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Subject: Am I "that guy"? rss

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Mitch Renwick
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I had an incident at a meet up of our gaming group this weekend, and I just wanted to share.

Our group is all friends, we were friends before we were ever gaming friends. It started with some emails before the meet up. I usually ask if there are any games that anyone would like me to bring, and I’ll mention something that I may want to play. This time around it was Super Dungeon Explore. We hadn’t played it in a while, and the upcoming kickstarter had me excited to play. Gamer B asked if I bring Caverna, even if we didn’t play he wanted to check out the components.

I also listed some games that I had recently acquired between a BGG auction, and a flea market.
Flea Market (Kingsburg + xpac, Battlestar Galactica, Age of Empires 3, Cyclades, & Coup KS edition, all for $135 total)
BGG (Caverna, Lord of Vegas)

So onto the story.

I show up and they have a new to us game (brought by Gamer A)set up and ready to go, The Adventurers. Cool, I’ve been wanting to try this one. We play, it was simple but fun, and it’s time to move on.

Gamer A the pulls out Betrayal at the House on the Hill to play, another new game. We’ve played this one, but on a borrowed copy. Cool, I love this game, it’s one of my top 3-5 games. We play, its good, but not a well-balanced haunt, and 2 members aren’t really into it, so it took away from the role playing experience. But that’s ok, we have a diverse group.

We have about 30-45 minutes left before some people have to leave, so Gamer C pulls out a filler Battle Cattle that he had picked up at the flea market. It was ok, kinda fell flat on me. Probably because I felt like most of the night was spent on pretty light games, and I’ve been itching for something with some meat on it.

So we’re all packing up and Gamer A brings up my email from earlier. “so you’ve been wanting to play SDE huh?”

“yes, I have some new minis painted, and its just been awhile since we
have played” I replied.

“well why do you think that is?” he retorted.

“I dunno, I think part of it is time, but a big part is that the couple girls who show up some nights really don’t like it, so I don’t try to force it to the table” I say

“really” he says in a condescending tone, “you think that’s why?” Maybe it’s the 7 games you have that we’ve not even played” “think about it”

It kinda ended with that, someone changed the subject and we started talking about some kickstarters we had backed, (some over a year ago) and we’re still waiting on them to come in. Kaosball came up, (one that both Gamer A and I backed), I said that I guess I would just sell mine when it finally came in, and Gamer A said he had never planned on keeping it, he just wanted to try to turn a profit on the exclusives.

I said well you’re right, I probably have too many games, no sense in adding more to the fire. Gamer B said how he was really looking forward to Kaosball ever since we demoed it at Origins. I said, that I am sorry, but I am likely going to part with it when I receive it.

Anyway, I’ve probably rambled on too much at this point anyway. I just wanted to get it off my chest. I left game night feeling down, a little bullied, and maybe ashamed of my game collection. The last thing I want to do is impose new stuff on people that don’t want it. The reason I have gotten most of my games is to find things that everyone will enjoy, from the very casual gamers who show up some nights, to the more hard core of us.
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Matt
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Sounds like Gamer A was out of line. Nothing in your story indicated that you were forcing games on anyone.. I would call him out on it next time you're opening a game for the group...

"now are you sure this game is ok with you, gamer A?"
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Wade C.
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I'm confused. Is he blaming you for wanting to play new games instead of going back and playing old ones? Because based on this story, it seems like every game that was played was a new one, but none of them were brought by you. Why should you feel like you're forcing new games on people when other people are doing the same thing and not being made to feel guilty for it? Unless I'm misunderstanding the situation, I would say you're not the problem; gamer A seems to have some sort of passive-aggressive problem with how your group chooses games to play.

There was a guy who was in our gaming group who routinely acted like a dick, but we kind of tolerated him because we had all known him since high school. Eventually, I had enough and called him out on it, though, because I'd had enough, and keeping the peace with a tool just because we'd know him a long time didn't seem like a good enough reason to keep putting up with him week after week.

Luckily, my group agreed and that guy now only gets invited if I can't make it. How your group feels about the situation obviously may affect what you think you need to do about it, but if nothing else, I can sympathize with leaving what is supposed to be a fun time feeling defeated and frustrated, for what sympathy is worth. In the end, though, you didn't do anything wrong in my opinion, at least based on the evidence at hand.

Edit: punctuation problem
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Bryan Thunkd
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snowren24 wrote:
Maybe it’s the 7 games you have that we’ve not even played
It sounds like you are feeling shame at this? I'm just thinking how happy I'd be if I could get it down to just seven!
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Raf Cordero
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I suppose it's possible that Gamer A thought you were whining/complaining about not replaying games which he found annoying based on the fact that you buy new games. Sort of a "Why is he complaining about not playing SDE again when he keeps buying new games to try?". Another option is that he might think you're showing off by constantly listing new games you've bought.

