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Subject: What do you do with a socially or hygienically challenged gamer? rss

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Brian Lucid
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This scenario has not happened to me yet in my game club meetups.
But it could.

I invite everyone to our meetups. I've been in awkward situations in other venues but not so much in my own house. I can leave a venue that I don't care for any longer; but in my home, where I'm the host, when a smelly, annoying, parasitic, gamer bum starts taking away from the enjoyment of the group, what do you do? Is there an easy way to get the guy to modify his behavior or leave? Without offending him?

My strategy would be to limit who I invite or start an alternate list I guess. Like I said, I've never been in that situation in my house and I can tollerate a lot of BS to play a game. If it were something like language I would be OK asking the fellow to watch his language in a non-confrontational way.

Just curious if you had an awkward situation with someone's hygene or social graces and how you handled it.
 
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David Debien
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I have never had a problem with telling a gamer they stink. As far as anti-social behavior, same deal. If you can't behave, then you get to leave.

Edit: I mostly game in my house. Which means my rules.
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Brandon Camp
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casualgod wrote:
I have never had a problem with telling a gamer they stink. As far as anti-social behavior, same deal. If you can't behave, then you get to leave.

Edit: I mostly game in my house. Which means my rules.


Worst part with David is since it's his house - he usually stinks. At the game and IRL. gulp
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Brian Lucid
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There's a balance between enjoying the games and having things become a distraction and not wanting to be at the same table. A buddy and I were in a game store and played Circus Minimus with a fellow who was wheelchair bound. He had the worst BO, it was almost visable. But he was in a wheelchair so I'm sure hygene was a challange for him. I wanted to play the game so I did, and enjoyed it for the most part. My other pal got one whiff and changed seats.

Now had that been in my house and the fellow wanted to be a regular I'd have to think of some way to get him to respect our olfactory nodes while respecting his feelings.

Another fellow probably had a disorder while I was learning game at a Con. It was a complicated GMT multiplayer and he sat next to me and explained the rules very fast and unintelligably. He already knew the game well so didn't see any reason why I would need to look something up on a chart. Again, in his case he clearly had a disorder. I became so frustrated I excused myself from the game.

I'm looking for a technique someone has when confronted with these challenges. I have no doubt I'll figure something out when/if I get into one of these situations in my house but I want to strike the balance between being able to get people to return and keeping the experience enjoyable for everyone. My house so my responsibility to impose decorum, agree?
 
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Aaron Morgan
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Pull the offender aside and tell him in private that his odor is an issue, and ther he'll need to address his hygeine issues if he wants to be invited back.

If he returns and hasn't made the effort to address the problem, show him the door.
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Peter Collins
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Tell everyone in the group not to shower for a couple of days before game night.

But really...

Enjoy his company, thank him for coming and be gracious. If the worst thing about your game night is a little b.o., then you've little to be upset about.

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Nuke him/her from orbit.

Edit: Or just fart more. Anyone knows you can only tolerate your own farts.
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Matt Robertson
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I cover some of theses points / issues in a blog entry. Perhaps you can find some helpful pointers there:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blog/148/thoughts-on-creating-a...

Good luck. As a game group organizer, it is important to understand how to deal with errant behaviours, trivializing them can be dangerous and your group may suffer long term.
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I think you'd have to address it privately but directly.

After your move comes their move. Ultimately if they can't or aren't willing to solve the problem I'd strongly consider not having them back.
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Brian Lucid
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Bixby wrote:
I cover some of theses points / issues in a blog entry. Perhaps you can find some helpful pointers there:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blog/148/thoughts-on-creating-a...

Good luck. As a game group organizer, it is important to understand how to deal with errant behaviours, trivializing them can be dangerous and your group may suffer long term.


Wow, this is exactly what I was looking for! I can post a Code of Conduct or Expectation List or something. Communication is the main thing, I can't have a peeve unless I explain what it is. The only thing I'm a little annoyed with is folks raiding my refrigerator for beer. If I post a BYOB thing then problem probably solved. We are growing and now have 5-6 regulars. I don't want to turn anyone away or make it seem exclusive. I like your tailored invites too.

Cheers Matt, thanks for the advise!
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randall fischer

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I have issues like these come up at work and everyone just wants to tap dance arround it. As a supervisor, I am known for just dropping the hammer. What the hell is wrong with being direct and honest? Its cowardly to be anything but. Simply pull the person aside, state the problem, ask if there is a reason for the behavior, ask if there is anything you can do to help, and then politely state that if said offending behavior doesnt change, they will not be welcome back. Simple, easy, problem solved.
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Brian Lucid
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ChaplainCassius wrote:
I have issues like these come up at work and everyone just wants to tap dance arround it. As a supervisor, I am known for just dropping the hammer. What the hell is wrong with being direct and honest? Its cowardly to be anything but. Simply pull the person aside, state the problem, ask if there is a reason for the behavior, ask if there is anything you can do to help, and then politely state that if said offending behavior doesnt change, they will not be welcome back. Simple, easy, problem solved.


