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Board Game Breakfast Segment #5: Language Independent Gaming
Plays Well With Others
Updated: Monday, Apr 21, 2014
Hello, Dice Tower viewers. Chaz Marler from the Pair Of Dice Paradise board game podcast here welcoming you to part five of my hopelessly misnumbered series on running a gaming group. Today I want to share the first question that I’ve received in response to these segments, which is pretty darn cool. Jarb2104 wrote and asked:
“Do you have any ideas for including non English speakers in a gaming group? Making games easier for them, how to interest them, etc.??”

My first suggestion is to reduce the language barrier. Try to find games that don’t contain a lot of text. Some games do a very good job of using iconography to communicate ideas. Which is good, because even I have a hard enough time with English, and even then mastered it I still completely haven’t.

My second suggestion is to reduce the complexity barrier. Can you imagine how difficult it would be learning a game in your non-native tongue? Brutal. That’s why I’d recommend games with mechanisms that are as simple and universal as possible. This doesn’t mean it has to be a children’s game; more like a game with a straightforward objective, instead of multiple rules and exceptions to those rules.

I looked through my game collection to find ones that met these criteria, and came up with: Blokus, Cartagena, For Sale, Get Bit, Hey That’s My Fish, Incan Gold, No Thanks, Straw, Ticket To Ride, and Zombie Dice.

And I don’t even think it’s that good of a list, so help me out here, Dice Tower community. What’s your top, I dunno, Top Ten List of games that you’d use to introduce non-native language speakers to board games? I’d love to see your Top 10 list, from A to Zee.

I hope this helps with your multilingual mingle. Until next time, “Estoy diciendo algo acerca de los juegos de mesa”.
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