Either way I think that he is out of line, but those are possibilities. Don't be made to feel guilty about how YOU enjoy your hobby. It's your money, your games, and it sounds like you're making an effort to bring variety and options to the table without forcing it on anyone.

I'd ask him. It sounds like you're all friends, so why don't you talk to him in private or shoot him an email and say "Hey Gamer A, I was kind of bothered by the way you brought up SDE the other night. I left feeling very hurt, and I wanted to know what was up."
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Mitch Renwick
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I think passive aggressive is a good way to describe the behavior, but I don't know what brought it on.

I don't feel like I did anything wrong. I didn't even make a comment about how we didn't play SDE. Hell, I didn't even bring SDE because I knew the wrong crowd was going to be there. I think he was more trying to make me feel stupid for buying games, when I already have some that I would like to play more.

In the past as a group we have also talked about how we would like to get more plays of games in so we can really dive into different strategies. I agree with this as well, and I will also agree that adding more games to the mix will impede that process.

Thunkd wrote:
snowren24 wrote:
Maybe it’s the 7 games you have that we’ve not even played
It sounds like you are feeling shame at this? I'm just thinking how happy I'd be if I could get it down to just seven!


Yeah, that about sums it up. and yeah, I'm sure thata are people out there laughing at 7 games unplayed. thinking that noob, he only has 7 games unplayed
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Judy Johnson
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We have had a similar situation come up with our friends making passive aggressive comments like: "It sure would be nice to play a game more than once" or "I have to learn another new game!?" I think that some people simply don't share the joy of learning something new and experiencing the fun of a new game. To a certain extent you have to know your game group. For these friends we rarely bring out a new game. We play all of our new games with a different group of people. My point is don't let them make you feel bad and next time save the new stuff for maybe another group
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Kris Van Beurden
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Player A is a bit of a dick? That's all I'm taking away from this conversation ...
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Brian Dean
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Considering that Gamer A had managed to monopolize a fair percentage of the evening's choices, it sound like he's making a passive-aggressive power play. It sounds rather like he enjoys being the guy-who-has-the-games so much that he's trying to cut you down to some degree so that he can try and maintain that position. Plus, he may be a bit jealous of your collection. He may not be consciously aware of his motivations at all, but it really does sound like he's acting in a way specifically designed to pull down your confidence.

Not having been there, it is hard to say, but that's what strikes me from what I'm reading. I don't see why you should be embarrassed about your collection; it's your money and as long as you are paying your bills and otherwise living up to your responsibilities, who's to say you can't have a thousand unplayed games?

I have family who will cheerfully put down hundreds of dollars for a gourmet meal that is gone in an hour or two. I show the whites of my eyes just thinking about spending my own money that way, but I don't try to say they're wrong for doing it. Their lights are on and their kids are happy and healthy, so what right do I have to say they should spend their free cash on something a little more enduring? I would say I have none at all, and that would apply just as equally to anybody who tries to tell me not to spend money on a game I want, even if the odds of finding somebody to play it are rather slim at the moment.
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Rueben the sandwich
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Board game folks tend to be laid back, but that doesn't mean you can't call someone out for dickish remarks. If he says anything else, call him out on it. Don't feel bad for having a bunch of games handy. If he wants to treat the situation like a competion, then it's his problem. If you want, ask him about it after other folks aren't around. Either way, don't internalize stuff so easily.
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Mark Richards
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Passive aggressiveness describes exactly what happened. Sounds like the day didn't go as well as people hoped and that person tried to blame and take it out on you in a passive aggressive sort of way. Anyway, cheer up and continue to enjoy your passions and don't worry about those faulting you on your taste and style.
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A boy named Sioux
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I don't even want to say what I think the "A" stands for in "Gamer A".
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James Garcia
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No you are not that guy, He is.
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Alison Mandible
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The person criticizing you is the person who brought the games which took up most of the evening, both of which were new to you? This person sounds a little oblivious.

On the other hand, I've found that listing a bunch of games to people doesn't help them pick; maybe Gamer A finds that downright overwhelming, and doesn't like you doing it? (Not that that's a good way for him to express it...)
 
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One of the difficulties about board games is that you have a group of people, each with their own interests and priorities for what is played. And generally speaking there is not enough time for everyone to choose a game.

