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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Possible Game Day Guidelines rss

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Niall Smyth
Japan
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I would worry if passed a piece of paper like this. I would worry about the depth and detail of the rules, and worry about a group of people who required such detail. Sorry.
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Geki
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Carlisle
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poshniallo wrote:
I would worry if passed a piece of paper like this. I would worry about the depth and detail of the rules, and worry about a group of people who required such detail. Sorry.


I also would be bothered, but for the opposite reason:

the rules to a game are rarely, if ever, a matter of agreement. If the designated teacher knows the rules poorly, he should not be teaching the game.
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Davey Boy
United Kingdom
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Your game group sounds like a miserable experience and you sound like you're drunk on power.
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Geki
United States
Carlisle
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I'll reply with my domestic game decalogue. TO be fair, it does not mention rules explanation and time limits
Spoiler (click to reveal)

1. “When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning.”― Reiner Knizia
While having fun is the main goal, there is nothing wrong in trying hard to win, it is actually expected of everyone! Just remember to be a good sport whether you win or not.
2. Never feel pressured to play a game that you don’t like. Life is too short for that. It might take sometimes, but we never fail to find something that everyone is up for playing, in the end.
3. Each game begins and ends within the designed arc. Please try to avoid personal vendettas, favoritisms, playing some ‘long game’ not everyone is part of, etc.
4. Each player is in charge of his or her turn, not matter how well or poorly they play. Also, most of the time giving suggestions ends up giving an unfair advantage to the one doing it. Please try to avoid giving comments about someone’s move until after they have taken it.
5. When you have taken your turn and new information has been revealed, that’s final. This includes comments and opinions from other players (see above).
6. Please don’t ask other people whether you can change something you did in previous turns (“I would have certainly gone there” or “do you mind if I take a green cube instead of a red one?”): this puts other players in the uncomfortable situation of having either to be rude or to allow you to break the rules of the game.
7. On the other hand, if you forgot something automatically given (get income, draw cards, assign points), go ahead and take what’s yours. However, if you’re not sure whether you took it or not, let it rest, to avoid putting other players in a though spot (“I’m not sure if I should have more points” is something to which no kind and useful answer exhists).
8. If a die is not flat, thou shalt reroll that. It even rhymes! (And solves many an argument). Sometimes it seems silly, but anything leaning on two uneven surfaces (with the exception of normal cardstock) should be rerolled. Consistency is the name of the game. Also, dice that fell off the table shall be rerolled.
9. Games are nourishment for the mind, but not for the body. Feel free to take drinks or food from the fridge or wherever else they may be. We strive to never have thirsty or hungry guests! ☺
10. Phones are awesome, games’ pictures even more so. However, please try to focus on the game, and not on the phone.

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Charles Waterman
United States
Commerce Township
Michigan
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Hey, GL - great decalogue, thanks! Had to give you 10 geekgold for the 10 points! *grin*
 
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bort
Australia
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Seems like a lot of rules. I think you can trust people to do the right thing and not be dicks. Mostly.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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Would never attend a gathering that handed a rule sheet like this.
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Osiris Saline
Australia
Red Hill
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I'd honestly just cut down the explanations so it reads like follows:

1. The person who knows the rules the best will teach people the basics. Don't speak over this person.

2. Don't feel like you have to play if the game doesn't sound interesting to you!

3. If you have questions, ask during a gap in explanations, or when playing a first "tutorial" round.

4. Play however you like, however do not speak over other players or "correct" their playing style unless you are the single person who knows the game inside out.

5. When it's your turn ask for help if you're unsure what to do, but don't be afraid to make errors! If you're unsure how long your turn should be, pay attention to the other player's turns or ask the person explaining the rules!

If timing IS a big deal, get someone to set up their smartphone to limit everyone's turn to x minutes. Don't confuse matters when easier options are available.

I'd wholesale avoid marker chips as they are quite oppressive. Being marked like that in any regard is never ever a fun thing. Just reminding people that they should go with their gut in a turn should work, or offering direct advice.
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Richard Dickson
United States
Orlando
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1. Don't be a jerk.
2. Have fun.

Anyone who doesn't follow those rules will naturally be weeded out by social engineering.
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Rood Bird
United Kingdom
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Personally, if I was given a list of any 'behaviour' guide lines I would know that the gathering is not for me.

If people come around to my house there are a lot of things I wouldn't want them to do. For example, eating things from my fridge without asking first, jumping up and down on the furniture or searching through my drawers and wardrobes. However, I wouldn't dream of giving them a list of these things beforehand.

Of course, the reason I don't send out lists of instructions is that there is an implied social contract. I don't believe my guests would do such things anyway. If, someone did do something that upset me or other guests then it would be handled in an appropriate manner.

Meeting up to play games is exactly the same. There is a social contract. I would expect people to know how to behave. I wouldn't expect them to need guide lines on how to make a fun and positive atmosphere. We are talking about adults here, right?

