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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Did We Fail? rss

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David Brzezinski
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Connecticut
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This has been bugging me most of the day and I felt like I needed to open it up for discussion.

I am a part of a local game Meetup group. My experience with this group has been extremely positive. The members I've met have been very friendly and open to new players (we have even pulled in a few members just from people who came to the store where we meet).

However, today I saw a review of our group that was extremely negative. The poster called the members arrogant, rude, disrespectful, and that we look down on anyone who is not a member of our group, even accusing us of "throwing fits."

Naturally, I felt the need to "poke the bear," especially since this person's experience has been the complete opposite of what I have seen from our group. I thought I was being humble, but was met with hostility, with threats of further negative reviews.

Since we do meet in a public place (primarily a local FLGS), there is the distinct possibility that this individual did not actually encounter anyone from our particular Meetup group. Not knowing which day he was at this location (we meet at one location twice a week, and two other locations once a week, with other spots intermittently), I cannot tell if it was anyone from our group or not (or if it was even me doing it inadvertently).

Regardless of all that, is it possible that in spite of trying to keep an open mind and an open membership, we have failed this person, making him feel alienated, whether accidentally or intentionally?
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Pete
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Not everybody's going to like the way you play.

Pete (suggests playing with people who do and not sweating the rest)
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Eddy Sterckx
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Ever considered there are weirdos out there who get offended at literally everything ?
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David Brzezinski
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Connecticut
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
Ever considered there are weirdos out there who get offended at literally everything ?


I did consider that this could just be a troll. But it still sticks in me that there could have been the possibility that we might have done this to someone.
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Trent Boardgamer
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Perth
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plezercruz wrote:
Not everybody's going to like the way you play.

Pete (suggests playing with people who do and not sweating the rest)


+1

Edit: If you were that arrogant you wouldn't have cared enough to ask, you'd just think the guys a troll.
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James Lautermilch
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I would take the advice and move on. There are people you simply are not going to be able to game with due to a variety of factors: Age, personality, gaming style, belief system the list goes on. It may be no ones fault but some need to vent their anger and personally I don't think it ever helps to 'Poke the Bear' just accept that this is someone who doesn't fit your group and move on. You save your sanity that way.
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Alexandre P.
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ChyronDave wrote:
eddy_sterckx wrote:
Ever considered there are weirdos out there who get offended at literally everything ?


I did consider that this could just be a troll. But it still sticks in me that there could have been the possibility that we might have done this to someone.


If he was a sensible person, he would have said to some of you that he was no longer interested in your meetups.

Maybe, apart from the bad adverts, it's a win for the group.
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Gianluca Casu
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ChyronDave wrote:

Naturally, I felt the need to "poke the bear," especially since this person's experience has been the complete opposite of what I have seen from our group. I thought I was being humble, but was met with hostility, with threats of further negative reviews.


Sorry, I did not understand correctly maybe.

So you talked to this person and what did he(or she) say to you exactly? Were there names? Episodes were told?

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MURRUMBEENA
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ChyronDave wrote:
...
Naturally, I felt the need to "poke the bear," especially since this person's experience has been the complete opposite of what I have seen from our group. I thought I was being humble, but was met with hostility, with threats of further negative reviews.
...

Poke the bear?

This sounds like you responded aggressively, in which case

hostility, with threats of further negative reviews

is probably understandable, albeit juvenile.

On the other hand, if your response was temperate ("Hi X, I'm David, sorry about your experience, what day were you there and who did you meet?") then the reviewer has problems and you are better off without them.

My experience is that a calm, open minded response does a lot to defuse a negative review. If I'm researching a hotel or a restaurant and see sensible replies to criticism, I usually short-list that option. I think that would apply here too.
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Chris
United Kingdom
Birmingham
England
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Different sides of the same experience can seem to have nothing in common.

I could've been where you are this week as a new person came to our group as we were setting up Scythe. After saying she'd played erm... the virus one... and moshi kori... ??? and I said that other people would turn up in 5 minutes or so for lighter stuff, she then just sat down at the last spot for Scythe, (after it was already taken!), paid half attention to the rules, and just bailed after 20 minutes of game play.

