Admit it: You’ve been tempted. You’ve seen the throngs of folks heading into the Convention Center each year to (gasp!) play games with one another. And part of you has said, “You know, I like to play Scrabble. I like to play an occasional game of Risk. Maybe I should … nah, I’m not one of them.”
Well, the truth is, “they” are a lot of different kinds of people. Yes, there are the hardcore Mountain Dew-swillers hunkering over games of Pathfinder and following the 3-2-1 rule for the weekend (3 hours of sleep, 2 meals, 1 shower). But there also are couples entering the Apples to Apples tournament and clans taking advantage of Sunday’s $30/family-of-four day.
Where should a newcomer start? Consider the new First Exposure Playtest Hall, where you can help hone prototype games with the designers. Or get caught up in the dealer hall where game manufacturers welcome you to try out their latest games—even if they take hours. That’s where I’ll be most of the time, trying out games to recommend to you in an upcoming column. Details here.