How did you last find out about a great game?
Maybe it was through hearing about it from a friend or family member, perhaps it just caught your eye from the shelf of a store you stopped in… or maybe you got to actually sit down and play the game when you were out – this is where I come in.
I demo* games.
*Side Note: “Demo” is a term I have to use very loosely as the way I get to introduce people to new games can vary greatly depending on the company or designer I am showing on behalf of. Some groups insist that I merely set up the game and run through the basic rules, but don’t actually play the game, some would just have me play the game and highlight it’s strong points, other groups have special highly advertised days where people can come out to their local game stores to meetup with folks like myself to see, learn, play and even buy the game.
If you don’t know about a game, you probably wont buy the game.
In theory, that’s why my role exists at all, to help more people find, fall in love with and eventually buy these games. I am more than happy to do that because I truly think modern games have a lot to offer on a number of levels; people getting together in person, talking, having a good time, thinking through challenges, forming alliances… there’s a lot of social bonuses to modern tabletop gaming. Additionally, I truly believe that there is a game out there for almost everyone these days.
Currently I actively do some form of volunteer based “demo” work for 6 different companies which cover over 50 different game publishers! The best part? I get to choose which of the offered games I want to do the work for. If there’s a game I just don’t dig, no worries, I can show any number of other options instead.
Now, as always, I only show games I truly think are worth showing.
For my part in all of this I get some different benefits, beyond the warm and fuzzies over helping someone have fun with a new game. Most companies operate on some variation of “play [game] a certain number of times, get a reward” (which is often another game they produce). A few others have a system of “run [game] tournaments, get exclusive [game] rewards/promos/expansions”. It’s all good by me.
Granted, it’s not all sunshine and cupcakes… most companies require a bunch of event planning, activity reports, social media activity and some even ask for photos of each demo… but you know what? I’m fine with that because I like showing people games, I like playing games and I like gaming… a lot.
My name is Evan and the next time we cross paths I have a game to show you.