Citizenship Part 2

Let us take this afternoon to conclude our discussion on Table Citizenship and take a look at the remaining four sins of Greed, Wrath, Sloth, and Lust. For each of these sins let us take a look at the manifestation at the table and how to prevent them from plaguing your game night.

Greed

One of the more simple sins, Greed can be defined as wanting everything whether it is all of the games at the table or if someone always needs to have their way. If you have a player who always wants to play games that they suggest try finding games that are similar but can add new flavor to your game nights. To avoid this greed, you could also set up a schedule where on different game nights different people bring different games. Alternatively, games could be voted on beforehand.  As a player, you should always be open to new games and recognize that if you insist on the same games over and over then you might find that the table becomes fed up with the game. If you find yourself playing a game you do not like then find a similar one that you like and offer that suggestion after the game night is done. If people still insist on their own games or constantly and refuse to agree to a resolution then it might be better for them to join another game night.

Wrath

Now while many of the sins can be irksome to a game night but few can ruin it like wrath. It can either be an explosive outrage after a game is lost or it could comment during following games. Wrath can be also targeted towards a person or it could be towards a game. My advice is to take a break after a game if only for a little bit. If you are the player who is enraged, then suggest taking some time away from the table. I always find taking walk is a good thing to do as well as talking about the source of the disagreement after enough time has passed. If enough people are angry then the game night should be ended and then people need to talk about what made them angry. The important thing to keep in mind is that if the grievances are not addressed then these issues can lead to the dissolution of the game night. Time and patience are key when dealing with wrath.

Sloth

Sloth could be least of the 7 sins described for board gaming. The worst scenario for sloth is that a game is not cleaned up after it is played and that can easily be handled by simply being diligent after a game is complete to clean it up. If it becomes a problem then a rotation of who cleans up can be implemented.

Lust

As I wrote this article today, this was the sin that is the most difficult to talk about. The issue with talking about lust is that there are a ton of ways that it can manifest. Instead of trying to enumerate all of them I will simply try to provide some rules. First and foremost, a game night is for games, trying to flirt or make advances is not appropriate for the table. Second, consent is the most important thing: ask for permission and respect the wishes of those at the table. Third, if someone is being inappropriate remove them from the situation and talk to them about what is not appropriate. Finally, if a group member is made uncomfortable by another’s actions, move quickly to resolve the situation. In all of these rules, the key thing is to remove group members who are not acting appropriately. There are many other people in the gaming community who have tackled this issue a lot better than I can.

So these rules are but a guideline to trying to be a better citizen at the table and hopefully your game nights will benefit.

Affectionate: Cats and Cuddles the Story

Before I get started this morning, I wanted to apologize first for the long delay in posts due to preparing for and then attending PAX Unplugged. It was a great experience, exciting and exhausting and leads me to today’s topic: my new game Affectionate: Cats and Cuddles and the story behind it.

For those who have not played Affectionate yet, it is a simple, light dice game where the goals is to be the be the most cuddled cat in the house by collecting the most cuddle tokens. Gameplay is equally simple as the goal, everyone rolls a pair of dice to see what as a cat they have done and take the indicated action and keep going until there are no cuddle tokens left in the middle.

As I mention in the rulebook, I made Affectionate in loving memory of a cat who was very, very sweet but not the sharpest tool in the shed. His name is Moku. He had a happy life after my family adopted him and a few years ago passed away. Now he had a great impact on my life teaching me to enjoy the simple pleasures and in determination. So I wanted to remember him and share some of the adorableness and love he gave in my family’s life to the rest of the world.

This endeavor started while I was working on completing Collectors and Capers and so took my time to think about what I wanted Affectionate to look like in terms of gameplay. So to accomplish this task I thought of Moku’s defining characteristics: he was sweet and he was a simple cat. So I made a game about cats being sweet that would be simple to play; simple enough that he could pick up on it.

Now Affectionate is released and at PAX Unplugged it was well received. That being said the best part about all of this is that I see family’s enjoying Affectionate and know that his love and sweetness continue on.

Citizenship Part 1

For the last two weeks I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be a good citizen of the table and how to improve group experiences. So, I will talk about it in terms of the Seven Deadly Sins and how to avoid them. The seven sins are Gluttony, Envy, Pride, Greed, Wrath, Sloth, and Lust. First I will describe the behavior that is represented by the sin and then how to avoid it. For each of these behaviors and solutions keep in mind the group you are playing with and where you are playing can impact the different solutions you may try. This week I will start by talking about the first three sins Gluttony, Envy, and Pride.

Gluttony

First the sin in regards to eating, the problem here is that one might be eating and drinking while playing. One of the problems can emerge from this is that the food or drink can spill and potentially damage the game. One can also have grease on their fingers can that can damage cards and other tokens. In either case, the first solution is to avoid eating and playing at the same time but if you have to have napkins ready to wipe your hands with the food and drink away from the game.

Also, if alcohol is involved try not to drink too much, you could increase your chance of spilling as well as potentially pulling focus away from the game itself. In general, one should always know their limits in drinking and realize when they are reaching that limit. If this continues to be a problem, then maybe just have non-alcoholic drinks ready and ban drinking. That however is an extreme position and should be avoided unless necessary.

Envy

Envy can manifest in a few ways. The first is that someone may either become jealous of another player’s collection or complain about the games not present. One of the things to keep in mind is that the games available are the ones you can play at that time, complaining will not help that situation and if you want a game up for consideration then bring it for play. The other solution is not to take games without permission which shouldn’t need to be said but still should be especially in regards to games at game cafes.

The second version of Envy that can manifest is being a sore loser. While some grumbling is expected, once the next game is on the table as a player you should let the game be a game and leave defeat in the past. If one continues to grumble, this could impact not only the table at large but also can impact one’s own playing ability. My advice is to take a deep breath and focus on trying to win the next game. Simple and hopefully effective.

Pride

Now with Pride the biggest issue I have seen is that sometimes people celebrate a victory or even a great move without regard to the frustration this might cause to other players. To avoid this the best thing to do is after your initial celebration move onto the move and try to emphasis other players actions. It is perfectly fine to talk about the move or victory but try to pay attention to the other people at the table. If eyes are glossing over and people are trying to move to the next game or move then go with that flow. In short, try to understand what it would feel like if someone else was doing what you are doing.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to make your game nights more enjoyable and hope you have a great morning.