Gaming, whether it’s playing a grand game of Star Wars: Rebellion with a friend, or a fight for objectives with Star Wars: Shatterpoint or even just looking for trades for Star Wars: Rivals, one thing is always needed: community. Gaming does tremendously well by bringing different people together. No matter your background, no matter your level, there is always something for everyone, to unite them on a gaming board. As a teacher, introducing my classes to gaming, the first thing you notice is the laughter and smiles. They are always beaming. Without the horror that is Monopoly, a quality game brings us together. My closest friends are those that I game with as we all have the same idea: to have fun.
It explains why people get so excited for gaming conventions like UK Games Expo (UKGE) or go down to their local gaming store each week to meet up with other like-minded individuals. At this year’s UKGE, I got to meet so many new people and share my passion for gaming. I had an hour-long conversation all about Star Wars: Rebellion with a couple who had never played but were eager to play. Of course, the discussion went slightly astray as we spoke about the films, the television shows, but I knew I was speaking to people who got what I was trying to say. It’s a wonderful time of year that best friend (Gav) and I look forward to.
But UKGE is only once a year. It is easily the most famous convention within the UK but if you can’t travel abroad, where are other ones? Where are the ones local to you?
Every Tuesday, my son and I go to Tritex Games in Stafford for one of their gaming nights. We get to see friends and play games that we all love. We get to meet new people and show them games we think they might enjoy. The atmosphere is simply incredible. No one getting angry, no one disputing rules, no raised voices. It is a place of fun, smiles and laughter, a place that is whole-heartedly good for the soul. I get to show games I like to play, see new games I haven’t had a chance to try, even trade games or buy much needed painting supplies. I’m very proud to be a part of that community.
But, what if you’re not sure where your local store is? How do you know where to go to really get that sense of community?
Well, as it so happens, UKGE has also been asking these questions and has decided to do something about it! In their website, they’ve decided to set-up a community page, where you can find such information. As businesses and conventions sign up, there will be a whole list of gaming clubs, cafes, shops, and conventions all conveniently located on a map of the UK. It should allow people to find one another a lot easier and create and grow a lot of communities that are already out there.
Simply go to Community area of the UKGE website to start searching for what might be around you, or if you’re a business, to sign up and let gamers know where they might find you. This sounds like it could be a really powerful tool to allow gamers to come together and do what they love!
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