To take your first step into the world of games, you have to get rid of one thing: being shy.
This is a big problem for some people, especially at conventions. If you walk into a room and stand there hoping someone will approach you to play a game, you’ll be standing there a long, long time. GMs will not approach you, you have to approach them. Same with groups of people playing a game. They can’t read your mind and aren’t going to walk up you to lead you to a game.
How does one fix this? Well, there are some simple ways to get into a game if you are willing to take that first step:
1. Raise your hand – A popular method of raising attention in a crowded game room is to take a game you want to play from the library, a term given to the games the convention brought that you can ‘check out’, and raise the box with one hand whilst standing in the middle of the room. Other people interested in playing that game will then come to you, saving you from having to go to them.
2. Check the boards – Some game rooms, especially at conventions that deal mostly with gaming, have sign-up sheets for individually scheduled games. If you sign your name, all you need to do is show up at the start time to get into the game. Some conventions may also have a general bulletin board for people to post announcements about games that aren’t on the schedule.
3. Check the schedule – If the convention has a program guide, then the gaming schedule should be included. You can see individual games or tournaments, their start times, and other info. If you show at the designated start time, and there is an open spot for you, you will be able to play.
4. Find the GMs – Most scheduled games at a convention usually have a Game Master who runs the game and teaches the players how to play. GMs are very friendly and are always willing to teach, so they’re very approachable. Even if there aren’t any scheduled games , look in the open gaming rooms to find them.
5. Ask – This is the most difficult, but also the most direct way of getting into a game. Once you get used to this, though, you may find it incredibly exciting and surprising who you may wind up playing a game with. If you can simply walk up to a GM or group and say:
Hi, is it ok if I join?
Then not only is it easier to join a game, but also, at a convention, you never know who you’re going to play against, and that is half the fun.