Thoughts on player badges? Looking for feedback. This is a re-post from my welcome thread. (1 Viewer)

Swisspiss

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Hey thanks everyone for the great advice and tips. I really appreciate it and I am definitely going to utilize as many as I can. This is a great community and I wish I would have found it earlier. I feel a lot better about continuing to run these games once a month and I'm going to try to make twice a month a possibility. I've made the transition to the Invite Tracker Google sheet, now that I figured out how to set it up and use it (mostly).. And I'm going to continue trying to build my player list. You guys and gals are great!

Another thing that I came up with, which may or may not be cool, is name badges for players who show up. I know it sounds kind of corny and unnecessary but I am brand new and brand new people have to try brand new things so that not brand new people don't have to but, can still use the idea if it works for them.

I've created a spreadsheet to enter player names, phones, emails, and also track the number of games attended and number of games won. I then created name badge templates where I can have the player choose any character they want and I will use a B&W photo for there ID picture.(just to save on color ink) Then I can add the player's name so others can say "Hey Matt, are you checking?" and know his name even if they don't already know Matt or just can't remember his name. I added a spot for a nickname if they want, added there member ID which directly corelates to the member list I have on file, and put a "Member Since" spot just for funs. On the back I put a larger version of the logo that I sniped from Google images and a QR code that the player can scan and it will instantly connect their phone to my home wi-fi so I don't have to give people the name and password over and over. These badges only take me about 5 mins to make and print using the template.

The other cool aspect of this is that I will keep all the nametags at my house. This way, I can set the table up with all the chip stacks required for the tournament already in each player spot. When people pay the buy-in, they will receive their badge. When we are a couple minutes from tournament time, I will be able to quickly scan the room for anyone without a badge and remind them that they need to buy-in before the tournament starts. Once the player busts or just decides it's time to go home, I will collect their badge before they leave. This way, it is ready for that player again the next time they show up. I got a 30 pack of lanyards and badge sleeves for like 13 dollars on Amazon.

Obviously this is highly unnecessary when you are running a 4 player tournament. But, in building my player list and eventually getting to the point of hosting 18 players, I can see this coming in handy if not being completely necessary at that point. Just looking into the future. Let me know what you guys think.. Is this cool or is this dumb? Thanks again everyone.

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DeusEx

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I like new things! I don't like wearing things around my neck, but I don't like to wear any Jewelry or even watches really.

Why would anyone need access to your home wi-fi?
Why would anyone need your member ID?

Once the player busts or just decides it's time to go home
I'm going to guess you're not a cat person, its really hard to herd cats!

A cool QR code would be if you were streaming the tourney clock on TTV or something like that, so they could tune in on mobile devices.
 

TheWhat

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Skip the badges, but we are also in the process of getting our WiFi onto a QR code that can just be scanned to connect. Super helpful, and we never need to remember the password. Cricut sticker onto a magnet, placed on the fridge.
 

TheDuke

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Interesting idea. But if I was a player it would be a turnoff for me. Not sure why. Just seems over the top. Unless it's huge multi-table game with hundreds of people on the invite list and it's a revolving cast of players at each game.

If the game was unfamiliar enough where name tags are warranted: people don't know each other, won't introduce themselves to one another, or can't remember each other's names, I'd rather just play in a casino.
 

DeusEx

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I don't understand your question, to clarify, the badge supports a QR code with the wifi information on it, so that visitors could connect to the internet. I don't understand why someone showing up for a poker game would need access to the internet.

It is commonplace to be able to access the internet on your phone, I don't know anyone that doesn't have a cell phone, and I don't know of anyone that would carry a non smartphone and a tablet that couldn't tether, or anyone that doesn't carry a smartphone but wants to be on the internet.
 

upNdown

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I don't understand your question, to clarify, the badge supports a QR code with the wifi information on it, so that visitors could connect to the internet. I don't understand why someone showing up for a poker game would need access to the internet.

