2012-03-21 : Monster Mania Con: barriers to interest
Going to Monster Mania Con and failing to sell games cut years of wishful thinking and plans doomed to failure out of my future. I'm going to tell some more details.
We had a sign that said "Scary Games" (thanks to our dear friends of the Final Girl Support Group), and it worked, it caught their interest. We had people stopping and saying "games, huh?" and "really, scary games? How scary?"
When we said the words "roleplaying games" to them, they visibly lost interest. On Friday we led off with "you're familiar with roleplaying games?" and it didn't matter whether they answered yes or no, as soon as we said the words we lost them. Once we just stopped saying the words, they started sticking around long enough for us to talk to them about the games.
The fact that the games weren't games, they were books, was the next barrier. Eppy's Jenga tower was as always a draw, but the connection between the tower and Dread, the book, wasn't one they could easily make. We'd put the book straight into their hands and run little on-the-spot demos, as is right, but when they'd flip through the book you could watch the incomprehension settle over them. Most of them then were like "huh okay," put it down, walk away.
A few of them, the little demos and our enthusiasm carried them through. The final killer was price. The $10 and $15 we were charging for Final Girl and Murderous Ghosts was really tough, but a couple of people were willing to risk it. Dread, at over $20, no way.
There were some solid moments of connection, though, in the little demos. Scary games have an audience there, I'm pretty sure, if we can get the price down and make them evident as games.
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