While digging around the back of my desk drawer I discovered the box of gaming business cards I created a while back. They weren’t what I was looking for but I was glad to find them – the small stack I keep in my gaming bag has been running low. As I replenished my gaming bag I thought, this may be the single best gaming item I’ve ever purchased.
I totally stole the idea from my friend and fellow board member Petra. I met Petra at TotalCon and as the convention was winding down she handed me a very similar card, with just a simple statement printed on it like “it was a pleasure gaming with you” and her email address. I was glad to have it. I pocketed it and later emailed her about something game related, I have no recollection of what. That connection has not only lead to many great games together since, but also my involvement with the Rising Phoenix Game Con.
So some years back I printed my own cards with just the URL of this blog and an associated email address. I always have them on me at conventions or pick-up games, and if I play with someone cool I hopefully remember to hand them a card. It’s a very low key way to keep in touch – the other person can toss the card if they like, I’ll never know. The email address on it is specifically one I don’t mind the spam-bots finding. When I check that email I know I’ll likely need to sift through some spam to look for any real correspondence, and when I reply I do so from a more direct address for easier follow-up.
Even though it is so low key, it’s still so much better than nothing. What else do you have – maybe the dim hope this person will be at the same convention again next year and through happenstance you’ll bump into each other? Gaming is such a social activity, why wouldn’t you want to stay in touch with people you enjoyed playing with? Gaming can learn a lot from business here. Dig up any random networking advice column online and think about it in terms of gaming and you’ll find the advice holds up pretty well.
As I restocked my game bag I started to wonder if I shouldn’t update the card. I could put the URL or YouTube address for Wandering DMs there. Maybe add my Twitter handle (@PaulsGameBlog). But then I thought, maybe that makes it feel too self-promotional. I love the simplicity of this card – just a statement of fact, that I had a good time gaming with the recipient, and an invitation to connect online. Keeping it simple prevents it from feeling like pure self-promotion, changing the message from “please read my blog!” to “I hope we can game together again some day.”
I mean sure, there’s a little self promotion in there. Of course I want more people to read my blog, otherwise why write it? And I’d love to grow the viewership of Wandering DMs. But the honest reason for these cards is the simple desire to have a very large network of awesome gamers so I’ll always have plenty of opportunities to play. What more could I want than that?