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Quick, Simple Fun: High Society

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Play and Pass

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Players that just walked away

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16 Mar 2021 10:07 #320680 by RobertB
Seeing Dominant Species and El Grande mentioned reminded me of a couple of games that ended about as weirdly, in a bad way, as I had ever experienced.

I've been in games where someone loses their temper and stomps off. It's nothing to be proud of if you've done it, but it happens. Or the 90-minute game turns into hour 3, and someone has other commitments that can't wait. These were different.

I got into a game of El Grande at Origins, with a couple of friends and a couple of strangers. Five players, yay! So after round three scoring, one of the strangers says, "Well, doesn't look like I can win this. Bye," then gets up and walks away. The rest of us were dumbfounded. Like I said, I've seen people lose their shit and stomp off in a huff, but never just up and leave. We didn't think we could go on with four, so we were done.

Another stoppage was at the local gaming club. We were playing Dominant Species with a new (to Dominant Species) player. We were about two turns from the end, and the new player just says, "Well, that 18xx game is opening up, and I'm not having as much fun as I thought, so I'm going over there." And she leaves for 18xx. Luckily the rest of us were good friends, so figuring out her best moves didn't devolve into "Dominant Species - Now Played Above the Board."

The DS player, I sort of get. It was still a shit move; she should have warned us up front that an 18xx game would trump anything else she was doing. Personally I think you're committed to finishing a game once you started (barring everyone agreeing that the game sucks or if Real Life happens), but I can see that. The El Grande guy walking away was totally inexcusable.
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16 Mar 2021 10:57 #320686 by n815e
Replied by n815e on topic Players that just walked away
One time that stands out to me, a bunch of us were playing BSG, including a new player.

About halfway through she just got up and left. Didn’t say anything, just walked away.

It took us a little bit to realize she was gone, that she hadn’t just went for snacks or to the bathroom, but actually left.

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16 Mar 2021 11:13 #320687 by jason10mm
I'm kinda surprised games don't have some sort of "if a player bails" section to address rebalancing the game for a zombie player, if possible.

I wonder if games with robot players like that Viscount one last week would allow for fairly seamless player removal (or conversely, have a player join late and take over from an AI). Might not be an optimal experience, but could at least salvage the game for everyone else.

I'm not sure which is better, have a discontented player bail or just be nasty for the rest of the game making random or even malicious moves. Or even worse, ACT grumpy so the other players go easy on them, but then win in the end. My sister is a master of this tactic :p
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16 Mar 2021 11:18 #320688 by Shellhead
I know that some people hate generalizations based on generations, but I think that there can be observable cultural differences between generations that are based on meaningful changes in society, like say advances in technology or political events. Ghosting definitely seems to be a thing that started with the Millennials, possibly because they are more uncomfortable with dealing with negative situations face-to-face.

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16 Mar 2021 11:48 #320691 by Sagrilarus
We had a guy in our group decide he couldn't win in Starcraft, declared that, then started clearing all his pieces from the board. I wasn't at that session, but I suddenly started getting texts from all of the other players simultaneously. They were all flummoxed. It's still something they all talk about, the guy is more or less tattooed with that event for as long as he knows all of us.

I would have followed that El Grande guy to the next table he sat down to and ask him about it, around the middle of turn 1.
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16 Mar 2021 11:50 #320692 by jeb
Replied by jeb on topic Players that just walked away
LMAO, "ghosting was invented millennials." Gen X here and I have been emotionally unavailable for MY ENTIRE LIFE. We don't need to bring in some generational conflict. Some folks are dicks, regardless of age.