It is commonplace to be able to access the internet on your phone, I don't know anyone that doesn't have a cell phone, and I don't know of anyone that would carry a non smartphone and a tablet that couldn't tether, or anyone that doesn't carry a smartphone but wants to be on the internet.
My house is in a neighborhood that doesn’t have great coverage for all the networks. So depending on somebody’s carrier, they might have poor to no internet access.
 

TheDuke

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I'm in the camp of why do you need internet access at a poker game?

We're playing poker. Be present. Quit checking your goddamn phone and play. Try having a conversation with the people sitting beside you instead of watching a YouTube video, looking up the score, or checking your email. Nothing is so important that it can't wait a few hours.
 

glynn

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Nothing is so important that it can't wait a few hours.
I'm gonna try this line with the mothers and fathers of young children who find the precious time for my game.

Everything you said can be true and I would still provide my wi-fi to every guest of my home. Everything you said applies to bars and restaurants, and they still post their SSIDs and passwords in the thick of the city where service is ubiquitous. It is the kind and hostly thing to do.
 

TheDuke

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I'm gonna try this line with the mothers and fathers of young children who find the precious time for my game.

Everything you said can be true and I would still provide my wi-fi to every guest of my home. Everything you said applies to bars and restaurants, and they still post their SSIDs and passwords in the thick of the city where service is ubiquitous. It is the kind and hostly thing to do.
Oh for sure - I'd definitely provide anyone with my WiFi if they wanted it. But at the same time, it's annoying how addicted and attached we've all become to our phones. No one is going to die enduring 4 hours without internet service.
 

Josh Kifer

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I hate that idea.
(But to be fair, I hate most ideas)
It's true, he does.

For a meetup, it's helpful. For a weekly game, let the people chat. Don't overmanage a game. People hate coming to stuff that's overmanaged. A game is a flower. You feed it regularly and it'll blossom. But give it space and time to grow.
 

Swisspiss

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My house is in a neighborhood that doesn’t have great coverage for all the networks. So depending on somebody’s carrier, they might have poor to no internet access.
This is the same for me.. Even sitting in my garage with the door open, which is kinda like being outside, I have maybe 2 bars on a good day.

I'm in the camp of why do you need internet access at a poker game?

We're playing poker. Be present. Quit checking your goddamn phone and play. Try having a conversation with the people sitting beside you instead of watching a YouTube video, looking up the score, or checking your email. Nothing is so important that it can't wait a few hours.
People don't generally check their phones while playing but, people do sometimes want to listen to their own music on Pandora, Spotify, etc... They like to check out there social media accounts or whatever else during breaks or before/after the game.. Giving them wi-fi access doesn't mean your game is full of zombies staring at their phones instead of playing.

It is the kind and hostly thing to do.
This is it right here. Whether they use the wi-fi or not, it's there for them if they would like it. Kind of like my bathroom, or the food, or the beverages. None of these are forced upon them but as a host, I would like my guests to feel comfortable and in some ways, taken care of. After all, I want them to have a good time and come back.
 

Swisspiss

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This is kind of a mute point now anyway. I did pitch the idea of the badges and showed them to my guests last night and got a pretty negative reaction. So, I have scrapped the idea and will probably just post a QR code for wi-fi that they can scan on the board. I thought it sounded fun and a way to customize something but no one else seems very enthusiastic so, oh well. Gotta try it to know if people like it..
 

CrazyEddie

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I attend a small board gaming convention. It's invite-only and most of the people attending have known each other for a long time. We hand out badges and it's a cool thing, it's a little status marker of "yeah, I'm here, and this is a special group of people".

... but it's also 100 people. Not everyone knows everyone (there are some new people every year) so the badges actually do help grease the wheels of social interaction. If it were much smaller I think it would cross the line from "convention" to "party" and having the badges would feel a little weird. I think your poker game falls on the smaller side of that line, and it seems like your players agree.

It was an interesting idea, and ideas are good, but all in all probably not well-suited to a typical friendly poker game.

