s. I think I'll always remember playing with this group at the posh Jasper Park Lodge where the DM worked as the concierge.

    Fifth group: a few from the group above met to play Pacesetter's CHILL.

    Current group: discovered my office secretary's husband role played, he invited two of his gaming buddies, and another friend joined us and now we're looking for a fifth.

  4. Group A (weekly): was extant before I joined, posted on for a new member and I happened to know the poster from general SF fandom. Since I joined, recruitment has been (2x) electronic and (1x) meeting someone at a convention who mentioned she was interested in a game in the area.

    Group B (monthly): offshoot of group A with a couple of other people I knew on-line.

    Group C (monthly): loose social group, accrued partly through games clubs, partly at games conventions, one guy I knew at school, and partly via general SF fandom, a subset of which is the current game group.

  5. My current group came entirely from, plus their friends. I can't praise enough as a resource for finding other gamers who are into the same sort of thing you are. It's definitely replaced the FLGS bulletin board!


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