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.
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 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.
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.