Monday, March 10, 2014

Me & Them

I have hosted public tabletop games for over a year now. In that year, I have been very lucky in meeting some great people, many of whom have gone on to become good friends of mine. I have been lucky in that I haven't come across too many of the gamers that I'll simply call "Them."

Alas, my lucky streak ended yesterday. I hosted a public boardgaming event. Out of six people who showed up, I would fully classify three of them as "Them." One of them spoke in a mumble, averted all eye contact, and didn't like Mansions of Madness because there wasn't enough strategy in it. So while the rest of us played Mansions, he played Marvel Legendary, solo. Another one rambled endlessly about herself, acted like she knew what everyone was talking about when she clearly didn't, and refused to acknowledge comprehension of anything she was being told, whether she got it or not. I caught her drowsing off at one point during our game of Mansions. The third showed up an hour and a half late with Twilight Struggle, a two-player only game well-known for its complexity and long length, then left about an hour later.

These are not necessarily bad people. I gotta say this again, lest you think I'm an asshole: these are not bad people. But they're not my people. They're not the people I hope to meet when I set these things up. Normally, I would have spent the whole afternoon making sure them and everyone affected by them were having a good time. But in my current emotional state these days, I just didn't have it in me. I just wanted to relax and have fun for a couple of hours. I was supposed to play Marvel Legendary on Friday, but I gave up my seat and taught the game instead of playing it. I don't regret that...I do it all the time...but at the end of the evening, teaching a game is not playing a game. So I was looking forward to this Sunday, and it kinda crapped out on me.

Though I have been exceptionally lucky with not encountering people like this too often, I'm left at a loss as to how I am supposed to deal with them when they enter the room. I am not so much of a dick that I'd tell them to leave, or ban them from games; but at the same time, I like keeping my events open to the public, and I myself don't want to become the stereotype of the "cliquey" gamer who only associates with people in his little circle and is not welcoming at all to newcomers.

Ultimately, I accept that this is part of what the hobby is about. Tabletop gaming is and always primarily will be a social activity so it is of course highly likely that, from time to time, I'm going to run across people I don't necessarily like. So, how do I deal with those people best?

Or is the problem just me?

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