I don't game enough with other people to see this happen. We've definitely cut games short that weren't fun, but it was a team decision.
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16 Mar 2021 11:56 #320693 by hotseatgames
I saw people talking about this kind of thing on Twitter the other day. I don't think it's ever happened to me, personally, and the closest I can get to ever having done it myself was the following:

I was having a large game day with two tables going. I was in a Nemesis game, and Spartacus was about to start at the other table. My Nemesis character got killed, so I was like "I'm out" and left the table to go play Spartacus. One of the Nemesis players got pissed that I left, because he expected me to run the fucking thing for them, it being my game. They knew how to carry on, so fuck that. I don't regret it.
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16 Mar 2021 11:58 #320694 by Nodens
My highlight was my then girlfriend waiting for the end of the rules explanation for Acquire to just get up and leave.
I give her credit for seeing she wasn't going to have fun and getting out at the last minute, but she shouldn't have been mad at me for going through with the game. I mean cmon it's Acquire.
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16 Mar 2021 12:11 #320696 by dysjunct
A cousin of mine has kind of famously been a big baby his entire life. From flipping Monopoly boards at Thanksgiving as a kid, to getting pissed off and walking off a job without another one lined up, that kind of thing.

About ten years ago I had brought Jungle Speed to a family gathering and was playing it with a bunch of relatives. My brother managed to empty his draw pile, which means the next time someone else mis-grabs the totem, he wins. I and another relative were pretty close, though. The problematic cousin noticed that he had a big draw pile and was unlikely to come back, so he purposefully misgrabbed the totem, throwing the game to my brother. Then he was shocked when I didn't deal him in for the next round.

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16 Mar 2021 12:12 #320697 by Shellhead
I do a lot of HR work for my current employer, and it is shocking how many people don't show up for a scheduled job interview, despite seeming decent during the screening call. And in the last two years, I have had more than a half dozen people who never showed up for work after accepting an offer of employment. I'm Gen X, and that shit was unthinkable for people in my generation, even when the unemployment rate was really low here in the '90s. And close to a third of the people who quit our company do so by just never showing up again. We had one guy who ghosted us after working here for a few days, and then he had the nerve to apply for a different job here, just two months later.

Some of my friends have been playing cards or boardgames online during this pandemic, and they complain that some people ghost a game if it looks like they might lose. They don't even quit the game, they just stop paying attention to it. This kind of behavior doesn't sound directly related to the pandemic, so I suspect it was already happening pre-pandemic and has just become more obvious now that more people are playing online. Maybe the online mid-game ghosting made it seem more acceptable to do in face-to-face gaming.

At any rate, it's a shitty way to treat people and deserves only scorn.
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16 Mar 2021 13:07 #320700 by ubarose
I've left games when the behavior at the table or the environment in general has made me feel anxious or unsafe. I know I've given the impression of being an irrational bitch, but when that fight or flight instinct kicks in, I gotta get out.
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16 Mar 2021 13:10 #320701 by n815e
Replied by n815e on topic Players that just walked away
I’ve had a 21 year long career in HR (with at least another 20 years to go, lol) and it’s been my experience that people have always behaved that way, across all generations of hires and across the world.

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16 Mar 2021 13:45 #320702 by Gary Sax

ubarose wrote: I've left games when the behavior at the table or the environment in general has made me feel anxious or unsafe. I know I've given the impression of being an irrational bitch, but when that fight or flight instinct kicks in, I gotta get out.


Yeah, this is definitely a situation to make sure to do a little self-reflection about the table enviro, just in case.

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17 Mar 2021 14:02 #320753 by ubarose

Gary Sax wrote:

ubarose wrote: I've left games when the behavior at the table or the environment in general has made me feel anxious or unsafe. I know I've given the impression of being an irrational bitch, but when that fight or flight instinct kicks in, I gotta get out.


Yeah, this is definitely a situation to make sure to do a little self-reflection about the table enviro, just in case.


I've been puzzling over your reply for a while, but still don't quite know what it is you are saying. Can you please clarify a bit?
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17 Mar 2021 15:09 - 17 Mar 2021 15:11 #320756 by Gary Sax
Sorry, I was being very unclear, it was a post and run. If someone walks away from your table, instead of automatically assuming it's because they are ghosting, I think that people need to do a little extra interrogation to check that they weren't doing something that was making people at the table uncomfortable. So the sort of thing that has happened to you in the past, a lot of those people probably laughed to themselves and said you were just ghosting to ghost or whatever instead of examining the table dynamic that repulsed you.
Last edit: 17 Mar 2021 15:11 by Gary Sax.
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