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Subject: My first encounter with "gamer funk" rss

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As an amateur gamer who just started boardgaming, and played MtG lightly for maybe 6 months over a decade ago, I first saw the term "gamer funk" here on bgg.com and found it amusing mostly because I never encountered it before. I had yet to encounter "gamer funk" in the FLGS I play at. Could it really be that bad?

When I went back home during my spring break, I visited 2 local gaming stores. And boy, I finally understood what "gamer funk" was. Forget girls, I could barely stand the smell. It was like the squat rack or sit up area of the gym, except nobody was holding in those protein farts.

Not trying to offend anyone or say the majority of gamers are like this. Can someone explain to me why "gamer funk" exists? How hard is it to take 10 minutes to shower? No wonder most girls don't want to play boardgames! Things like this give gamers a bad reputation. Is it because that gaming sessions last so long that there isn't time to shower? One of those stores wasn't even a small enclosed area, it was a large open air-conditioned room so there was no excuse.

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caffinedrenchedfrog thegreat
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.....eau de nerdbo......

Nothing like nerdbodyodour.

 
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Erik D
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Long ago, the odor of one of the guys in my group was nigh unbearable. You could literally smell him from 30 feet away. I had no idea if he knew he smelled that bad or not and I wasn't going to be the one to tell him. My buddy was lifelong friends with this guy and said it was always like that.

The last time I saw him, I didn't smell a thing and I was astonished. My buddy's wife (also my buddy.... my buddyette?) said she realized the problem was he wore a cologne that reacted poorly to his body type. He either ditched or changed the cologne and it was never a problem again.

So you see, some people have gamer funk due to poor hygiene or a hot room, and some have it due to simple chemical craziness.
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Rory
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I personally find gamer funk to be a powerful aphrodisiac, and by that it makes me love to contemplate hanging myself yuk
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Gerald Sunkin
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Myself or my manager have politely asked a gamer not to come back till the smell is taken care of. We don't embarrass them but it's a hard fast rule. We used to sell the little deodorant sample sticks that you can sometimes find at the grocery stores.

I won't tolerate it.

Jerry
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Jake Kiser
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I think you've got the order reversed. Born with unsolvable, unbearable, incurable odor, the only path a person has available is nerd-dom.
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RJD
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MrMiyagi wrote:

Not trying to offend anyone or say the majority of gamers are like this. Can someone explain to me why "gamer funk" exists? How hard is it to take 10 minutes to shower? No wonder most girls don't want to play boardgames! Things like this give gamers a bad reputation. Is it because that gaming sessions last so long that there isn't time to shower? One of those stores wasn't even a small enclosed area, it was a large open air-conditioned room so there was no excuse.



If its teenagers, they've probably still not been taught proper hygiene, or that smell can sometimes carry as well as sound. Shame on their parents and teachers. And if they're not very social, they probably haven't picked up the hints either from friends or acquaintances that they stink. Honestly, as long as it's not done publicly so as to avoid humiliating them, letting them know about the problem is doing them a big favor. And the rest of the world too.

As for adults, like you say, there really is no excuse other than perhaps bad manners and a serious lack of common sense. gulp shake No one should ever have to put up with eye watering stink like that in a social setting just because someone who should know better can't be bothered to properly clean themselves.
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Calavera Despierta
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I teach twelfth grade, and strangely it is always *IS* the geeks that stink--the jocks are highly conscious of things like hygiene and personal appearance (outside of the weight room, gym, or locker room), so they will show up late and well-showered if they've been doing something to stink.

I have had a few kids over the years that I've had to pull aside and speak with.

I think it's a social/developmental problem of the particularly intelligent--some sort of inverse curve where the more book smart you are, the less aware you are of social norms. Many of the kids who are like this are so... cerebral that until I said something to them, it never occurred to them that it would ever be an issue.

There are exceptions. Sometimes kids are just too poor--on two different occasions, I was told that the water had been shut off because a parent couldn't afford to pay the water bill. This is not really a valid excuse for someone shopping in a game store I would imagine.
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Scott Woodard
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Science may never solve this grand mystery...

I'm an admitted geek (gamer, SF nerd, etc.), but I shower every day, wear deodorant, brush my teeth, wash my clothes regularly, etc. It's not all that difficult. And I couldn't hold a job in my line of work if I didn't do all that!!!

Sometimes when I run into the "funk" at conventions, I just get the feeling that the con is so exciting for these people (and such a highlight of their year and/or life) that they don't want to miss a thing, thus they skip the showers and other hygienic necessities... Please, please, please don't.

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Chris Ferejohn
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I was in a show (musical theatre) once where one of the techies (an 18 year old who was certainly some category of "geek") absolutely reeked. Like I could tell if he was standing about 10 feet behind me. He was otherwise a nice guy and a very competent tech, especially for his age. All of us actors would gossip about it ("why don't any of the other techs (who wer his friends) tell him?").