To take one of your examples, I'd expect rule disagreements to be sorted appropriately. If there was disagreement about a particular rule the first option is the rule book. If it can be looked up quickly then there should be no issue. If the answer can't be found easily then a ruling needs to be made. How this is done would depend on the situation. Often, players unfamiliar with the game will defer to the ones who are. At other times the table can agree what seems most likely in the context of the game.

I don't see a need to make one person (the CGT) the only arbiter of all rules in all situations. What if everyone at the table who'd played the game before believed the CGT was wrong?

As I said, any group which needs to be told such things in advance just isn't the group for me.


Hope this helps

RB
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chris thatcher
United Kingdom
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Man I'm so glad I just play with friends and we don't have to go through all this nonsense. I'm gaming tonight, I'll tell them I'm the cgt.. that should be funny.
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15 Keys
United States
Living in the Delco
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DailyRich wrote:
1. Don't be a jerk.
2. Have fun.

Anyone who doesn't follow those rules will naturally be weeded out by social engineering.


I think his set of rules violate both of these.
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Chris in Kansai
Japan
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If you've formulated these "guidelines" in response to issues that come up within your group then they're unlikely to have much effect, because the people concerned will feel a) that their behaviour is justified, b) you're picking on them, and/or c) they don't do whatever it is, and anyway, person x is much worse because, and so on.

If you hand out a list of expectations to people, then they have to be enforced, or they'll just get ignored. Who's going to do that, you? Do you really want to spend your gaming time on petty squabbles about how these guidelines should be interpreted?

I've never heard of a situation where coming up with a set of written etiquette rules has successfully resolved an issue. What usually happens is that problem people get frozen out, or realise for themselves that they need to change their behaviour, or leave/change after a quiet word in private from another member.

Here's hoping you find a way forward.
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Curt Carpenter
United States
Kirkland
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DailyRich wrote:
1. Don't be a jerk.
2. Have fun.

These could be codified in the list. As recommendations/guidelines, of course.
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Stephanie Prince
Canada
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montebanc wrote:
On the other hand, I frequently am too cynical about other people's ability to change autonomously.


So you feel that giving them a list of guidelines will make them change?

Have you actually told them, "I wish there wouldn't be so many arguments over the rules. Can't we just play the game?"

Quietly fuming and then passing out guidelines isn't a solution. You'll be disappointed with the results. Life Rule: You can't change other people. If it's really only "the occasional moments of tension and unpleasantness", then try to let it go. Some players enjoy verbal sparring as part of their game play.
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John Prewitt
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That's a lot of rules.

Mine is don't keep open containers on the table if Kingdom Death is there, otherwise I don't care. If someones being an asshole, tell them, they'll either stop or stop coming back.

The end.
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bort
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79strat wrote:
That's a lot of rules.




(apparently)
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Courtney Heyse
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I think these rules/guidelines are written with good intentions, but the impression they leave on me is overwhelmingly negative.

I'm definitely aware of what types of players I don't play well with, those players that 'set my teeth on edge'. So I just finish the game and choose not to play with them in the future.
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David Buckley
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I have 4 local gaming groups I go to. None of them issue a set of "guidelines". People just turn up and they all seem to work just fine. I would like to echo many of the sentiments in the thread that suggesting detailed guidelines risks making the atmosphere feel too formal and un-relaxed. If you really feel guidelines are necessary, the simplified version suggested by Osiris seems much less off-putting.
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Casey Nedry
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Yamashina
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I started reading rule 1 then noticed all the subsections and glanced at the whole thing then started writing this response without having read your entire post.

If you and your group feel you need all that written down and pay attention to it more power to you. Have fun and enjoy your game time.
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Kyle
Canada
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Yeah, anything approaching this would be in my no fly zone, no questions asks.

Way too many rules

Way to much focus on a lack of dissent (particularly this whole CGT can't be wrong nonsense.) If the teacher has a rule wrong, he needs to know, not have someone swallow it and play a game wrong to not hurt someones ego.

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chinagirl geek
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I don't think your tone is negative overall, though I personally wouldn't want a long handout like this at my game nights.

your guidelines don't mention one of my biggest bugbears (people not respecting game pieces or cards - a tiny minority in my gaming circles, but a very annoying one) and actively encourages the other one (players using their phones between turns and therefore playing suboptimally at best and way too slowly at worst when they do come to catch up and figure out what to do).

I also agree with several other posters about rules. Except in a game like Werewolves/Mafia that has several variants (where players should agree which they are using before play begins), we should not play by YOUR rules or MY rules, just THE rules. (And in case of queries, it usually only takes a minute to look something up.)
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Charles Waterman
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Thanks to **everyone** for your comments and thoughts. Thanks to reflecting on your comments, I'm going to get rid of 80% of what I wrote.

