Do you have someone in your game group that typically reads ALL the rule books for every game? Do you praise them every chance you get for doing that? Well, maybe you should! My fiancé is typically the “Rule Master,” if you will; he reads them, teaches me/the group the game, and references the rules during the game if there are questions or confusions. I never really thought about how much work rule reading was … until now. Now that I review games a bunch more, I have to read the rules to those and teach them as well. Thanks to that, I have a newfound respect for anyone who does this all the time because, well, here’s why:

1. Attention Span

For anything over like 3 pages long, I pretty much forget the set up by the time I get to the end unless I’m actively setting up and trying to explain while reading (which is honestly more effort than it’s worth sometimes and only creates further confusion for everyone). For reference, I majored in English – reading freaking comprehension – but there’s just something about rule books that throws me off, man. They throw too much information at me at once and it is STRESSFUL. I’m sure there is at least 5 other people out there that feel me on this. Right? … RIGHT? Well, a girl can hope I guess. Anyway, wanna know what adds to that stress? Well, keep on reading!

2. Teaching

I think (just kidding, I know) I get stressed reading because I know I’ll then be expected to teach the game soon after, totally nerve-racking. I never wanted to be a teacher, and this does not change my mind. I have a hard time conveying things that I know (like how to play a dang game) to other people because, just because I understand things one way, doesn’t mean other people will, and I might not be able to explain it in a way that other people will get. So kudos to those of you who are so, so good at teaching your audiences how to play things.

I’m also always afraid that I’ll just explain things wrong, or no one will pay attention, or someone will ask me a question that I can’t answer without flipping through all the pages again. Madness will surely ensue and the whole game will go to heck in a handbasket. Sometimes, I just can’t handle all this pressure.

3. Visual Learning

Lastly on our list today is the fact that I am a visual learner to a huge extent. When someone is explaining a game to me and showing me components/things to do, I can pick up it easily because I can see it all at once. When I’m reading I can’t always visualize everything where it should be and doing what it should do. Like I said earlier, that makes it so I often set up as I read instead of being able to read rules in advance like others can. It can definitely be frustrating, but gotta do what works.
The worst thing about this is when rule books don’t have any examples/pictures in them. It makes it so much harder for me to get through because there’s nothing to guide my brain into seeing what the game should look like. Word to the wise – pics in the rule books please!

What are some things that you like or hate about reading rules? Any advice for someone who struggles to read longer rule books? Inquiring minds want to know!

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Big thanks to all you rule readers out there.
Happy Gaming!~