So towards the end of the show, I'm out drinking with some of the tech people. Quinn (the smelly fellow in question) was not around, so I finally ask, "hey, doesn't it bother you guys how Quinn smells? Has anyone talked to him about it?"

They were all completely puzzled. They never noticed. I was completely shocked. I mean, I've known some pretty stinky people in my time, but this guy was by *far* the worst. Then I realized: all of the techies smoked, some of them quite heavily.

So in addition to all the other crap smoking does to you, it evidently murders your sense of smell and leaves it dead in a ditch.

Of course, smelling like old cigarette smoke is only marginally better than smelling of B.O. anyway.
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anthony dawson
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Smoking doesnt just murder the sense of smell- the flavour of food is very heavily reliant on the noses capcaity to smell.

It always struck me as odd that japanese food is so delicately flavoured with subtle nuances yet as a nation the japanese tend towards smoking.

As for gamer funk- tell the guy his "brand of deodorant doesnt seem to suit you, or perhaps its the shower gel you use". Hopefully the fact he doesnt use either will sink in.
 
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Then of course, there is always "fish odour syndrome".

Which according to many gamers, is a lot more prevalent than the officials know.

 
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Sithrak - The god who hates you unconditionally
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I remember once when I visited a (rather small) store where they tended to hold CCG-tournaments (mostly Yu-Gi-Oh from what I could tell looking at the customers) I was absolutely HIT with a fist of stink to the nose (BTW back then I was a heavy smoker, I don't know if I'd even survive something like that nowadays), there the reason was clear, the customers were a bunch of kids that were immune to the olfactory rape they submitted their surroundings to (And to be honest, I think at their age I wasn't any better)...

However, there really are some people who just don't get it, even if they're older, I know for example one who seems to either refuse brushing his teeth or has some medical condition that causes bad breath, don't ask me, anyway, he's all around not the pinnacle of refinedness...
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The funk is only the first, albeit the most noticeable, step in a long and sad journey to a lonely death in an apartment surrounded by pizza boxes. I'll forever be haunted by my Legends of the Five Rings match against Mr. Earwax. You see Mr Earwax appeared about ten minutes into the tournament wearing his pajamas, his hair wildly askew looking for all intents that he had rolled out of bed immediately before walking into the store.

He would be my first of the day and last opponent ever in competitive play. I sat at the table as he shambled over and plopped into the chair across from me. He began to shuffle his cards and I became aware of two faint rivers of earwax running from his ear down his cheek and part of his neck. There was, of course, the stench one would expect from such a being, but I couldn't not remove my focus from the waxy streams on either side of his face.

I threw the game quickly and obviously. I had to get away from this crime against hygiene. After that I had no desire to ever play another game competitively again. I can deal with a wide range of people, but there are limits to what I can endure and still be expected to enjoy myself.
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Joe Braun
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Maybe his total disregard of hygeine is part of his gaming strategy. The worse he smells, the less his opponents can stand them, thus, they either throw the game quickly or can't concentrate because of the smell.
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Brant Benoit
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I used to work in a 13,000 sq. ft. store, and on D&D saturdays, I would love to watch the people walk in through the front door.
The gaming area is on an upper mezzanine which ran around two sides of the store, and the actual store was about 15 feet below the mezz. The building was huge, but the air ventilation was lacking to say the least.

The reason I got a kick out of watching people enter the store was because in order to get to the product, customers would have to walk across part of the mezzanine to get to the stairs which led down to the store.
The real kicker was when they would open the front door and walk in; some people would physically reel backwards from the smell.

The employees like myself were spared the smell somewhat, since the hot air and funk would float higher to the ceiling. But did I ever feel bad for the girls that walked into the store for the first time; most of them were never seen again.

I'm not sure why, but good personal hygeine seems a foreign concept to some gamers, no matter what they play.
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Rik Van Horn
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Take one reasonable sized, enclosed space. Add a DAILY influx of varied numbers of humans.
You get smells.
I've worked with people who smell. I've sat near people in theaters who smell. I've stood in grocery lines near people who smell.
Ever gone into a motor vehicle bureau? If it smelled any better than your local game store, it's due to better cleaning policies, not cleaner smelling clientele.
Get real folks, this isn't a gamer thing, it's a PEOPLE thing.
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Truesy, you get smells because people just stink (and whoever said it above was right, it's worse when you quit smoking and realize just how bad it all actually is!) but that doesn't excuse it. Bathing isn't too difficult, and if you're in a gaming store and can't afford something that will at least partially aid in the anti-stink, you're doing something wrong. Probably several things, at that.
 
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Jake Kiser
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Rokkr wrote:
Take one reasonable sized, enclosed space. Add a DAILY influx of varied numbers of humans.
You get smells.
I've worked with people who smell. I've sat near people in theaters who smell. I've stood in grocery lines near people who smell.
Ever gone into a motor vehicle bureau? If it smelled any better than your local game store, it's due to better cleaning policies, not cleaner smelling clientele.
Get real folks, this isn't a gamer thing, it's a PEOPLE thing.


