A Call To Arms
And so my fellow gamers; Ask not what the game industry can do for you, ask what you can do for the game industry.
The grand old guard of gamers have witnessed the decline of our industry over the years. Sad but true. So, what can we do about it? How do we increase our numbers? For the future, we must look to the children. This new generation of millennials. I enjoy a good full blown wargame once in awhile, but what are you going to do? Introduce a 13 year old to our hobby by playing World in Flames? They will bolt for the door. It’s just too much. -Not to knock World in Flames. I love that game!
That is what I like so much about games like: Axis & Allies, Risk, Supremacy, etc. They are the gateway drug into our awesome hobby. 🙂 You like ASL? WiF? A3R? Then you better start playing Risk, Supremacy and Axis & Allies. And not with your old wargame buddies. We need to play with kids: 12-30 year olds. These players will naturally grow and develop into more advanced players with time. First we have to spark the interest and show them that our games even exist. The new Supremacy 2020 makes a great introduction into wargaming.
Napoleon called them Grognards: the Grumblers. And as wargamers, we do don’t we? Even the games we love. I wish the map to World in Flames was mounted. I wish they used a different color scheme on the map. I wish they did the supply rules differently. Why did they do the Italian entry rules like that? There is always something, right? I think that is why we come up with so many optional rules and variants.
The new Supremacy 2020 fares well. The old guard always has a few things they would like to tweak. Overall, reactions are very good. We’ve done a great job. The amazing thing is the reaction to Supremacy from the new generation. They LOVE it! They have never seen anything like it. They can’t put it down. They can’t stop thinking about it. Talking about it. Suddenly, their Xbox becomes kind of boring. “How about that boardgame of yours? Can we play that again?!”
A local youth group had an all night fundraising event. The youth leader asked me to come to help organize games and activities. What did I do? I brought a prototype of Supremacy 2020! 🙂 I set it up. Explained how it worked. Helped them with the rules for the first 2-3 turns, then I took off. It was 10:00pm. I came back the next morning around 7:00am. The youth leader had a strange look on her face. “What’s wrong?” I asked.
She was exasperated. “Those kids” she said pointing. “Those kids are still playing.”
“Oh, nice” I said. “Did they have fun? Did they start a new game?”
“Yes,” she answered, “but they never stopped! They’ve been playing ALL NIGHT LONG. Ever since you left. They never quit! I tried over and over to get them to do other activities. I would pry them away from that table for a brief moment but all they did was talk about THAT GAME. It’s all they wanted to do. They have been playing NON STOP!”
Oh, and by the way, half of them were girls. That’s right, girls love Supremacy!
So, there you have it. What can you do to help save the wargame industry that we all love so much? Easy: introduce the new Supremacy 2020 to kids; and other games like Risk and A&A. Do everything you can to ensure they have a good time. It should be easy once they get going. Don’t let them get burned out. Always leave them wanting a little more. Make sure you are restrained and exercise good sportsmanship. No fare beating up on the new guys. Try to help them out with strategy and advise. Try not to ‘grumble’ too much. 😉
Where do you find them? Anywhere. Grab the nearest 12-30 year old. Say, “Hey! I just got this new game. I have to report back to the company with feedback. Can you play a few turns with me to help check it out?” There you go. Boy. Girl. It doesn’t matter. Usually better if you can get 2-4 of them. I talked to the History teacher at my kid’s middle school. He runs the History Club. He is looking for activity ideas and needs help keeping the kids busy. Duh. Yes, I’m demo-ing Supremacy 2020 there next month. Fresh recruits!!
This could be really huge. Yes, it helps the game companies but it’s much bigger than that. It helps the whole industry. Once we create a gamer, they continue to buy games. Games from all the companies. More players. More opponents. A bigger hobby. More games. Better components. More $$ available for projects like ASL and Advanced ETO!! Why help grow the hobby? Because ultimately, it helps you. Everybody wins.
I showed Supremacy 2020 to my 21 year old step son last time he visited. (4 months ago) He just returned home to visit for Christmas break. What was the first thing he said after he walked in and greeted everybody? “Hey, where is that game of yours? Can we play that tonight?”
Merry Christmas! =)