I'm now adapting the few, most troublesome items into a short 5-6 sentence "My Happy Place at a Game Table" kind of list. I'm going to make it as positive as possible, and *if possible* take out all references to "Don't"s stated or implied.

I'll post the result on another thread if it seems like it might still need some other eyes to browse it. I'll leave this thread up for one more day so that everyone who's posted so far can see my appreciation, but I won't read any comments posted after this one. I'll delete this thread after that.

Thanks everyone!

Chuck Waterman
 
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Chris in Kansai
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montebanc wrote:
Hi everybody! I'm trying to formulate a set of Guidelines (not rules) for our local game gatherings to help people think about what can make the atmosphere more positive and fun at these get togethers. Please let me know what you think about these. For example, are they too wordy? Would you feel offended if the host of your gathering passed these out to you? Am I being too strict on some things or too wimpy? Other items I should add? Here we go:

GUIDELINES FOR FUN ATMOSPHERE AT “GAME DAYS/NIGHTS”
1. RULES: People often have different understandings of what a game’s rules are – especially if they often played that game in the past or if it’s a new game to them. Differing rule interpretations can cause unpleasant tension.

Therefore, we recommend the following:

A: Each time a game is played, it should have only ONE current game teacher (CGT) each time it’s played.

B: Players ask the CGT any rules question 1x/2x when they don’t understand, don’t remember or disagree.

C: Players wait 30 minutes or more after the game ends to have a friendly chat with that CGT if they don’t agree with the way the game’s rules were taught. However, let’s be willing to “agree to disagree”.

D: When invited to play, players may politely refuse to play a game with different rules than they like.

We also recommend the following:

E: Let’s agree to not unreservedly disagree about rules with the CGT. OK?

F. Please don’t ask the same question three times, even if the CGT has strange ideas. *grin*

G: Let’s try to avoid saying more than 1x “the game would be better if played by ‘correct rules’.”

H: Avoid playing until someone has read the game’s entire rules in advance. She/He should be the CGT.

2. COMPETITIVENESS: It’s fun to play a game to win! It’s also fun to play just to play! Let’s try to make game experiences enjoyable for everyone, even when you/they lose.

A. Try to avoid making negative comments about a game’s quality immediately after the game ends.

(more to come)

3. LENGTH OF TURNS: Many games have no set turn time limits, but are actually more fun if turns end quickly. However, some feel unpleasant tension if they don’t have enough time to analyze and plan.

Some games contain mandatory time limits (Spyfall, Reverse Charades, WokStar, Word on the Street). However, it’s possible that everyone at the table may agree to stretch the time limit.

On all other games, we recommend that CGTs and players agree on one of these approaches before starting a game:

A. Agree to have NO turn time limits.
In this case, each player should bring something to help them stay calm during other players’ long turns. For example, they can knit, read, or have a conversation with someone not in the game. No nagging slow players allowed!

B. Agree to have strict time limits.

In this case, everyone agrees on a maximum time for turns. If a player thinks another player is taking too long, they set a timer that all players can see. If the timer runs out, that player’s turn is over, and if they haven’t played or aren’t finished, they can’t finish their turn.

We strongly suggest that beginning players be allowed twice the normal turn time length, or just an extra minute per turn be added if experienced players are playing with a new expansion.

C. Have strict time limits, but give 2/3 "freebies"

Use turn timers in the same way as B. However, if a player’s timer runs out, give them one “slow chip”. Then let them keep thinking/playing. If a player has two slow chips in front of them, starting on their third slow turn, their turn really ends with the timer.

Players may decide that after the first timer has run out the player is still taking too long – in that case, turn the timer over again for them! *smile* Remember, no penalties the first two times, and beginner players should be given twice the normal turn length.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

OK that's what I have so far. Thoughts, everyone?



The thread doesn't disappear, only your own posts.
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Charles Waterman
United States
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I'm the OPer:

EDITED: Hi Chris. Not sure why you thought quoting my original post was a nice idea. Do you feel like I'm violating other people's rights by removing my own content? Since I can't delete *your quoting* of my content, I mean.

I feel like either you did that unintentionally, or else I've totally misunderstood the nature of this forum.

<snip>

Yep! Thanks for your comment in the next box, Chris, which really explained BGG forums more completely to me. I had really not understood that forums aren't a place for asking for a quick piece of advice and then wanting everyone to go away. Sorry I didn't get that, and I won't post about **personal problems** I'm having relating to gaming on **these public forums** again.

I would like to tell anyone who reads this thread in the future that I am NOT power mad, but I realized pretty quickly from the comments that I was coming across that way, and that the whole way I was presenting my ideas was a big mistake. If it's helpful for other posters to discuss my mistakes, I'm glad. I'm going to unsubscribe though, because I'm going to approach the issues in our group in very different ways thanks to everybody's comments, both critical and helpfully critical.
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