I could've said no no you wait for a crap gateway game. Don't join this, but it'd have been really arrogant to say as much... yet... I should have done so probably. Not in so many words of course, but had I stressed that point, she'd have probably thought we were total dicks, even though we were proved correct in the end.
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Ian Williams
Wales
Ammanford
Carmarthenshire
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Unless you find out exactly what happened, you won't know if your group failed to provide a welcoming atmosphere. Maybe they're over-reacting, but maybe your group isn't as fun and welcoming to outsiders as they look to you.
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mortego

New Kensington
Pennsylvania
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@OP: you did not fail this person but let's say for the sake of argument that you did,nook at all the other members that still attend and are happy with to continue attending, it's kind of silly to think that every person is going to be happy with a meet up group of any sorts. Keep up the good work you're currently doing with your meet up group!
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Bryan Thunkd
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Florence
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ChyronDave wrote:
Naturally, I felt the need to "poke the bear,"
Yeah, don't do that.

If you're going to respond it should be along the lines of "I'm sorry that you had such a bad experience. I've always had fun games at the meetup and I feel bad that someone else had such a different encounter than mine. I hope you'll come back again. If you do, I'd be happy for you to join a game with me and I'll do everything I can to make sure we have a great time."

By responding in a very positive open manner you have the best chance of showing anyone else who reads the exchange that the group is probably nice and welcoming, something that an Internet spat won't.

Challenging him, questioning him, or doing anything to suggest that his experience or feelings aren't valid isn't going to end well. I assume that "poking the bear" meant something along those lines.

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Will

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eddy_sterckx wrote:
Ever considered there are weirdos out there who get offended at literally everything ?


And just what did you mean by that?!
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Gimo Barrera
United States
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There is a chance. I have been to a game group that was very cliquey and did not realize it themselves. If you are the one to make the meetup make sure you are welcoming to all new comers and make sure they feel welcomed. Here is my experience from 2 different game groups:

The First Group:
This group would meet up at a local pizza place. Most individuals in this group were cool and nice people, but there were 2 that were just rude and just plain out mean, with no one telling them their behavior was out of line and just accepting their behavior. What was worse was how cliquey they were, if I was to bring up that someone is being rude, I would be shut down. Additionally make sure you call people by name, being called a newbie by everyone makes people uncomfortable (this was what was happening), it's ok to keep on asking for someones name until you get it right. I tried giving the group a few tries, went back about 3 more times and gave up on it, since I saw their behavior not changing. The group would charge an entry fee to use to buy games, yet did not buy any current ones, since they would only play TTR. Now it was not all bad, some people were very cool and I would not mind playing with them again, but for the most part the group was too involved with each other, and would just talk bad behind others people's back (a lot of drama that I wasn't looking for, I just wanted to game). RANT OVER

The Second Group:
Now this is the next group I joined (currently in) that I found through facebook. This place had its own venue and was free on a weekday night but you could pay to come on additional nights. The group was larger so there was no clique and you can join a table easily. I added the group to my facebook and when I went the guy leading the group learned my name from facebook and greeted me on first name basis, and immediately got me playing. The selection was much larger and the people much diverse.

I ranted for a few paragraphs, but here is what turned me off from the other group. It wasn't the whole group that was bad, but rather a few people in it. Now I could get passed that, but the matter of fact that there was behavior that I found unacceptable during gaming and no one brought it up because they were too close to each other is not ok. When I had to bring it up, as the new person, and they immediately shut me down. Make sure you are welcoming and not secluded.

tl/dr
It is easy to scare away people through social interactions. I assure you the first group didn't realize they were doing anything wrong, and didn't do it intentionally, but awareness of the social interactions between your group and new individuals is very important. But also sometimes some people are just looking for something completely different, and maybe your group wasn't a good fit.

Edit: Fixed some spelling errors. Wooooops!
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Walt
United States
Orange County
California
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We organizers are also gamers. We don't want to martyr ourselves by depriving ourselves of gaming since if we had to do that, no one would be an organizer.

We have a line in our welcome statement asking new members to attend in the first half hour, usually given over to chat and deciding what games to play. At that point, we can accommodate anyone and do so without ruining our own gaming experience.

Often though, someone will come in at a random time and everyone will be in the midst of games, sometimes long games. Either they're adults, understand the situation, and kibitz or wander off for a while (or try another time), or possibly they are offended that the group doesn't stop everything to start a game just for them. I don't consider this a failure of the group.

