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Joseph
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Today, we're all Spaniards!
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This morning, I shared breakfast with a good friend of mine. We meet socially every few months for a meal together. Paul is in his 70's, and a retired corporate man. He's intelligent and articulate, so his pronouncement caught me completely off guard.

It started with a discussion of Bunco, of all things! See, the senior's ministry at church held a social event, with Bunco and Chinese food as the centerpieces. My wife and I attended, at the invitation of some mutual friends. It was a good opportunity to socialize with people we like, without the usual pretense or formality.

Hey, I know Bunco isn't a real game, at least by some of the definitions bantered around this board. We're all familiar with the usual arguments, so we have no particular reason to return to THAT trough of rhetoric. We went to hang out with some nice people, share some food, and have a few laughs. We changed tables 12 times throughout the night, and met maybe 30 new people each. For us, the event succeeded on every level. Crappy game, good people, and hot food. Seems like a winner to me.

Anyway, Paul's pronounceable came after I mentioned loving board games, and participating on BGG.

As the conversation went on, he told the tale of "forced board gaming" during his upbringing. During the winter months of his home state, I forget which one, his family kept cabin fever at bay with gaming. Unfortunately, he was compelled to participate, on threat of bodily harm.

"You will play," his father said, "and you will participate."

This edict issued forth from the fount of parental cruelty, and Paul was forced to play Monopoly, and similar games, for "hours-on-end." Additionally, his family was quite competitive, so anger frequently visited the gaming table, making the experience a living hell for the everyone.

After listening patiently to his story, I unwound my canned defense of the hobby. I explained how board gaming has grown since the days of his youth. When I explained cooperative games, Eurogames, and Germany's post WW2 influence on the hobby, he was surprised and intrigued. He responded well, ending with "I'm glad they've changed a bit over the years, they were insufferable before."

In conclusion, I learned a few things:

1. Everyone has their own board game related horror story.

2. For some non-gamers, their horror story drove them away from the hobby.

3. If we listen closely enough, people will identify their primary objections to the hobby. Based on their objections, concerns, or complaints, we have an opportunity to respond with concrete counter examples.

For example: When my friend spoke of long game duration, I countered with: "Many of the modern games may be completed in 1-2 hours, or less."

*When my friend mentioned aggressive competition, I introduced the concept of cooperative games, and indirect competition.

*When he mentioned his dislike of violent games, I explained the "joys" of games pertaining to medieval mercantile, farming, and other non-violent endeavors.

4. As an apologist for the hobby (self appointed), I must be prepared to answer possible objections with humor, candor, and patience.

5. I learned that demonstrating some basic human warmth and friendliness while explaining, goes a long way. Talking down to someone, or denigrating their view, defeats the purpose of the conversation.

While I certainly didn't win any new converts over breakfast, I found the discussion profitable. The object was not to refute, but merely to offer examples of how his concerns have been largely addressed in modern gaming (if by not by conscious design, than by the current depth and breadth of games available). The breakfast ended well.

Cheers, mates!

Joseph.
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Cory Suter
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Orlando
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falloutfan wrote:
Paul was forced to play Monopoly, and similar games, for "hours-on-end." Additionally, his family was quite competitive, so anger frequently visited the gaming table, making the experience a living hell for the everyone.


Seriously, if I was forced to play Monopoly for hours on end, I would hate gaming too! We have had our share of Hurricane Parties with no power for weeks on end. Monopoly only made things worse! Thank God for Risk...
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Ronnie
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Carrollton
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We wanna be free. We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. And we wanna play games. And we wanna have a good time. And that's what we're gonna do. We're gonna have a good time; We're gonna have a party...
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Gromguitar4 wrote:
falloutfan wrote:
Paul was forced to play Monopoly, and similar games, for "hours-on-end." Additionally, his family was quite competitive, so anger frequently visited the gaming table, making the experience a living hell for the everyone.


Seriously, if I was forced to play Monopoly for hours on end, I would hate gaming too! We have had our share of Hurricane Parties with no power for weeks on end. Monopoly only made things worse! Thank God for Risk...


thumbsup for Monopoly comment... :thumbs down: to risk! yuk

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RJD
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falloutfan wrote:
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For example: When my friend spoke of long game duration, I countered with: "Many of the modern games may be completed in 1-2 hours, or less."

*When my friend mentioned aggressive competition, I introduced the concept of cooperative games, and indirect competition.

*When he mentioned his dislike of violent games, I explained the "joys" of games pertaining to medieval mercantile, farming, and other non-violent endeavors.


This is where I would have lost him. Many of my favorite games play long, and nearly all involve competition, conflict, and violence.
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Karrde
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As a kid we never finished a game of Risk or Monopoly without my dad losing his temper and the board being thrown across the room.

Looking back now, maybe he was doing me a favour...
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Brendan McGuire
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falloutfan wrote:
.

4. As an apologist for the hobby (self appointed), I must be prepared to answer possible objections with humor, candor, and patience.

Joseph.


I like the way you said that, since my favorite apologist mantra comes from the Bible which goes something like:

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the joy that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”
-1 Peter 3:15

Now, of course the joy in reference here is "faith" but I think "boardgames" (or anything that gives you joy and/or hope) can be a nice substitute. After all, it's a safe bet that Jesus never forced the disciples to play monopoly.
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stephen
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Burton on trent
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BoardGameGeek » Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming
Re: "I absolutely loathe board games," and other board game related horror stories.
Some people have no wish to be converted to something they hated in their youth, I can think of instances where people have tried to persuade me that things I dont enjoy are okay now because "things are different now", while I appreciate the other persons enthusiasm for their thing, I tend to feel in such instances that they are not really listening to my point of view. I guess that what I am saying is that sometimes I just want empathy, not an attempt at conversion to the thing I loathe.
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Jesse Fuchs
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New York
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"He who must play, cannot play."
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Linda Baldwin
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I'm so happy to see this attitude. Sadly, I often see people dismissing other people's opinions when they don't agree with their own, and then wondering why they can't get people to join their cause.

It's OK if some people don't like board games. It's also OK to find out why, and point out types of games they might like. It's NOT OK to say "Well, you should!" or push games on them; that may be how they came to hate them in the first place.

IMO, that goes for gamers who don't like the same games you do as well. I'm still impressed by a post I read the other day. A guy said "My SO and I play strictly two-player games. We like 'em short and not too difficult and (list of very specific requirements.)" He went on say he did not like Game X, which was pretty, but failed all his other requirements, including being long and apparently not good two-player, although he was tempted to try it 2p just to be sure.

Someone posted to say "Nah, it sucks 2p, but it's awesome! If I lived near you, I'd totally teach this to you, and we'd play an ultra-long variant ..."

Listening is a lost art. Thanks, falloutfan, for listening.
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