I'm not sure why this guy made a smartass comment to you. But I wouldn't get down about it. Presumably he generally enjoys playing games with you, or at least with the group. If you want to know what is bothering him, he would be the one to ask. But it could be anything from the fact that he is having money problems and can't afford the new toys he sees you buying to marital difficulties to just having a bad day or he doesn't feel like the games he wants to play are getting on the table.
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grasa_total wrote:
I've found that listing a bunch of games to people doesn't help them pick


I haven't found a good way to pick a game yet. A lot of my group says they don't care, or provide no input when asked. And then you get two or three people that mention any games at all, and it stands at that, with no further input for anyone. I end up feeling like I have to decide or we will just sit there all night not playing.
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Mitch Renwick
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grasa_total wrote:

On the other hand, I've found that listing a bunch of games to people doesn't help them pick


Not a bad idea at all. Next time I'll try suggesting one more complex game, and one family weight game that I am ready to play.

That way there aren't a bunch of choices, and depending on who shows up, one of the games should work.
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Huh. If you've never played those 7 games, how are they the problem? It's probably the three games that Gamer A brought that actually got played that kept you from playing SDE, not the 7 you haven't played. Think about it.
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Alison Mandible
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snowren24 wrote:
Not a bad idea at all. Next time I'll try suggesting one more complex game, and one family weight game that I am ready to play.


Yeah! That kind of winnowing is exactly what seems to work for me. I'll bring 2 or 3 games with some key differences:

"This one is good for a big group; this one is like, you stare at the board for 10 minutes and then make your move and it's the best thing ever because thinking about stuff is fun; this one looks weird and rules-y but is supposed to suddenly click once you've played a turn or two."

and flash the cover art of each one, and see if anybody says, "Oh, let's play THAT one."

That's usually enough for even the "I don't know, whatever you want" crew to ask questions and/or pick. If something gets passed over multiple times, I might ask "What looks not-fun about that?". Sometimes the answer is "it looks like that one other game I hated"; sometimes it's "you just don't sound excited about it", etc.
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Not at all, but next time he behaves like that punch him in the throat, then you'll be 'the guy'.
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Maaaaan, I'll play SDE! I've only played it once, but it was very enjoyable.
 
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You said this guy is someone you've been friends with for quite a while and who you have known since before you started gaming together. Was he seriously being a jerk or was he just giving you crap about his perception of your buying/collecting/hoarding habits?

I only ask because the latter is not particularly unusual among long-term friends. That's certainly the case among my closest friends. Good-natured mockery is just part of the deal. It is also not unusual for a member of my circle to be "a bit off" on a given night and to react badly to mockery. Such a reaction is considered ideal, of course, because the rest of us then have something new to mock that person about.

Is it possible that you suffer from the remorse that is expressed in this forum on a near daily basis? There seem to be so many gamers with guilty consciences--too many games, too much money spent, too many unplayed games. Did his chiding strike a raw nerve? If so, I recommend letting it go. This is your board gaming, dammit. NO REGRETS!

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Aaron Morgan
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snowren24 wrote:
“really” he says in a condescending tone, “you think that’s why?” Maybe it’s the 7 games you have that we’ve not even played” “think about it”


Why would that even be a problem? Does he feel compelled to play every game once before playing one of them again?
 
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Mitch Renwick
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esirof wrote:
You said this guy is someone you've been friends with for quite a while and who you have known since before you started gaming together. Was he seriously being a jerk or was he just giving you crap about his perception of your buying/collecting/hoarding habits?

I only ask because the latter is not particularly unusual among long-term friends. That's certainly the case among my closest friends. Good-natured mockery is just part of the deal. It is also not unusual for a member of my circle to be "a bit off" on a given night and to react badly to mockery. Such a reaction is considered ideal, of course, because the rest of us then have something new to mock that person about.

Is it possible that you suffer from the remorse that is expressed in this forum on a near daily basis? There seem to be so many gamers with guilty consciences--too many games, too much money spent, too many unplayed games. Did his chiding strike a raw nerve? If so, I recommend letting it go. This is your board gaming, dammit. NO REGRETS!



we've known each other for 15 years. It wasnt your typical ribbing, it seemed more malicious. Like, a I'm smarter than you sort of thing.

I'm not forcing the issue of playing new games at all, I like playing old ones and not so old ones. My goal was to just let the group know some new additions that I had, and was ready to play from a rules stand point, in case there were any they were wishing to play.



Oh well, I'm over it. I've decided to chalk it up to he was having a bad day or something. In a way, he is right, if we have less games we will be forced to play some over and over again. But I also see it as we could alienate some people who dont like those games, and we could miss out on some real gems.
 
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