The Good Gaming Buddy
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For the better or the worse, a game is never better than its players. Playing your favourite game can be an ordeal if you do it with the wrong people. Thus, you must choose your gaming buddies carefully. Not all of us can choose, of course. However, we can always discuss what makes a good gaming buddy, and that is what this geeklist will be about. Contributions are of course welcome.
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1. Board Game: Galaxy Trucker [Average Rating:7.46 Overall Rank:128]
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The good gaming buddy has a sense of humour. If this is missing, nothing else matters, in my opinion. I don't mind people who take their gaming seriously – or even live for their gaming – but if they forget that gaming is something you do at your leisure mostly – or even exclusively – to have fun, I will avoid them. If you can't laugh at yourself or your blunders, or your favourite games or the hobby in general, I think you've missed the whole point with gaming. Sure, gaming can be stimulating, challenging, educational, psychological, professional, lucrative, and what have you, but first and foremost, it is – or at least should be – fun.
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2. Board Game: Diplomacy [Average Rating:7.06 Overall Rank:500]
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The good gaming buddy never cheats. Or more precisely, a good gaming buddy never cheats unless the rules of a game explicitly allows it. I think cheating in board games defies the whole purpose of gaming. To quote the good Doctor: "When playing a game, the goal is to win, but it is the goal that is important, not the winning." A player who wants to win at all costs hasn't embraced the true spirit of the hobby, in my opinion. Everyone should have a good time when you play board games, and if someone cheats or even can be suspected of cheating, it creates unnecessary tensions and conflicts.

Personally, I can't understand how someone even can consider cheating in board games. The only things you can "accomplish" is a false victory and faint praise from a few blokes who very well may have forgotten your victory the next time you meet. It's playing the game that is important, not winning it.
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3. Board Game: Pandemic [Average Rating:7.66 Overall Rank:73]
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The good gaming buddy can compromise. I assume the most common bone of contention in gaming groups is what games to play. Some of us love Kickstarter and want to play new games all the time, and some of us love the old classics and want to explore games in depth. Some of us want strategy and challenge, and some of us want theme and immersion. Some of us like short and amusing games, and some of us want long and serious games. Even within a gaming group, gaming preferences may differ dramatically. Compromises can also concern interpretations of rules, house rules, backtracking moves, decisions in cooperative games, dates and times for gaming evenings, food breaks, and what have you.

To me, it's important that everyone is willing to compromise and find some common ground, so that everyone can have at least a reasonably good time at the gaming table.
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The good gaming buddy has a fairly open mind. I would assume that gamers who love all kinds of games are exceptionally rare, if they exist at all. However, gamers that have a very exclusive taste and only like one kind of games are not my cup of tea.

Why? Well, let me give some illustrative examples. I played Chess for years and years and didn't think that any abstract game could match it, but then I tried Go; now I'd pick Go over Chess any day. Agricola seemed bloody awfully dull to me, but then I actually came around trying it; now it's one of my favourite games. I couldn't see the point with cooperative games, but then I tried Pandemic; now it's one of my favourite games. I could go on. There are simply so many excellent games of so many different kinds that I don't want to limit myself.

I realise that this criterium isn't important for everyone, though. If you, for instance, are a die-hard Chess player or Magic player, then I can understand that you may appreciate a gamging buddy who shares your exclusive taste.
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5. Board Game: ShenShi [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
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The good gaming buddy treats games with care. The good gaming buddy does not eat greasy snacks while playing, treat beverages carelessly at the gaming table, shuffle unsleeved cards violently, knock about delicate pieces, ignore components dropped on the floor, and so on.

This may sound out-and-out ocdish, but I think most gamers would agree that A) games can be expensive and difficult to replace, B) a beautiful and pristine game can enhance the gaming experience, and C)



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6. Board Game: A Question of Sport [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Kentaro Sugiyama
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Redondo Beach
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The good gaming buddy is a good sport.
(This is linked closely with having a good sense of humor.)

The good gaming buddy does not whine incessantly, for the rest of the game, for some bad move. The good gaming buddy learns from their mistakes, bears the consequences, and moves on.

The good gaming buddy does not abruptly leave in the middle of the game, because they are in a bad position or frustrated for some other reason. Regardless of how bad their position is, the good gaming buddy will finish the game, for the sake of everybody's enjoyment.

Instead of complaining how bad the game is, if the good gaming buddy is not enjoying themselves AND they sense that others are not either, they can diplomatically suggest to abort the game. The good gaming buddy will then abide with the group's decision.

