This has taught me to cherish my limited gaming time. Specifically, I want to be prepared, with the rules read and a comfortable environment for my friends that are coming over. My friends (most of which are staff) also have wives, children and busy lives, so I know their commitment to come over is just as important as mine is to host.
I try and tailor the situation to the group. Most of my friends and I drink (alcohol), but at the same time we usually keep the drinking to a minimum. When I play games, that is the entertainment, not the scotch. Similarly, I typically have friends over that don’t drink, and I want them as comfortable as possible. As much as I try and make everyone comfortable, I ask for things in return from my friends. I expect they pay attention when I explain the rules and keep some portion of their attention on what is going on. Don’t get me wrong, we have a great time and there is a lot of merriment, but at the same time we are trying to play a game.
As I developed Icarus Tours I very much wanted to reproduce this situation for my guests. I wanted them to feel welcome and comfortable. Specifically, I wanted people that typically get lost in the crowd to feel like they were part of the group. I want people to feel like they can come in, play a game and feel good about what they played, how it went, and who they played with. I think this is the critical difference between a gaming vacation and a gaming convention. In a gaming convention, it is your responsibility to find games and enjoy yourself. In a gaming vacation, I want people to feel that all they have to decide is whether or not they want to play games, and let us take care of the rest. If they don’t want to play games, they are welcome to enjoy the destination. If they do want to play games, they shouldn’t have to worry about all the details that go into a quality experience.
I think as the gaming population has aged and outgrown our dorm rooms and mom’s basements, what we really want is quality gaming experiences over quantity. Providing those quality gaming experiences in a way that guests feel relaxed is a huge part of what makes us Icarus Tours.