Recommend
3 
 Thumb up
 Hide
7 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » General Gaming

Subject: Gaming Couple Dynamics rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Meghan Rowswell
Japan
Misawa-shi
Aomori-ken
flag msg tools
I was musing on our way back from dinner with two other couples that we game with (and the children....so many children in such a small Japanese restaurant) about how different the gaming dynamics between the couples were in relation to their partner and then the other players. This is something I have not read a lot about. What kind of player you are on your own, sure, but how do you play when your spouse is playing against you in a larger group of people?

Arch Nemesis:
I should preface this post with the type of gaming relationship that my husband and I have. We love competing against each other. We are the others arch nemesis. We aren't people that take games personally out side of the game. Well, most of the time...but it usually leads to naughtiness and then everything is Ok. Sometimes it's sexy to be handed my ass on a platter the last three moves of Manoevre. I respect the genius. I'm pretty sure he respects mine too.

Holding One Partner in Check:

My friend, who is very competitive and loves destroying people, is a really dirty player. When she's playing with other people for the first time or when she doesn't want to show them her fangs she will spend the game utterly destroying her husbands character. This seems a legitimate tactic because sometimes you don't want to make people cry or your children play well together and you want to continue to be invited over. Are spouses safe scapegoats? You don't want to be malicious, but if you have to choose between someone you know will take it personally or your spouse, I think I would always go with the spouse.

Chain Gang:
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the couple that never attacks each other. Well not when they can help it. They can always be counted on to gang up against other players. They could never play a game against each other because it causes marital tension and whining. But these are also players that take utter destruction personally so maybe it really is for the health of their marriage that they gang up against other players. I always have to step back a second and remind myself "It's just a game" and "You are playing this because you love playing" when I come up against this couple. Frustrating. Pump some bullets into his ass!

Micro Manager:

This is a new couples dynamic that I've just come up against. Usually one player is a little better at the strategery than the other but the other partner is just the kind of personality that floats up in the clouds somewhere. The first partner is constantly in charge of pulling them down, explaining what's going on, laying out the options. Cloud partner is often the analysis paralysis type so it's also not that they just aren't paying attention, but that it takes them a few seconds to focus. Granted, when you have children running around flinging poo like a bunch of monkeys then at least one person in the couple becomes a cloud partner. This couples dynamic becomes exhausting to me. I feel bad for the managing partner because it seems like they are always out on the range lassoing cats. But then maybe they like it that way.

What are some other couples you've noticed?
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Dart
Australia
Melbourne
flag msg tools
"In the beginning, the Earth was without form, and void."
badge
"O I know justice, it's a birthright if you're born right"
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sounds like you have a pretty healthy gaming relationship with your partner. It probably frees you up to play more ruthlessly against each other than you might against other players who may not take it as well!

I agree that the Chain Gang is frustrating. If we're playing with a couple like this, we tailor the choice of game around it.

My wife and I play games with a similar mindset. I'm not sure if we both originally felt this way or if it's a comfortable place we've arrived at. As long as someone is playing what they consider to be their 'best move', then for the most part, anything goes. We tend to prefer games that don't have a high level of conflict anyway.

My wife and I are often playing with people who don't know the game as well as we do. So sometimes our role is to make it known to the rest of the table how well positioned the other is!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Chen
United States
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Test
Playing Survived: Escape from Atlantis with a Chain Gang newly weds certainly diminished the fun out of the game.
1 
 Thumb up
0.10
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Edward Uhler
United States
Commerce City
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We happen to be the 'odd' couple in that, when playing a game, simply see each other as just another opponent. We don't take it easy on each other, nor do we specifically target each other.

We hear of a lot of couples that are incapable of this (meaning the "chain gang" in your example), for one reason or another and that is a bummer for them and those that have to play with them.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rick Weckermann
Canada
Powell River
British Coumbia
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I have found a quirk with "Holding One Partner in Check" spouses are not safe scapegoats with older couples. Had to interject in a game once, by game play so that a friend of mines wife was no longer concerned with how he had smashed her in the game. I proceeded to crush her so bad she totally forgot about his attacks, it cost me the game but was successful in them going home happy together. Think i am still paying for that one, game after game.
We also have a couple of newly weds in game "Chain Gang" What helps here is often we set up a seating order by Random die roll. Find when couples do not sit together the chain gang effect can be lessened due to them not having turns back to back.
Arch Nemesis would describe my wife and i and another couple in our group. Issue is any time you help your spouse though the best move often gets perceived as working together.
Another resolve which can help is playing Co-op games if you do not have a Micro Manager but a few of the others.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michelle
United States
West Union
West Virginia
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wouldn't say my husband is just another opponent, since he's more competent than average and fun to banter with, so I especially enjoy competing with him, but I don't single him out unless he's in the lead.

I definitely don't avoid attacking him, though, and expect the same from him with me. There have been a few times in my earlier board gaming where I've gotten upset about being attacked by him (just upset, not threatening consequences or otherwise taking it outside of the game), but it's not how I want to feel, so I've worked on it, and it seems like a non-issue now.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rueben the sandwich
United States
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
You can't forget the kingmaker. Our group has a couple that consists of a husband that loves big, complex games and a wife that can mostly care less, but likes being social. That's all well and good, but she usually gets bored halfway through games and starts taking subtle hints from her husband on how to improve his odds. He's smart enough to know what he's doing, so it is annoying.

Also, my wife and I are arch-enemies sometimes and neutral other times.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.