Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 Hide
31 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: The problem lies with the "non-alpha" gamer rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Fawwaz
Saudi Arabia
Riyadh
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd rather play a coop game with a group of alpha gamers.

For my gaming group, the case usually is when we play a coop game, half of the players are very interested in the game and are giving suggestions to everyone around the table while the other half are sitting there asking: "So what should I do?". What ends up happening is that the former group, i.e., the alpha gamers, start telling the others about how to play because the others really don't have an opinion.

This even happens in games where the whole group understand the rules fairly well and it's not the first time that they've played the game.

So yeah, I'd rather play a coop game with a group of alpha gamers where everyone tries to convince the others of their idea about how to proceed with the game.
18 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew
Japan
Tokyo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You don't always get that kind of choice, and sometimes co-op games are the best way to get introverted players talking and contributing to the group.

Anyway, it comes down to the definition of "alpha gamer" - I've played with very intelligent and experienced gamers who are tactless and oblivious to or unconcerned with others' discomfort. Would not want to play any game with them.
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
J J
Australia
flag msg tools
Straw man.
25 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
r0t1 prata
Singapore
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What if your gaming group doesn't have the half who asks "So what should I do?" and instead have the half who act without consulting the group.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sonny Blount
New Zealand
flag msg tools
out to lunch
badge
same place I eat at
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
r0t1prata wrote:
What if your gaming group doesn't have the half who asks "So what should I do?" and instead have the half who act without consulting the group.


You can both put forward an idea, and ask for advice and discussion.

I don't think alpha-gamer, as I would view it, always means also a dick.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sacre Bleu
Canada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JasonJ0 wrote:
Straw man.


Not sure how this two words reply deserves 3 thumbs. I also don't see where the straw man is. OP's experience seems to align with my own: in a coop game, a subset of players usually ends up deciding for the whole group. I'd say that's just normal human social dynamics.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Iachini
United States
Denver
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Skarjak wrote:
JasonJ0 wrote:
Straw man.


Not sure how this two words reply deserves 3 thumbs. I also don't see where the straw man is. OP's experience seems to align with my own: in a coop game, a subset of players usually ends up deciding for the whole group. I'd say that's just normal human social dynamics.


I think he's saying the OP set up a straw man argument, implying that the two alternatives are playing a co-op with a group of alpha gamers or playing it with a half-and-half group of alpha and non-alpha gamers.

In reality, some groups have no alpha gamers (which is often presented as the ideal group for co-ops), some have one, some have all but one, etc.

Some context might help here: The "alpha gamer problem" with co-op games (where one or two players take over a game of Pandemic or the like and tell everyone else what to do) is frequently discussed in forums like this one. The OP was presenting a "counter" to that argument, saying that alpha gamers aren't the problem, it's the non-alphas who are the problem. JJ responded by saying that this is a straw man argument, since the "all alphas" group is not the choice usually being discussed (it's usually between "no alpha" as the optimal or "some alphas" as the problem).

It's easy to say, "This isn't a problem because the alternative is all alphas" but that's a bit of a straw man argument because that's not what these types of threads tend to be debating. Yes, it's lovely that an all-alpha group can have a good time with a co-op, but that isn't the reality that most people in these types of threads are struggling with. Usually people are trying to figure out how to get the one alpha gamer in a group to suppress his or her alpha nature and let everyone participate meaningfully.

Michael Iachini
Clay Crucible Games
24 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
You described two completely opposite ends of the spectrum and then expect your answer to be true. I've played coop games with lots of people that didn't take over, asked some questions discussed ideas and made decisions all in the same game. They aren't alpha gamers but they aren't sitting there asking what they should do all the time.

Alpha gamers doesn't mean you have to take over and play for others. I tend to consider myself an alpha gamer when it comes to coops and that's because I tend to provide the lines I believe are the best plays but at the end of the day I still leave the choice to the person whose turn it is.

The types of gamers I dislike are the ones that don't accept that each player can make their own choices (regardless on how they feel about that choice), that start playing others pieces for them or don't give a chance for less experenced players to learn and understand why they should take certain decisions. Those aren't alpha gamers they're just dicks.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liam
Scotland
flag msg tools
admin
badge
I am BGG's official honey trap
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I don't think the problem you describe is to do with 'Alpha's' or non-'alphas'.

Players continually asking "What should I do" or being disinterred or distracted during a game is a whole separate issue. Frankly, if this was a recurring theme I'd honestly wonder why they're at the table (asking these questions when your new, new to the game or once in a blue moon when your confused is fine).

