How do you learn a new game?

It’s kind of the reason I started this site. How do you go about learning a new game? I guess to answer that, you need to take a look at how and when you play games and with whom. I think its a pretty safe bet that many folks play games on the computer or some device. Many of these games are solo affairs, so the learning comes at your own pace.

For computer-based social or multi-player games, the learning comes a lot faster or at least the pressure to learn is much higher. In multi-player games, like World of Warcraft or Call of Duty, the need to understand the mechanics of the game is very intense if you wish to play with a group that is undertaking accomplishing something (i.e. raiding, competing in player-vs-player matches, etc.). Of course, you can take it all at your own pace. The price you pay there is that you will likely get left behind the groups that are in to win it (not that you really could ever win a game like World of Warcraft.) In more social games, like The Sims, the learning comes in playing with the game and seeing what it can and can’t do. Its all virtual, so killing off your first Sims a few times or burning their houses to the ground is part of that learning process.

Learning a new-to-you computer game is a very large category. There are several sites out there that address just that. Some of them get very specific. Some go into the math and mechanics of the game ad nauseum. This site isn’t going to pretend to be a computer gaming site. We will touch upon computer games (specifically those that we have the most experience with), but mostly we will cover games which you play with other people, preferably face-to-face. Games where you all gather around a table or in the same room. Games that use your senses. Games that challenge your problem-solving skills or knowledge. Games where you interact with other people.

We want to look at learning a game that you might play with others, in a face-to-face interaction. How do you learn new games to play with friends and family? Are you the one who brings out new games? Are you the one who teaches the games to everyone? Are you just along for the ride? I think it really doesn’t matter which you choose, as long you remember the most important aspect of any game & the real reason we play games of any kind: to have fun.

If you aren’t having fun, then it may be time for a new game. If you can’t get others to explore new games, then you may need to do a little homework to figure out what kind of new games might appeal to the group you regularly play with. Or you find a group that plays the kind of game you are looking for.

Learning a new game also can create opportunities for things to work at a deeper level. Obviously, learning a new game for the individual broadens the mind and opens pathways for expansion of knowledge, strategy, and enjoyment. Learning a new game helps round out a person more fully. Learning games to play with other people also helps develop social skills and confidence.

Learning new games can also benefit groups – whether they are families, friends, or co-workers. A group who learns a new game together is provided with opportunities to form a more solid bond, helps group members identify their strengths and weaknesses, and allows the group members to work out how to problem solve together.

Just remember its always about fun. Are you having fun? If yes, then keep it up. If not, then find something that you will enjoy and get out there and play!

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