February 28, 2020•361 words
I was helping a friend purchase a gift for his 12 year old nephew. Since I like boardgames, I started rattling off the names of games I thought would fit.
My friend was not convinced, so he kept looking for boardgames that aligned with what he resonated with, interesting looking illustrations on the box cover.
There was a gentleman a few feet away who was also looking at the wall of games, and I could sense he wanted to help. When we acknowledged his presence, he offered his assistance.
Here's what he did differently.
He highlighted games that are known as 'gateways' to the board gaming hobby.
What's a gateway game? They're games that once you've had a taste of their unique game mechanics, you were more likely to appreciate the possibilities inherent in board games.
For example, Monopoly and risk, aren't great gateway games because an experienced player, can run away with the game, the game mechanics (or types of actions you take) are limited, and they can run long and you can feel hostage while waiting for the dominating player to complete their rounds leading to certain victory.
I completely ignored the gateway games, and skipped ahead to games I enjoyed, that had replay value in my opinion. But gateway games are necessary, just like learning common concepts when you're familiarizing yourself with a new language, or the basic motions of a new sport.
Why is this important.
A friend had shared a link that I started reading, and they were trying to clarify why what they do is great. However, like me, they made assumptions, that whoever is reading their text, will have been familiarized with their 'gateway'. I was curious enough to try to better understand what they were trying to say. Which reminded me that I probably do this (ignoring the beginner's mindset) a lot.
So I've come up with a poem to remind myself, to reduce my reliance on assumptions.
You are not me, nor am I you.
You've learned much, as have I too.
What is yours, may not be for me.
What is mine, may not be for you.
Bridging that gap, will always take two.