'Alphas', from board gaming perspective, generally try to tell or even order, not suggest, players what to do whether they ask for the help or not. They try to control other players' turns and remove the cooperative/teamwork element from a game (often spoiling or breaking these types of games).

Your problem sounds like how to deal with disinterested or easily distracted players. I'd identify the problem, see if they realise that their indecision is having a negative impact on the game and if they can take steps to address it. Some groups have built in house rules to tackle such a problems, others simply play games to suit such a player… others don't invite players back who, frankly, aren't that interested in playing board games.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andreas Krüger
Germany
Krefeld
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
If you have two of them and the night does not end with a fight, they are not alphas...
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sacre Bleu
Canada
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ChaosAndAlchemy wrote:
Skarjak wrote:
JasonJ0 wrote:
Straw man.


Not sure how this two words reply deserves 3 thumbs. I also don't see where the straw man is. OP's experience seems to align with my own: in a coop game, a subset of players usually ends up deciding for the whole group. I'd say that's just normal human social dynamics.


I think he's saying the OP set up a straw man argument, implying that the two alternatives are playing a co-op with a group of alpha gamers or playing it with a half-and-half group of alpha and non-alpha gamers.

In reality, some groups have no alpha gamers (which is often presented as the ideal group for co-ops), some have one, some have all but one, etc.

Some context might help here: The "alpha gamer problem" with co-op games (where one or two players take over a game of Pandemic or the like and tell everyone else what to do) is frequently discussed in forums like this one. The OP was presenting a "counter" to that argument, saying that alpha gamers aren't the problem, it's the non-alphas who are the problem. JJ responded by saying that this is a straw man argument, since the "all alphas" group is not the choice usually being discussed (it's usually between "no alpha" as the optimal or "some alphas" as the problem).

It's easy to say, "This isn't a problem because the alternative is all alphas" but that's a bit of a straw man argument because that's not what these types of threads tend to be debating. Yes, it's lovely that an all-alpha group can have a good time with a co-op, but that isn't the reality that most people in these types of threads are struggling with. Usually people are trying to figure out how to get the one alpha gamer in a group to suppress his or her alpha nature and let everyone participate meaningfully.

Michael Iachini
Clay Crucible Games


This is not a strawman, it's actually a false dilemma.

And you deserve more credit than that guy for actually attempting to discuss the issue (I wonder, why is there not a character minimum for posts on the forums? A lot of forums implement this precisely to prevent "first!" "In before lock" or other kinds of posts that add nothing to the discussion).

I personally don't mind the indecisive players. As long as I get to have my fun, I don't care that they're not interacting too much. Clearly I'd rather play with the players that are discussing tactics together. I've not run into an "alpha gamer" yet, but I guess that's because I haven't played too many coop games.

EDIT: Me not running into an alpha yet is not an admission of being the alpha.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I *can* alpha game, I know I have it in me, but I specifically set myself up as not only a non-alpha, but an anti-alpha gamer. I will deliberately not tell people what to play, even if they ask. I will turn it around on them and ask what they think is best and only after they've ventured a suggestion will I provide input. This helps teach them to come out of their shell and trust themselves more. This helps balance the play in the long run and increases socialization value in the gaming experience.

But, what if people don't WANT to come out of their shell? I hear as the immediate counterpoint... well, then they probably shouldn't be playing a co-operative game, where social interaction is pretty much required. There are plenty of euros to withdraw into yourself during
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Nate Wright
United States
Philadelphia
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
mbmb
monkeyhandz wrote:


Players continually asking "What should I do" or being disinterred or distracted during a game is a whole separate issue.


If you've got players continually being disinterred, I'd definitely say you've got a whole other set of problems entirely!!!!

devil
3 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Allen OConnor
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Glass Bead Board Games
badge
Read my blog
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I agree, I've played games of Pandemic before where I have ended up playing most peoples turns for them, because they don't want to make a decision.

What is worse in a co-op game? Occasionally I have known gamers to try and sabotage a co-op game by playing against them mid game and declaring the self a winner when the group lose.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
monkeyhandz wrote:


'Alphas', from board gaming perspective, generally try to tell or even order, not suggest, players what to do whether they ask for the help or not. They try to control other players' turns and remove the cooperative/teamwork element from a game (often spoiling or breaking these types of games).



I disagree with this completely.

An alpha will speak up more and try to convince others his route is the best and generally be vocal about it but it doesn't mean they will tell others what to do, order them, control them or remove any other parts of the cooperative nature of the game.


You can be alpha at a boardgame table and till partake as a team, it just means you will try to lead rather than follow.