Yep, that's great if we're both in the Army, but I am not at Ranger School anymore. I earned my tab by the way, thanks very much.

I want to be a gracious host and want to encourage people to participate. I don't want to drop the hammer on people, especially since we have a lot of people in this hobby who have challenges: Asbergers, Autistic, Overweight, Anorexic, etc...and I don't want it to turn into American Idol and Simon Cowell being blunt with someone who just wants to hang out with me and play games. I am looking for non-confrontational ways to modify any distractions so I don't have to go back to Mr. A-hole mode. Don't make me angry CPT Awesome; you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

But seriously, I see your point and yes it's easy to jerk a knot in somebody. Nobody wants to go back to a place they've been disciplined at though and then I can't field 6 people for a Twilight Imperium game. Most of this stuff sorts itself out and I don't have issues at the moment that are disruptive. Hopefully I won't ever but I did take Bixby's advice and put a 10 Suggetions/Code of Conduct on our facebook page.

My peeve is people drink my beer and show up with nothing. My solution is, I don't buy beer on game nite. Maybe that's the coward's way out but I have a hard time telling someone 'no' when they're a guest in my house or explaining that 'no dude, you can't have my beer until you start contributing'. What if that guy is out of work or struggling financially? I would feel like an a-hole.

I know...stop complaining and go buy beer. While I'm at it buy some cheese to go with my whine.
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Brian Lucid
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dough, just noticed your Army badge! OK, so maybe we are both in the Army...these rules don't apply in that situation.
 
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Quote:
I don't want to turn anyone away or make it seem exclusive.


So you invite total strangers into your home without meeting them in a neutral location first? Seriously?!?!?shake

I think you might end up with more problems than just socially or hygienically challenged players showing up.whistle
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Brian Lucid
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Quite so, maybe I should just play on vassal.
 
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I think it would be terribly embarrassing for the individual and the group to ask them to leave over their body odor.

I think the better solution would be to refrain from inviting them in the future.

If their behavior is causing a problem, that might be worth kicking them out for.
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Peter Sbirakos
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Springheeledjack wrote:
Quote:
I don't want to turn anyone away or make it seem exclusive.


So you invite total strangers into your home without meeting them in a neutral location first? Seriously?!?!?shake

I think you might end up with more problems than just socially or hygienically challenged players showing up.whistle


This! Unless they are a friend of a close friend that I trust, no way will a stranger come into my house.
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It may cost you a few bucks but stick a 6-pack of Mountain Dew, a box of pizza and/or a bag of Cheetos/Funions out on the doorstep with the door open. When the social/odor offender makes a move for said items quickly close and lock the door with them on the outside. Mind you, you must time this just right. Too soon and they may be ogling the items from just inside the door looking for a trap while too late will find them back inside after a quick dash for the goodies.
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Matt Robertson
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ChaplainCassius wrote:
I have issues like these come up at work and everyone just wants to tap dance arround it. As a supervisor, I am known for just dropping the hammer. What the hell is wrong with being direct and honest? Its cowardly to be anything but. Simply pull the person aside, state the problem, ask if there is a reason for the behavior, ask if there is anything you can do to help, and then politely state that if said offending behavior doesnt change, they will not be welcome back. Simple, easy, problem solved.


I am a"direct" person as well so this resonates with me. What we need to realize is that the world is full of different people. People who engage in direct courageous conversations are probably a very small percent of the population. Most people lean towards conflict avoidance and a path of least resistance. For someone with a disposition to be direct, that may not make sense, but it is the reality.

I am part of a large game group and quite often, I am the one elected to be the one to deal with any aberrant behaviour. Some of us have skills and personalities suited for that, most do not. That is one of the reasons I outlined some tools and techniques for managing groups on the blog I linked above.

Good game groups require guidance and sheparding.

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Hand out a guideline to every new person to the group. Then when they are offending, you can show them the rule they broke, and give them a chance to fix it or they won't be invited back.

This happened to someone at the local gamestore. One guy was very rude to him to the point that the guy never came back. He never bought anything from the store, so the store didn't care. When he left town, he gave his games to the store and patrons, I think to rub in his kindness against their elitist attitude.

