Play everything at least once.
Play card games, board games, video games, roleplaying games, live-action games, ARGs, social games, every game you can get your hands on. Play a platformer today and a first-person shooter today. Grab some friends and try a story game, then sit down for some dungeon crawling next week. Don’t just stick to games you know you’ll like — try everything, always with an open mind.
It might seem really simple, but the best way to be happy as a gamer isn’t to talk about games on the Internet, but to actually play them. And the best designers out there are the ones who try every game, even those that might not seem like much fun to them.
When you run across games you don’t like, walk away thinking about that game. Why didn’t you like it? Would you like it in the future, with different players? A different setup? Or maybe it’s not for you at all, and that’s cool, too — no game can be for everyone. As a player, knowing this will help you have more fun in the future. As a designer, you need these experiences to build strong games.
Play everything, and let other people play everything, too. Don’t harsh on those who like a game you hate. Don’t be snobs about your hobby. Don’t tell people they “aren’t really having fun.” Don’t be pushy about getting reluctant people to play games you like. We’re all different, but we want the same thing: to have a good time with friends. That’s what’s really important.
After all, we can’t play all these games if we don’t have friends to play them with.
Edit: the piece I workshopped this for is done! It’s a kick-ass poster. Click for more!