An interest I have re-kindled in recent years is playing board games also called table top games. I investigated the use of social media with the board gaming community and found social media to be used far more than I had expected across many social media platforms. As well there appears to be slightly more men than women involved in playing the games and participating in social media interactions. Board game players, or gamers, are varied in ethnicity and those involved in social media appear to be teenagers to early 30’s with moderate disposable income. Gamers socialize in real life when using the products but converse online to relate their experiences to the wider community. Competition is key when playing games but players will cooperate to support causes such as the extra-life.org campaign which raises funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Popular themes for products are war, economics and pop culture. One issue mentioned by gamers is a lack of equality with respect to gender representation in gaming characters, thus focusing on niche markets instead of allowing for #inclusivegaming.
As there is an abundance of existing games and many independent groups creating new products, one avenue of reaching gamers is by inviting them to offer ideas on what is missing from the gaming culture. These suggestions can be collected through a new hashtag such as #mybgneeds, which allows people to list ideas on what they feel is needed in board games. These ideas can be used to create a new product or product line. To entice responses from gamers there can be a tease about a gaming competition or series of gaming competitions to be held at popular table top gaming conventions. Competition entrance fees can be donated to a charity like the extra-life.org campaign previously mentioned. The competitions could also be live streamed online to broaden the exposure of the product, and the company.