For a "we're a cool ingroup and I'm part of it" status marker, maybe make custom poker chips with people's names on them and hand them out as freebies after they've attended X number of games? So on Bob's third game he gets a chip that says "Bob" and has some cool artwork and a logo for your game or whatever, and he can use it as a card capper or just leave it lying around on the table or whatever he wants, maybe he just takes it home and leaves it in his junk drawer, doesn't matter, the point is that he got it because he's part of the group now. He gets a nicer one after ten games, and an even nicer one after twenty-five games.
 

Swisspiss

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UPDATE:
So I was having a hard time letting go of my name badge idea and really wanted to come up with a way that it would not only be functional but also something that players wanted. My players, plus about a dozen of you folks, all told me that they didn't want name badges, that it was a bad idea, no one wants to wear them and they are unnecessary at best. Ok, I get it. But, I never stopped trying to improve the idea and create something cool. So, this is what I've done:

I updated the design of the badge as well as created three different versions. A standard red and black badge with a black and white profile picture, a gold and black "Gold Member" badge with a sepia profile picture, and a multicolored "Platinum Member" badge with a full color profile picture. These are for new players (red & black), players that have participated in at least 12 games total (gold & black) and players that have participated in 24 or more games (multicolored). The purpose of this was to give people something to earn, this is how I was going to create the "want"

I also went through and picked 20 type fonts that I felt like were the most unique and allowed the player to choose which font they want the badge to be printed in. This was to add a little more "player's personal touch" to the look of the badge. The last thing I did was create little gold chevrons that I can stack in the upper left corner for each 1st place tournament finish.

Now this badge has the ability to display a player's total 1st place tournament wins, has a QR code for connecting to wi-fi, displays what the player would prefer to be called by other players, displays their member id which is more just for me and the player (remember this number directly correlates to the member list), and is customized in a way that makes the player feel like it is something they created and is uniquely theirs.

I also made the bold and somewhat risky decision that the badges were no longer an optional thing. When my players showed up, I told them straight out that each of them is required to make a badge before playing. The response to that was surprisingly neutral. After the first player chose their font and character profile picture, I printed the badge, attached the lanyard and handed it to them. No joke, they grinned from ear to ear. Once the other players saw it, I had a line (of 3) players trying to see the font list and thinking out loud of what character they wanted. They actually got excited about it! Fuck yea! I did it guys. My players are stoked about the badges now and are (jokingly) competing to be the first one with a gold badge. One of my players liked his badge so much that he asked if he could take it home. I told him that's fine and I'll just print another one before his next game.

I'm keeping the same premise of only handing out a player's badge once they have paid the initial buy in for either a cash game or tournament so I can use it as a quick visual representation of who has paid their way in and who hasn't. When all of us were at the table with our badges, we looked good. Like we are in an event that we belong in. I've told everyone that if they want to change their font or profile pictures, they can whenever they want and I ended up with people making mental notes of the character they want for the gold badge and who they want for the platinum badge. My fiancé won the only tournament we've played so she was excited to see that little gold "trophy" on her badge that no one else has. Everything that I wanted these things to be, they have become.

In conclusion, I took an idea that had an extremely negative response from literally everyone I pitched to, and turned it into something fun and useful that players are now excited to customize and display. I also believe this will help my game to stand out with players that visit a few different home games on a monthly basis. I am interested to hear what you guys think about the new and improved name badges but am less invested in the negative responses at this point. I received such an overwhelmingly positive response with my players that I am over the moon! Also, I cashed out for the most chips last night! ;)
 

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umbkcshah

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I'm glad it's working out for you. The only comment that I have after attending an event with badges would be to consider a way to have it viewable while at the table. Often the lanyards are below the table, so they lose any 'value' while seated.
 

Swisspiss

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I'm glad it's working out for you. The only comment that I have after attending an event with badges would be to consider a way to have it viewable while at the table. Often the lanyards are below the table, so they lose any 'value' while seated.

You're right! If everyone was leaned back in their chair, they were visible but most of the time people are leaning on the rail and they were "under" the table. I have been trying to think of alternate display methods that aren't too dorky looking like a pin to attach to your coat but I haven't come up with anything that speaks to me yet. Very good observation though, that was something I noticed almost immediately, but I didn't think anyone on here would realize. LOL :D
 
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