The good gaming buddy will not gloat about how wonderful their position is, or rub in their victory; they will be humble and modest in their celebrations. The good gaming buddy will congratulate the winner(s) and thank everyone for a good game and hard fought competition.

The good gaming buddy will not hold grudges and play meta games outside of a particular game. The good gaming buddy realizes each game is a separate event, and they are willing to leave behind those experiences and not let it cloud their judgment in the next game.

The good gaming buddy will not play a passive-aggressive game because they are not enjoying themselves. They will not purposefully or willfully try to break the game or try to end the game prematurely, just for the sake of it. The good gaming buddy will bring their best "A" game if the game and the other players require it. Yet, they can tactfully "tone" down their game and adjust their play with newbies or when teaching a game.

The good gaming buddy is always striving to be a better person first, and then become a better gamer. They admit when they are wrong, apologize, and correct the situation. Further, the good gaming buddy is equally magnanimous.
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7. Board Game: A Game of Thrones: The Board Game (Second Edition) [Average Rating:7.70 Overall Rank:84]
Mattias R
Sweden
Stockholm
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My Gaming Etiquette, edited from
George Leach
United Kingdom
Godalming
Surrey
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Before the game
-Most importantly, I commit to having fun. Games are a leisure activity and should be engaged in with a sense of fun and adventure. I hope that my commitment to the fun and social nature of gaming is contagious enough that I encourage this behavior in others. I want to be an ambassador to this rewarding and entertaining hobby. I recognize that my attitude can have an effect on the other players and their enjoyment of the game.

-I will show up at the agreed time so the game can start. If I am going to be late, I will call the game organizer and let them know. I will not be offended if they decide to start without me. Their time is obviously as valuable and important as mine.

-I will always finish the games I start. If I have to leave early, I will let the other players know in advance. Then we can pick a game to play that can be finished in time.

Playing the game
-I will will not engage in other activities while we are playing the game. For example, I will not watch Youtube clips, play other games on my phone, send text messages or call my friends. If I get an important call, I will try to keep it brief.

-I will be respectful of game components. Some games, for example, have many cards. I will not bend, tap, rub or do anything that will mark or damage the cards. I will not eat foods that make my fingers messy while playing. I recognize that games are a dear possession and that my "cheesy" prints may not qualify as adding value to them.

-I will perform my actions in the open. If I'm paying five blue cards to build to Miami, for example, I will fan the five cards before discarding them. I assume that you'd like to be able to see for yourself that my actions are legit. I think it's totally reasonable for you to want to see this -- we all make mistakes. I know I have accidentally "cheated" many times and I definitely want to get caught if I do!

-I will not scream, curse or whine every time things do not go my way.

-I will help with the maintenance of the game, like setting it up and taking it down, shuffling and revealing cards, moving scoring markers and dealing out money.

-I will not consistently take longer to decide my move than everyone else at the table. It is better to make a suboptimal move and consider it a lesson learned than to hold everyone up. It is okay if I occasionally say, "oh man, I'm going to need a minute to think about this one". But that's the exception, not the norm.

-If I decide that I no longer have any chance of winning, I'll play for style points. I mean, for place, or for score. If you decide that you no longer have any chance of winning, you can do whatever you want. If you decide to knock me out and crown player X the winner just for the fun of it... I will be disappointed, but that is your choice.

-When you make a play that hurts me, I won't take it personally and won't try to make you feel bad about it. Sure, I may moan and groan a little, but it is all in good fun. Conversely, I pledge to always make the best moves I can think of, whether it hurts you specifically or not. That's my job as a player.

Advice
-If you are new to a game and you ask for advice, I'll offer it, and make sure to point out the fact that, actually, I almost always lose, so you might want to take my advice with a grain of salt.

-If you do not ask for advice, I will not provide it. I will not try to dictate how you should play the game. I will not constantly point out your options and their consequences. I'm sure you and everyone else at the table would like each player to make up their own mind.

Takebacks
-If I realize I made a blunder, and the next player hasn't gone yet, and I know exactly what move I want to do instead, then I might ask you if I can change my move. I won't try to change the past if the next player has already gone. And I won't ask to take it back and then make you wait while I decide all over again what to do. Better to just accept it as a lesson learned and move on.

-If I realize I forgot to do something that should have happened automatically on my turn, I might ask, "Hey, is it okay if I take the thing that I should've got from this thing?". I won't assume that you'll say yes. And I will not ask that we roll back all moves since, just because I forgot something.

-If we realize a rules error was made, I will vote that we just let it stand, as it can be very difficult to reconstruct what the game state "should have been". However, if we realize a rules error was made that helped me, I will apologize and volunteer some simple penalty that seems appropriate.
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