(We once had a woman show up at a random time when everyone was engaged. I think of her as Queen Victoria, "We have arrived! We will game now! Attend us!" She left in a huff. Or maybe it was a Buick. She's come back at more reasonable times, or with more reasonable expectations, and gamed.)

I agree that poking the bear is a bad idea. Engage constructively or don't engage at all. Life is too short.

If you're concerned about the review, ask your members to review the group.
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David Brzezinski
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Maybe "poke the bear" was the wrong phrase to use.

Here exactly is the message I sent.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience with our group. I'm not sure which members you had this encounter with, but I know from my experience that the group members quite often tend to me open to new members and new games. Hopefully we will have the chance to show you that what you experienced was the exception and not the rule for this group.
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Gianluca Casu
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This seems very reasonable to me. Now I suppose there was an answer. The gist of which was?
 
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David Brzezinski
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The gist of his answer was that apparently we had been disrespecting him for months. He mentions being mocking, flicked off (whatever that is) and chuckled at. He doubted my sincerity, calling it lacking, and said that the negative reviews would continue as long as the behavior does.

I guess the worst part of all this is that I have no idea who this individual actually is. He says he has been disrespected for months, but his profile on meetup says he has only been a member since June. There is no record of him in any of the past meet ups, and his profile is nearly bare.
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Eddy Sterckx
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Social nutcase with imaginary problems - just move on.
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Walt
United States
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California
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eddy_sterckx wrote:
Social nutcase with imaginary problems - just move on.

Or just a random troll?
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Jordan Booth
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ChyronDave wrote:
flicked off (whatever that is)

Shown the middle finger. The one finger salute.
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ackmondual
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ChyronDave wrote:


Regardless of all that, is it possible that in spite of trying to keep an open mind and an open membership, we have failed this person, making him feel alienated, whether accidentally or intentionally?


It's possible you did this, AND that it wasn't your fault.

.

CASE STUDIES

1) somebody wanted to host a Catan night. Others suggested he call it "game night featuring Settlers Of Catan" to get more attendees. All the host wanted to play was Catan. It sounded like the Meetup event name shouldn't have been changed in the first place. But then I was told the host was rude, and accusing players of "trading when they shouldn't be", and otherwise playing the wrong way, so it sounded like this endeavor wasn't going to work out anyways

2) I suggested to one hostess that she post on her MU page for each event in the description, and the "About Us" page of the MU group that they play euro games. They take 2 to 40 minutes to teach, and 20 min. to 4 hours to play. THe complexity and game length can be adjusted to suit tastes. THey can teach games and provide games, but feel free to bring your own that suits the euro game mold. A link to wikipedia was provided to explain what "euro game" or "German style bg" meant. THey also play filler games and misc. from time to time.

I'm told this has worked out. Folks have a better idea of what to expect so that more folks are on the same page. It's definitely eliminated the "beer and Cards Against Humanity" group.

 
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David Brzezinski
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Thanks to everyone for their responses. Based on further communication with the individual, along with posts on a Meetup that I was unable to attempt (work and family emergency), It does seem like this is more of a troll situation than a group failure.

The only thing I still wonder about is why this person seems to be running a personal vendetta against our group (beyond the obvious troll reason).
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Don Lynch
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ChyronDave wrote:
Thanks to everyone for their responses. Based on further communication with the individual, along with posts on a Meetup that I was unable to attempt (work and family emergency), It does seem like this is more of a troll situation than a group failure.

The only thing I still wonder about is why this person seems to be running a personal vendetta against our group (beyond the obvious troll reason).


The answer is that the troll (in deed, if not in fact) is part of a segment of the population that is either evil, rude, sociopathic, sadistic, self important, or all of the above. In our social imperative to be politically correct, society currently tends to let aggressive, rude, and deranged behavior pass without comment or correction. Do not allow yourself to be bullied by such behavior. Do not allow such people to disturb your quality of life.

It is of course entirely possible that this is an oil and water situation and never the twain shall mix. But it sounds like a lot more than that. If you don't fit in with a specific group, then the right thing to do is recognize it and back out gracefully.

No, you did not fail; he did.
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