This is absolutely a gamer thing. My office can have twice that number in a conference room and smells like a little perfume, if anything.
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Rik Van Horn
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jammasterjake wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
Take one reasonable sized, enclosed space. Add a DAILY influx of varied numbers of humans.
You get smells.
I've worked with people who smell. I've sat near people in theaters who smell. I've stood in grocery lines near people who smell.
Ever gone into a motor vehicle bureau? If it smelled any better than your local game store, it's due to better cleaning policies, not cleaner smelling clientele.
Get real folks, this isn't a gamer thing, it's a PEOPLE thing.


This is absolutely a gamer thing. My office can have twice that number in a conference room and smells like a little perfume, if anything.

Your office has the SAME people every day. A game store gets lots of DIFFERENT people every day.
If you get someone in your office (and I have) who smells, you'll understand the difference.
So no, it's NOT absolutely a gamer thing.
 
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Jake Kiser
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Rokkr wrote:
jammasterjake wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
Take one reasonable sized, enclosed space. Add a DAILY influx of varied numbers of humans.
You get smells.
I've worked with people who smell. I've sat near people in theaters who smell. I've stood in grocery lines near people who smell.
Ever gone into a motor vehicle bureau? If it smelled any better than your local game store, it's due to better cleaning policies, not cleaner smelling clientele.
Get real folks, this isn't a gamer thing, it's a PEOPLE thing.


This is absolutely a gamer thing. My office can have twice that number in a conference room and smells like a little perfume, if anything.

Your office has the SAME people every day. A game store gets lots of DIFFERENT people every day.
If you get someone in your office (and I have) who smells, you'll understand the difference.
So no, it's NOT absolutely a gamer thing.


Maybe you work with gamers then.
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Scott Russell
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I have encountered gamers that caused olfactory distress, but none that measure up to some other cases.

Our fraternity consisted of 60 some 18-22 yo men that showered at least once a day. After a three hour meeting in a room that seated sixty, there was a certain funk buildup. You didn't really notice it at the time, but after exiting when the meeting was over and heading back to the room after a few minutes, it was quite noticable.

The absolute worst I encountered were grad students though. We had a few guys from either India or the mideast (sorry it's been 20 years, so the details are hazy) that could individually befoul the air in one of our labs. The lab in question was probably a 30 by 10 foot room that evidently had inadequate ventilation.

I may not be the best judge since I grew up raising pigs (pre-pit barn), so my nose isnt' easily offended.
 
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Rik Van Horn
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jammasterjake wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
jammasterjake wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
Take one reasonable sized, enclosed space. Add a DAILY influx of varied numbers of humans.
You get smells.
I've worked with people who smell. I've sat near people in theaters who smell. I've stood in grocery lines near people who smell.
Ever gone into a motor vehicle bureau? If it smelled any better than your local game store, it's due to better cleaning policies, not cleaner smelling clientele.
Get real folks, this isn't a gamer thing, it's a PEOPLE thing.


This is absolutely a gamer thing. My office can have twice that number in a conference room and smells like a little perfume, if anything.

Your office has the SAME people every day. A game store gets lots of DIFFERENT people every day.
If you get someone in your office (and I have) who smells, you'll understand the difference.
So no, it's NOT absolutely a gamer thing.


Maybe you work with gamers then.

Perhaps you work with clean gamers. Or do you think only gamers smell?
They work with you and you're a gamer. Maybe there's something they aren't telling you?
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Jake Kiser
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Rokkr wrote:
jammasterjake wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
jammasterjake wrote:
Rokkr wrote:
Take one reasonable sized, enclosed space. Add a DAILY influx of varied numbers of humans.
You get smells.
I've worked with people who smell. I've sat near people in theaters who smell. I've stood in grocery lines near people who smell.
Ever gone into a motor vehicle bureau? If it smelled any better than your local game store, it's due to better cleaning policies, not cleaner smelling clientele.
Get real folks, this isn't a gamer thing, it's a PEOPLE thing.


This is absolutely a gamer thing. My office can have twice that number in a conference room and smells like a little perfume, if anything.

Your office has the SAME people every day. A game store gets lots of DIFFERENT people every day.
If you get someone in your office (and I have) who smells, you'll understand the difference.
So no, it's NOT absolutely a gamer thing.


Maybe you work with gamers then.

Perhaps you work with clean gamers. Or do you think only gamers smell?
They work with you and you're a gamer. Maybe there's something they aren't telling you?


[Kramer] You just blew my mind. [/Kramer]
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Scott Woodard
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jammasterjake wrote:
This is absolutely a gamer thing. My office can have twice that number in a conference room and smells like a little perfume, if anything.


I'd go so far as to say it's a geek thing overall, not exclusive to gamers... I encounter the same horrifying stench at science fiction and comic conventions, as well. And to deny that is denying reality. There's good reason a company (or companies) have produced humorous T-shirts about gamer/geek funk!!!
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