 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
C M
msg tools
mbmb
If everyone is the alpha gamer then no one is the alpha gamer. An alpha gamer is someone who is taking over control of other players' turns. In absents of actually gaining control you do not have an alpha gamer, merely someone attempting to be an alpha gamer. I think some people in this thread are confusing alpha gamers with extroverts.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jimmy Smith
United States
Tavares
Florida
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Virtually all Co-ops are really solo games in disguise, so why do people get upset when they end up playing out that way?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andreas Krüger
Germany
Krefeld
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jmsmith2434 wrote:
Virtually all Co-ops are really solo games in disguise, so why do people get upset when they end up playing out that way?


So is watching a movie, but the experience is different when you do it with friends. And just as with movies, there is a difference between throwing in a short comment and talking all the time.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lynette
United States
Richland
Washington
flag msg tools
Yep, I am a girl Scientist. Come for the breasts; Stay for the brains!
badge
For as long as I shall live I will testify to love; I'll be a witness in the silences when words are not enough.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
jmsmith2434 wrote:
Virtually all Co-ops are really solo games in disguise, so why do people get upset when they end up playing out that way?


Not true. If played as an actual Co-op with a group of people who can work together as a team than each person's strengths and ideas can contribute to seeing things that any one of them might have missed.

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Liam
Scotland
flag msg tools
admin
badge
I am BGG's official honey trap
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
apocalyp wrote:
monkeyhandz wrote:


'Alphas', from board gaming perspective, generally try to tell or even order, not suggest, players what to do whether they ask for the help or not. They try to control other players' turns and remove the cooperative/teamwork element from a game (often spoiling or breaking these types of games).



I disagree with this completely.

An alpha will speak up more and try to convince others his route is the best and generally be vocal about it but it doesn't mean they will tell others what to do, order them, control them or remove any other parts of the cooperative nature of the game.


You can be alpha at a boardgame table and till partake as a team, it just means you will try to lead rather than follow.




I'm not talking from an academic perspective, only from the way I've seen it used predominately within our community.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenny VenOsdel
United States
Saint Paul
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
monkeyhandz wrote:
apocalyp wrote:
monkeyhandz wrote:


'Alphas', from board gaming perspective, generally try to tell or even order, not suggest, players what to do whether they ask for the help or not. They try to control other players' turns and remove the cooperative/teamwork element from a game (often spoiling or breaking these types of games).



I disagree with this completely.

An alpha will speak up more and try to convince others his route is the best and generally be vocal about it but it doesn't mean they will tell others what to do, order them, control them or remove any other parts of the cooperative nature of the game.


You can be alpha at a boardgame table and till partake as a team, it just means you will try to lead rather than follow.




I'm not talking from an academic perspective, only from the way I've seen it used predominately within our community.


I agree. When people talk about alpha gamers as a problem they are referring to those who won't let anyone make a move that they don't agree with, not just someone who gives a few hints. They may badger them or repeatedly tell them how bad of a move it is until that person feels like a jerk if they don't fall in line.

Alphas don't just do this to "followers" either. You can be less experienced or not great at a game, but it doesn't mean you should just be a follower, you should be allowed to make mistakes and learn.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roman Kowalewski
Poland
Warsaw
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
There are few things that determine how somebody will behave in a co-op game, like personality, knowladge about a particular game, atmosphere or even mood. Same we can influance and some we can't. I am more careful when it comes to play and pick players for co-op games.

I guess the 2 worst kind of situations are:
1.when somebody is trying to cooparate and all he gets back is silence or "ok";
2.and when there is someone bullying other players, forcing moves and so on.

Those two are kind of similar i guess, but when at least 2 players are discusing a problem, others will join more or less, unless they are not interested in game at all. This however is a whole different problem.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John A. White
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hylian_pirate wrote:
Subject: The problem lies with the "non-alpha" gamer

The problem is when you lie about being "non-alpha" gamer.

You're missing the "CO" in co-op... you have "Op"ted not to "co" and wasted my time. GET OFF MY TABLE!

Hows that for ALPHA?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pas L
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
flag msg tools
Nothing will come of nothing.
badge
Speak again.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
An alpha gamer isn't someone who discusses options with others back and forth. It's a player who tells others what to do because they think they know best and won't listen to anyone who says otherwise.

So yes. Straw man.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
☆ ✧ ☆ ✧ ☆
United States
Minneapolis
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future. H.G. Wells
badge
Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. Chief Seattle
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Skarjak wrote:
(I wonder, why is there not a character minimum for posts on the forums?)


There is. A post must have a minimum of three characters.

Which means that is not a valid thread post, but wow is perfectly acceptable.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.