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Subject: Games vs. People OR Do you game to be with people or be with people so you can game? rss

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CARL SKUTSCH
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Inspired by another thread...

As the subject line says, do you play games to be with people or are you with people so you can game? Are the games the priority or the people are the priority? Obviously this does not have to be an either/or thing. You can prioritize games but still value the company of people, and vice versa. Or, as one person has put it, you can prioritize people but more specifically prioritize people who play games over other kinds of people (having your cake and your ice cream too).

Taken to an extreme, one could see people merely as necessary tools to make your gaming possible. The thing you care about is the game, the people are merely necessary adjuncts (like a table and decent lighting).

I find this latter p.o.v. a bit a trifle unsettling. I like to play games, I've played them for about 40 years, but part of the pleasure is the people involved. Part of the pleasure. For example, I generally find party games annoying because I need something more in a game than an excuse to hang out with people I like. (I'd actually prefer to just talk to those same people than play some light filler that doesn't challenge my brain.)

Ok, a poll, of course. (And for the sake of the poll, imagine all the people you play with are reasonably competent and challenging opponents. That side of your gaming needs is assumed to satisfied for the purposes of this survey.)

Poll
How do prioritize connecting with people in a social way vs just playing the game in your gaming?
The game is the most important thing, I'm interested in the game.
I prioritize the game but the social side of things matters a bit.
I'm there for the game and the people, I see them as roughly balanced reasons for my gaming.
I prioritize the people but the game matters too, if not as much.
I'm there for the people, the game is icing on my social cake.
      1228 answers
Poll created by skutsch
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Edward Uhler
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This came about from my saying in our 'Daily Diaries' as part of our show, Heavy Cardboard, that the games are the conduit for bringing together people from all walks of life to socialize and enjoy/celebrate this wonderful hobby of ours. From there, someone made a post in our guild about this and here we are. I'm quite curious where this levels out in here. I imagine somewhere in the middle for the most part. Very curious to see the responses though.

I still feel that way (games are the conduit), even though when playing the games, I'm all for the competition of decision making.

Cheers.
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Trent Boardgamer
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People first.

I much prefer playing games with friends/family than strangers. I've done a few gaming clubs and other events, which can be fun from the competitive side of things, but all that said, it's still not as enjoyable as playing the same games with people I have at least a passing friendship with.

I do organise gaming sessions (I have three separate groups), but they are all friends/family or at the very least friends of friends. In these cases it is about getting certain games played, but the company is important.


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CARL SKUTSCH
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eapeas wrote:

Yep, that was the thread that inspired this one.
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Damian White
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When I first got into boardgaming, the social aspect was a big draw card. Some good friends were into board games, the games looked cool -- and seemed like an interesting evolution from the many games I'd played as a kid -- and I wanted to hang with them.

As my tastes in games has evolved to heavier, more economic games however, I'm finding that I'm playing more due to the game than the players I'll be playing it with. Munchkin is a noisy thing you do while you're being social, including the invariable argument. Comparatively, the average Splotter or Lacerda title is an elegant mechanical masterpiece that I want to push all the buttons of.

Once upon a time, I would have gotten together with friends, and we may have played Munchkin. Now, I get together with friends specifically to play Indonesia.

And then I found 18xx games. And now I don't care who the hell I'm playing with, as long as I'm playing 18xx games.
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April W
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I think I have to go with the (current) majority and say "I'm there for the game and the people, I see them as roughly balanced reasons for my gaming."

I love games, but part of the fun is also the interaction with others. The reason my husband and I really got into gaming was so we'd have a hobby we could participate in together, and it's been a lot of fun to draw other friends and family into that scene.
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Bryan Thunkd
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I always enjoy spending time with the people I game with, if I didn't I wouldn't game with them... but we get together specifically because we're gamers and we want to play games with each other. Everybody who sits down at that table is there because they love gaming.

It's different when I'm playing games with family or casual acquaintances. Games are just a way to pass the time with them, and I'm likely to play lighter stuff (which isn't my preferred type of game). But then again, I'm just as likely to do something else with them as I am to game with them.
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The Ry
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Bit of both and it depends on the game

The right people can really make Uno or Munchkin or One night Ultimate Werewolf shine. But, the wrong people can make the same game drag on and make you not want to play

So, there are some games that I want to play with my friends to enjoy them more

And there are other games that I won't play with some friends as I know it isn't there type of game so to play them I have to find other people to play it.
Some of them might become friends, whilst others may just be people I play games with
But, without them I may not get to play all the games I want
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Matthew S.
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The answer that I gave in the original thread does not correspond to any of the poll options.
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Nathan Ehlers
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I'm not sure where I fit in on the poll. It used to be that I would go to a lot of public events and play with whoever was there if it was a game I was interested in. Now I mostly go to or host private events with close friends. I don't have as much time as I used to and I much more value seeing my friends when I have the time. That said, there are games I would rather not play. I'm more than happy to just hang out, drink beer, and chat socially rather than play a game I don't enjoy.

