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Subject: The spectator's creed..... rss

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I often get caught up watching other games in progress as I go about a gaming session or my day in general. With people that I know I, I'll "butt in" with rules concerns when I see them, often times unsolicited. Sometimes, that leads me to borrowing the rulebook or citing online references via a smartphone. But with strangers..... I find myself doing the same thing. I assume if one is being bothersome enough that people will ask me to 'tone it down' (FWIW, I ask groups and game owners if they mind if I watch, and handle game material), but then again, sometimes people may be too polite for that. Do any of you find yourselves doing the same thing? Would it depend if it were only glaringly obvious mistakes (e.g. Settlers of Catan and not obeying the distance rule, or Ticket to Ride where one player claims routes from NY to LA in a single turn,,, as opposed to minor stuff like trading/building out of order or forgetting to flush a face up pile of train cards with 3 or more locos)? How many mistakes would you point out? How long would you stick around? Have you no shame!? wow
 
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Dick Hunt
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Nope, no shame at all. That'll teach people to play games without me.

Before pointing out "errors," however, I will ask the group if they're using some sort of house rule or variant of their game. That lulls them into thinking that I'm not arrogant. If they're foolish enough to say "no, this isn't a variant...why do you ask?"

Then I'll tell them what fools they are for not playing the game correctly (read: my way).

Eventually, they catch on that it's less painful to include me in the game and kick my ass at it than it is to have me just watching them play it...
 
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Kevin C.
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Bethlehem
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That's a tough one.

If it were strangers, it really would depend on all the social signals I was getting and the overall atmosphere. I don’t think I would abide by a general principle of “When I see an error, it is my obligation to correct it.” I’d need to feel out the situation first.

For example, my son and I played a bunch of games on a cruise a few years ago. We were playing correctly, but if we hadn't been and some random person walked up, watched for a bit, and said, “You know you guys are making a rules error…you don’t shuffle the discards back in, “I’d be polite but put off.

I’m not sure I feel it is my place to spread the “correct” rules in all situations.

With friends or in an environment with “known” people, like a game group, I might be freer to do so.

What I will say is that I don’t think “You are playing wrong” is enough justification to butt-in on its own. Depending on the situation, these people are engaging in personal leisure and the “intrusion” might not be welcome.

Again, though, I think it totally depends on the specifics.

Kevin
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Matt Riddle
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tough call. its hard to watch people play wrong.
 
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