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A Question of Ethics / Behavior / And How We Play Games


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#1 SixtyWATZ

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 08:52 AM

Citadels holds a personal memory for me.  The alienation of a friend and a confusion regarding how we play games.

A simple understanding of the scenario, is that I had a friend of a friend who was an odd fellow and insisted on not destroying any structures on his turn in Citadels.  He would even go as far as to destroy his own building for no purpose other than to be passive

By doing this, you can imagine how he mucked up some of the structure of the game.  I remember getting really mad, as he worked against the mechanics, intentionally grabbing the Warrior card so nothing could happen. 

I expressed my frusteration when my Best Friend's fiancee became defensive and told me that I was being too competitive.  I got really frusterated and the whole room got silent you could hear a pin drop.  We never played Citadels together again.

The story can end there, but theirs more dynamics, clearly this wasn't the first time this woman had criticized me. 

Any insight into your thoughts on this would be interesting.  I realize that when we play games, we are trying to win and that context shouldn't feel hurtful especially when you can have many games over and over again.  Also, to what level should we be excited to "win".  Finally, do you think people have the right to sabatoge a game once they've decided to play it?

Odd questions to ask, but I'm just kind of interested.  Not a sensitive subject it has been over a year now.

Thanks ahead of time



#2 Steve-O

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Posted 11 December 2009 - 09:07 AM

SixtyWATZ said:

Citadels holds a personal memory for me.  The alienation of a friend and a confusion regarding how we play games.

Personally I prefer friendly games to competitive ones.  I wouldn't go so far as to take the Warlord every time just to keep other people from taking him, but that seems like a valid tactic to me.  A valid counter-tactic would be to take the Assassin and hit the Warlord for a few turns until he took something else.  But that likely would not have made the situation you describe any better.  It probably would have made things worse, honestly.

I don't think your friend's fiancee was out of line.  I don't think this passive guy was sabotaging the game, he was just playing it differently than you would.  In my experience, people who want a fiercely competitive game will only ruin the fun of those who don't if they try to force their play style on other people.  Of course, based on your post here, it seems the same is also true in reverse.

I would suggest either talking to these people and trying to agree on some middle ground BEFORE playing Citadels again, or else finding a new group of people to play with, who don't mind your competitive approach as much as these people do.



#3 Gatha

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 01:53 PM

I'm guessing this person just wasn't suited to the game. I had one person get upset b/c he was always getting assassinated (mostly by chance but also when he showed another player his card) and another who got upset when cards/gold was stolen. Since then I've made a point of explaining the objective and how its played. In Citadels you try to build a city first and occassionally sabatoge, so I don't recommend playing it with people who dislike conflict. Similarily I don't recommend AH to people who like a) killing each other b) winning. This guy might have been an unknown but in that case how the game is played should be made clear.

Since he agreed to play then didn't I'd get frusterated too and call the game if he doesn't want to play. I wouldn't be rude, just point out he didn't seem to enjoy the game and recommend something else. Might be the guy doesn't like games period and was brought along to get him to meet people, in which case I'd try to accomodate that for one night then make sure he didn't come back since he obviously didn't want to be there. As for the fiancee (?) getting upset you wanted to play competitively, that's the point of the game. If you don't compete there's no point. I got mad when my ally in Axis and Allies attacked me and people thought I was being a sore loser then tried to get my other ally on their side. If we were playing an allyless game that'd be fine but in this case it was unbalancing and polarizing. This guy was going out of his way to break the game which made it less enjoyable for everyone else. Might be you could have handled the situation better but considering how the guy acted and the fact the fiance had gotten on your case and no one else sided with her then there was some motive for her bringing him (i.e get him to make friends) and you made that difficult. Otherwise she just wanted to get on your case.

And let's face it, if he pulled that in the wild west he would've been shot. Either you play the game or you suffer the consequences.



#4 SixtyWATZ

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Posted 13 December 2009 - 06:00 AM

Two very nice points pointing out the nuances of the situation.

I like the Wild West comparison = )

I agree with both of your points, I find the larger challenge is integrating people into games.  The more  play and the more I try to get new people into games, I do find this constant level of resistance.  I want to be inclusive and get people excited but theirs so many active barriers to this.  It all begins with prefacing it, and I think that's a commonality your two points share. 

I'll have to play around with that concept when I start a new game with people.



#5 Gatha

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Posted 24 December 2009 - 03:38 PM

You can try bringing some of these people out when you get new games too. Theat way you can point out games similar to ones they like and how they work before investing in it. They might also find a game that interests them or someone they know, which could improve the atmosphere or grow your group. Again, it doesn't always work out but the process of elimination has, at the very least, been a trusty method.






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