On the other hand, there are very specific games I'll play with people I don't know so well. For example, I don't really know anyone locally who would play 1817, so I'll travel to a convention or whatever to play it with mostly strangers. These tend to be pretty specific and hard to get to the table options.
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Larry L
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I picked the middle number but the reality is that I wander up and down the entire chart depending on circumstances.
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Jimmy Smith
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Games first, then Soylent Green
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Joshua McDonald
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I'm not a people person. To go out and play is mainly so I can play, most people annoy me and I don't want to be around them. However, I try to get my wife and daughter to play so I can spend actual time with them, rather than sit and vegetate in from of a tv. I chose game to be most important, because I go out to game so I can play. However I don't need to game at all to be with my family.
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Pas L
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I try to make the most of whatever people I happen to be playing a game with and enjoy their company.

But I'm there for the games that interest me in the first point. There are plenty of other social activities around.
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Kent
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Even in competitive non-cooperative games, playing against others often feels like being part of a team.

Teamwork often includes competition amongst team members, which often drives each member to greater heights of accomplishment, and the team as a whole to greater accomplishments than the sum of its members might suggest.
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Jordan S.
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I game to spend time with people...who also share my passion for games. It's my way of not just socializing with people over random, empty bouts of "small talk" but instead finding people with whom I share genuine interests. I love games. You love games. Hey! We should spend time together! That's how it goes.
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I am Abomination
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I meet people so I can game games I can't game solo.
I see players as a resource.

Think of me what you will yuk
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Ryan
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It's mostly about the games for me, with a lesser emphasis on the people. Although that does change to some extent depending on who I'm playing games with. For instance if I'm playing with family, it's probably the other way around.
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Derry Salewski
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The games I guess? I still think it's a weird question. I guess I'm not the type of person who does things they're bad at or dislike.

I just try to meet people who like the same things I do.
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Jason DiGennaro
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I prefer playing games with people I would normally spend time with anyway, but I often play with people I normally would not spend time with in order to play heavier games. I think this is fine, but I'm always stoked when I really click with a gamer, or meet one with similar other interests (has young children, likes craft beer or fine whisky, etc.). In the end, I count myself incredibly lucky that my wife is incredibly open-minded about learning every game on my shelf, and kicks my rear end more than half the time, which makes it even more fun for both of us!
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jumbit
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I'm kind of the opposite. I didn't play any board games from about 1995 until 2011 or so. When I did, I sat down to play and within 5 minutes I remembered why I had quit in the first place. Nerds acting like nerds, I mean if you have a gathering of people to play a nerdy board game, what else do you expect? Someone even quoted Monty Python.

It's not that I don't like people, it's that they're a necessary evil to play board games, and the kind of people who like playing board games tend to have personality traits that I left behind when I grew as a person.
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I solo a lot of games and only really play with other people for simple games and so I seem to use my games differently to a lot of other people. The games are mostly for a bit of "me" time so I can really immerse myself, the social aspects of my life are fulfilled in other ways, I have tried with other people but mostly they play as a favour to me and it ends up neither of us enjoying the experience.
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mortego
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I love spending time with my family, I like to play board games, peanut butter & jelly is a great sandwich.
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Désirée Greverud
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in different circumstances I could choice any answer, but I went with the less popular people first then game for one reason: I would rather play any game on my shelf (even the most basic) with my non-gamer wife than the best game I own with (semi-)strangers at my usual meetup.
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John Smith
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I got into boardgames mainly for social reasons, so my wife and son and I would pull ourselves away from our tablets or phones and gather round the table and have fun.

But I now really enjoy solo too and I love boardgames. More so than before.

So maybe the social was a key reason (though my wife and I always enjoyed the classic board games from childhood) but the hobby would still be a huge thing for me now even if played solo only.

In fact I really enjoy solo now. It came out of my wife not liking wargames so was a compromise, but once tried, I loved it and I also enjoy that solo boardgaming.

It's a different experience to multiplayer. It's just me and the boardgame, and I love that.

Funny enough, the same thing happens with my other hobby, stargazing. I love stargazing with friends and family, and I love stargazing alone too. Just me and the Universe.

I look through my scope and see a distant galaxy, and I think about what happens in that galaxy.

What life is there within that fuzzy blob? It's the big question in life that I can ponder.

What boardgames are they playing?

goo
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