A guideline for gaming etiquette would have solved the problem without alienating the guy.

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Brian Lucid
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I posted this on the site:

MHGC 10 Suggestions

1) Have Fun!

2) Respect Others.

3) Please wash and use deodorant.

4) No Smoking inside.

5) Watch the Profanity.

6) No messy food on the game pieces or board.

7) Mind the pets, just FYI if you have allergies.

8) BYOB, Beer, Booze, Soda…

9) You may bring food to share, if you are so inclined.

10) Kids and babies are always
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Brian Lucid
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I originally posted the code of conduct I retrieved from Bixby's blog and got some negative feedback. It was 2 pages of gamer etiquette and we're not ready for that with half of the attendees thinking Catan and Carcassonne are challenging.

I had one fellow comment on my 10 Suggestions (get it, like the 10 Commandments but not...) and get confrontational about a note I put in there. I said politics are like posteriors, everyone has one and they shouldn't come out often. He called us pansy-ass and went on to argue that he liked to argue. I took out my request to avoid politics and religion because I don't want to be controlling but my comment to him was to show up to a game and have it become an issue before he complains about it.

A couple of people worry about strangers coming into their homes. I'm comfortable with it, always have been. I'm not fearful of the consequences of befriending a stranger. When you play board games, that goes along with the hobby. You meet people, spend a lot of time with them and develop trust and shared experiences. That's why I only play vassal when I'm hard up.

Where we live is a community outside of Tracy, CA. No local meetup place available unless you go outside of the community. There are a few of us who host game nights, they all prescribe their rules if there are any for their house. None of us seem to be intimidated by having strangers in our homes.

As Yeats once said 'There are no Strangers here, only friends who have not met'.

Deepak Chopra said it differently: “Meeting a stranger can be totally fleeting and meaningless, for example, unless you enter the individual’s world by finding out at least one thing that is meaningful to his or her life and exchange at lest one genuine feeling. Tuning in to others is a circular flow: you send yourself out toward people; you receive them as they respond to you.”

My home is warm and welcoming and I have felt that hospitality in my community when I went to someone else's house for the first time. I hope we stay that way and I love this hobby. Yes bad things can happen, I'm not afraid. Board games are best when shared.


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Brian Lucid
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casualgod wrote:
I have never had a problem with telling a gamer they stink. As far as anti-social behavior, same deal. If you can't behave, then you get to leave.

Edit: I mostly game in my house. Which means my rules.


And a shot out to Round Rock! How are the Express doing? Missing that, you guys had a game group there too, I never knew. I was at Ft. Hood for a time and organizing games in that area. This was all before facebook. We did have yahoo groups though.

Seems Round Rock is well represented on the Geek, good for you!
 
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Quote:
A couple of people worry about strangers coming into their homes. I'm comfortable with it, always have been. I'm not fearful of the consequences of befriending a stranger. When you play board games, that goes along with the hobby. You meet people, spend a lot of time with them and develop trust and shared experiences.


The smart bet is to meet people, spend time and develop trust with them in a neutral location, like a FLGS. It's never a good idea to invite complete strangers into your home. That's just asking for trouble.

But you seem to live in a fantasy world where this is a good way to make new friends. shake

Just don't come crying to this board when one of your "befriended stranger" cases your home, breaks in when you aren't there, and steals all your stuff.whistle

And I sure hope you don't have a GF, wife, or kids. Your "Pollyanna" attitude might bite them in the ass as well.shake

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Brian Lucid
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Springheeledjack wrote:
Quote:
A couple of people worry about strangers coming into their homes. I'm comfortable with it, always have been. I'm not fearful of the consequences of befriending a stranger. When you play board games, that goes along with the hobby. You meet people, spend a lot of time with them and develop trust and shared experiences.


The smart bet is to meet people, spend time and develop trust with them in a neutral location, like a FLGS. It's never a good idea to invite complete strangers into your home. That's just asking for trouble.

But you seem to live in a fantasy world where this is a good way to make new friends. shake

Just don't come crying to this board when one of your "befriended stranger" cases your home, breaks in when you aren't there, and steals all your stuff.whistle

And I sure hope you don't have a GF, wife, or kids. Your "Pollyanna" attitude might bite them in the ass as well.shake



I can understand your concern, I advise you to stay inside and take extra precautions when you open your door because clearly you attract people who want to beat your ass. Until you learn to defend yourself I would stay safety in public places and in groups so all of the things you fear don't happen to you.

I on the other hand have been places where people were trying to kill me and I can distinguish between fantasy and reality. I choose not to live in fear. I choose to live life and contribute to my community and this hobby.

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