A professional games teacher has released a free guide on how to teach games to new players.
A Reddit user that goes by the name Monopolatte has posted a guide on the do's and don'ts of introducing players to a new game. His credentials? He works as a games teacher at a board game café and can teach around 150 different games off the top of his head, with 50 more games for which he can provide a basic overview.
Monopolatte suggests to lead with the objective of the game - and how do I wish that my friends followed this advice. Whenever we get together to try a new game, and someone is explaining to me the intricacies of the system, I too often find myself asking, "But what's the objective of the game?"
Discussing possible early actions, describing the phases of a round, and using the game's visual and physical pieces are some of the other points that Monopolatte goes over as recommendations. On his DON'T list, he leads with early discussions about exceptions - another sin my friends commit - poo-poos multi-tasking while explaining rules, and describes why it's a bad idea to overload players with too many strategies.
His TL:DR nicely sums up everything one shouldn't do while teaching a game:
"Okay, so you can talk about things. Like. You can talk about action points. Oh. The game is- the game is about- it's set in the present, and you're teaching games. You have to talk about games, so you can talk about action points sometimes. Except the cleric, who can't because it's a weekday but you guys aren't playing the cleric."
How do you and your friends fare when it comes to teaching games?