Hall or Nothing Productions Ltd: Help with an article - The Rise and Rise of Solo Gaming

Monday, February 20, 2017

Help with an article - The Rise and Rise of Solo Gaming

Dearest Blorggers,

I'm writing an article detailing The Rise and Rise of Solo Gaming for the UK Games Expo (our version of Essen) this year, and I'd love to canvas you gentlefolk for opinions, quotes and ideas.

I think it's fair to say that whilst solo rules for board games, and particularly war games, have been around for ages we've also seen a surge of interest in solo rules recently, particularly in line with the rise of Kickstarter - a platform where gamers can help to guide the decisions of creators to include extra elements they might not have previously considered, such as solo rules.

Anywho, whilst I'm developing this, if you have any interesting thoughts or articles on the subject that you think might help, I'd certainly be grateful for any suggestions - and if you do respond below feel free to pop in a quote with your own thoughts on the subject.  I can't guarantee I'll be able to quote everyone in the article but it might be a cool discussion point in any case.

So, why do you play solo games?  And have you seen an increase in the proliferation of solo games in recent times?

For example, if I was to answer the first question myself it would be along the lines of: I often play games solo to learn the rules before introducing the game to friends, to get away from screens for a bit and test my mental agility, to have a thematic narrative experience, and also because I blooming love it!

Thanks in advance for any thoughts on the subject.  :)



Wilson said...

Wonderful! I hope your article goes well.
I play solo almost exclusively.
As a kid I was frequently I'll, and convalescing at home alone while my parents worked. I needed to occupy myself and from my youthful perspective daytime tv was boring. I played chess, Monopoly, Payday, Life, you name it - alone.
Then came the late 70s and I was playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends. Alas, I'd still get frequently I'll but instead of those other games, now I was generating characters and dungeons to lead my friends through. I'd spend hours doing that.
I walked away from the game around, say, 1984.
Fast forward to 2006 or so when I was introduced to Settlers and Carcassone. I didn't know these kind of games existed! I was excited, but no one else around me was. As my understanding of wonderful and creative games unfolded week by week, I could not find enthusiatic support even in my own home. And that's when I discovered solo options - whether as a cooperative game, or specifically designed as such.
I began to dabble, then became obsessed. I grew very protective of my Saturday mornings, usually hours before anyone else awoke.

Reflecting on your question, there are many answers.

I play solo because I can create images in my head that I don't need to unpack or explain.
I play solo games because that's when life slows down and is savored.
I play solo games because it reminds me of my youth.
I play solo games because I am not a competitive person.
I play solo games so that I can exercise creativity in my uncreative world.

Ninjadorg said...

Thanks for your thoughts and feedback Wilson, that was an insightful and quite a moving response and it's always interesting to see where people's inspirations and motivations come from. We're spoilt for choice these days for excellent solo games which seems to be a far cry from when I was a kid and had to create rules to play games solo too. :)