Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monday Night Gaming

In my last post I briefly mentioned Monday Night Gaming, the new weekly event for gamers in Cork. It's been running for four weeks now, and apart from missing the first one due to exhaustion (we had just gotten back to work after our Epic Holiday), Claire and I have been to all the rest. In just three weeks, we've seen numbers drop significantly, and if it continues, I don't see good things on the horizon for this fledgling event.

The first night we were there, we discussed the lack of space and tables, and I even lamented that all the big tables had already been taken. Two RPGs and one table of board games were in full swing, and there were a few people still hanging around. There was a good crowd, and Claire got into a 4th Edition DnD once-off. I managed to start up a game of The Big Idea on a spare table (it doesn't need a whole lot of space), and got five other intrepid entrepreneurs to join me, resulting in mayhem and hilarity! A quick game of SET after that, and the night came to a close. All in all, great time, great games, great company.

Second night, we arrived a little earlier and got caught up chatting about our holiday and the wedding with a few people that we hadn't seen up to then. Claire got in on a DnD game under the 3.5 rules, and I introduced four players to the madness that is a game of Until We Sink. Once again, we wrapped up the last bit of free time with a game of SET, which almost drove everyone over the edge. The attendance was good, with a few new people, but a few missing faces from the first night as well. Despite this, the room was lively and energetic, we played some great games, and fun was had by all.

This week was much quieter. Two RPGs started up, Mage and DnD 3.5. I looked around the room, and realised I was standing by myself. Thankfully, just as I was about to start up my DS, I spotted someone else not playing in either RPG and challenged him to a card game, which he happily accepted. In no time at all, our two player game of Infernal Contraption was a four player game with two others watching with interest. Once finished (I lost), we even got in a second game with one new player (I won! Yippee!). And, once again, we ended the night with a game of SET*. I think that's becoming a requirement of my night now! How bad?!? I love the game!

So it's still fun for those that turn up, but the numbers are dwindling. What's happening? I think that there is a bit of a settling in period, as numbers shift around while new people come to see what it's all about, and others decide that this isn't for them. That's fine. Nothing wrong there. Apathy is a big factor. Lots of people don't care. We've spent ages complaining about the fact that there is no good place to go gaming, and now that there is, we couldn't be bothered. Believe me, I know this one first hand. I spent weeks rounding people up for my original Spirit of the Century game, offering places to people I really thought would enjoy it, but very few were actually interested in making an effort to attend (honestly, I got very lucky with my final group). I'm not complaining here, just making a point. I know there are tonnes of things I'd love to do, but just can't build up the interest to pursue right now (NextWave customs anyone?). Dammit... I had more. I got stuck on apathy though... Ah. Who cares?

The other big challenge for the group is it's reliance on a small number of core members to run stuff, and the effects of upcoming external events. Brian Caball has been successfully running RPGs every night we've attended, but he's not going to be there next Monday, due to an army of miniature commitments he has had painted into the schedule for months. GaelCon is swiftly approaching, and I doubt many that make the trek to Dublin will be interested in dragging their exhausted husks into gaming the night they get back! Hits like this could weaken the still young gaming night, and if it can't stand by itself before Christmas rolls around, it may not survive into the New Year.

Monday Night Gaming has been a lot of fun so far, and I for one would hate to see it go. It's been a great opportunity to game with people outside my usual group, as well as share the love of some games I know aren't available in Cork with the Cork gamers. I'll be trying my best to continue showing up, bringing along a few fun card games, or an RPG now and again.

That's if I can be bothered to write one, of course!

*- I'm really awful at this game. I've never, ever won a game of SET. But I love it, so I bring it every night anyway. I don't know why I torture myself, but I do.


kindle said...

How did people like Until We Sink? I'd love to play that again soon..

Denis said...

They loved it! It was really funny. We ended up with a potential zombie sport fisherman, man-eating whales, a geologist named Mike Graphite that knew as much about geology as I know about astrophysics and a hotel in international waters, used as a tax haven.