Play in Public Campaign

Take Action

Grab a game, grab a friend (or a few) and go out in public to play.  It can be a restaurant, a park, or anywhere that people wouldn’t expect to see games.  Be friendly, be approachable.  When people take a glance, try to catch their eye and ask if they have questions.  If they respond at all, explain that there are many games with many themes and styles… this is just one.  Ask them if they want an explanation of the game… ask them if they want to try taking a turn with you.  DON’T inflict it on them, get them to ask questions.  Before they walk away, invite them to visit your game group, or a game store that is good at helping new gamers.  Get them curious enough to check it out later.

Score more points with these ideas:

  • Game groups – take your group into a public space for a meetup.  You’ll grab a lot more attention with ten or more  simultaneous games instead of just one.
  • Yard sales – always be on the lookout for classic used games to pick up on the cheap (Stratego is a classic game anyone can recognize and play).  Buy them cheap and donate them to your local cafe, coffee shop, school, library, etc.  By leaving games in a place where people mingle, they might just crack open a cardboard box, push around some bits, and have a good time.
  • Flash mobs – imagine the impact of 25 people walking into a public space all at once and sitting down synchronously to break out a game.  You could all be playing the same game, or different games.  Have fun with it, just know the laws for that space in advance to stay out of trouble!  (I’ve always dreamed about a 250 person euro-game swarm on the DC mall in front of the Smithsonian on a nice weather day!)




Are you a game publisher, designer, or retailer?

Let’s face it, you are in a position of influence.  The more people that enjoy your product and the game community at large, the larger your potential market.  Why not donate some time or product to the campaign knowing it will help you in the long run.  What can you do?

  • Raise awareness – leverage your resources (newsletters, website, inserts) to raise awareness within your customer base
  • Sponsorship – get publicity for your brand or product by donating a few copies of a game on the condition it is used to “play in public”.  After use, it can be given away to new gamers to encourage them to further explore their new found interest!
  • Organize – take your sponsorship a step further and single out one of the leaders in your tribe.  Encourage them to run an event in public and give them the resources to pull it off and enjoy it





Written by pipleader

January 1, 2011 at 12:00 pm

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