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Author Topic: Episode 36: Don't Kick People out of your game  (Read 40730 times)
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Talen Lee
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« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2009, 06:27:10 AM »

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Were you guys kicked out of a game?
Pretty much. This came up in the live episode.
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Chris_fromtheBX
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« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2009, 07:31:54 AM »

Let me try a different tact.  Calling people things (friend enemy etc) is beside the point.  The only reason you say aquaintance is to create an emotional distance so you feel more justified when you are mean to them.

And there are times when you will ask people to leave.  BUT the reasons are the same no matter the activity.  If one of your scrapbooking friends slaps your wife, you kick them out.

In my case I meant acquaintance from the standpoint of people that did not want to make that transition of being my friend at the table and never wanted to do so or felt the need to do so. The guy that I offer  hey want to hang out and answer is no more than once but if I invite others feels hurts that he wasn't included and yet every time I ask the answer is no. The proverbial guy who came with the other guy at the the table for years that established a clique at the table. Or rather mini cliques. They never saw anything wrong with their behavior and saw it even less when they dropped out of games without any notice. Yes people do use the meaning of the word itself as justification to be mean spirited.  I am not one of them and so I hope you aren't making an assumption based solely on terminology.
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Zeke
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« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2009, 10:12:17 AM »

More the last two reasons than the first. If you're asking why we are so concerned about it I can provide an answer for my personal reasons. There is a trend among gamers where people who do not fit the "group mind" are kicked out of groups. People defend it ususally by desparaging the style of play of the banished player. It's symptomatic of a lerger problem with the Gameosphere. That is the idea that some styles of play are "bad" while others are "proper". I can see wanting to play in a specific style and why someone playing in  an oposing style could be troublesome. However, you can aleays talk to the player or (gasp) try to modifiy your style. Gamin is an intensely social personality driven activity. Try as you might to pretend it doesn't matter and you have no connection to the other people around the table, you do. Whether or not you want to.
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« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2009, 11:01:19 AM »

Let me try a different tact.  Calling people things (friend enemy etc) is beside the point.  The only reason you say aquaintance is to create an emotional distance so you feel more justified when you are mean to them.

And there are times when you will ask people to leave.  BUT the reasons are the same no matter the activity.  If one of your scrapbooking friends slaps your wife, you kick them out.

This is what I'm talking about when I say there are reasons to kick people out.  I can't see kicking someone out because you don't like the way they role-play, that's pretty ignorant.  If, however, they're mean to other players, or abusive of your house, or whatnot then of course you have to deal with that aggressively.

And for the record, I say acquaintance to differentiate between the people who I like and want to spend my free time with (friends) and people I don't really want to spend free time with.  There's never any excuse for being mean to people, that's always uncalled for.  But I don't consider my co-workers friends, nor the random person who's a friend of a friend who showed up to game last night.  That's what the word acquaintance is for.  Someone you know, but not very well.
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« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2009, 11:03:04 AM »

I think, however, it's quite reasonable to no longer play with someone because you don't like their gaming style, or your gaming styles don't mesh well.
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Hallack
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« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2009, 11:14:43 AM »



Well, sometimes people you game with are people you are forced to be around due to dynamics and relationships of other members of the group.  I've gamed with plenty of folks that I was only around due to my friends wanting/allowing them to be there.  Me gaming with someone does not make me their friend though that does not mean I'm going to ignore or be an ass to them.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 04:36:46 PM by Hallack » Logged

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Cam_Banks
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« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2009, 04:19:00 PM »

It's symptomatic of a lerger problem with the Gameosphere. That is the idea that some styles of play are "bad" while others are "proper".

I'm sure you could argue convincingly to some people that you have some scientific metric to determine a "good" vs. "bad" play style. I'm not sure I'd buy that any more than I'd buy the scientific metric of a "good" vs. "bad" game, however.

Which is to say, I agree with you that there's not a universal right or wrong here, but it's probably not the problem.

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Cam
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Talen Lee
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« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2009, 05:06:38 PM »

More the last two reasons than the first. If you're asking why we are so concerned about it I can provide an answer for my personal reasons. There is a trend among gamers where people who do not fit the "group mind" are kicked out of groups. People defend it ususally by desparaging the style of play of the banished player. It's symptomatic of a lerger problem with the Gameosphere. That is the idea that some styles of play are "bad" while others are "proper". I can see wanting to play in a specific style and why someone playing in  an oposing style could be troublesome. However, you can aleays talk to the player or (gasp) try to modifiy your style. Gamin is an intensely social personality driven activity. Try as you might to pretend it doesn't matter and you have no connection to the other people around the table, you do. Whether or not you want to.
I have a connected mindset to this, which is, because gaming is a social activity, you shouldn't game with people you wouldn't socialise with. When I played magic at an actual gaming store, I would routinely play it with people I wouldn't like to socialise with much, but I could still appreciate them as people. Magic gave us that common ground, a place to stand where our other business didn't matter as much. Engineers sat down with labourers and we all pretended to throw fairies at one another.

Zeke's right in that there's this pervasive superior mindset you'll encounter in gaming, but that's as much the nature of clique-forming social circles as anything else. I think the mindset of 'never kick someone out of your game' is a bit of a rubric itself in that it's cutting off a totally legitimate tool. Hopefully, this podcast will cover such things as finding the root of a problem, ways to make playstyles compatible, the value of equal time for equal fun and how styles can be brought into contrast, rather than into conflict.

While the right to kick is something that belongs to the GM, the players need to bear in mind they can influence it too, of course...

But anyway, I'm blathering at this point. Zeke, I agree with you that people in gaming tend to view things as 'right' and 'wrong' rather than say, 'Vanilla' and 'chocolate.'
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« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2009, 05:32:32 PM »

This is all great- especially since we haven't even recorded this episode yet, so it gives us really good info to ensure is in the recording.

What I'm getting from it is:

1) Ensure we begin by saying "deciding to stop playing and kicking someone out are two different things."  A decision that is mutual between GM and Player- whether one style or the other is unfit for the group, is fine and what you are striving towards.  The PC always has the feet veto power, so walking is ok too.  It's the screaming, angry, "Get out!" that we are advocating against.

2) Great point about whose responsibility it is and I'm going to argue it's not the GM's alone.  I think the first person who has the right to begin problem solving is the host of the house.  I think most justified reasons for asking someone to leave are personality related specifically as they interact with the group.  We game at my house and if one of the PC's repeatedly kicked my dog while we gamed and thought it was funny, then as someone who has someone else in their house, I would be perfectly within my right to ask them to leave.  How it affects the game is up to the GM.  Do you find a different spot and loose me?  Do you let the person go?  Lots of food for thought.

3) I also think the "friend" thing is mostly semantics, but I do agree that acquaintance is fine.  I adore my Monday Night Board Game group and overall it is a great group.  There are a couple people there- I can think of 3 specifically- who I love playing games with, who I have fun with, but I would never hang out with and wouldn't consider them friends.  It's ok to separate people in your life into "use" categories.  I don't want to do everything I do with everyone I know.  I wouldn't want to have Josh or Zeke with me were I to go to a meditation class- Josh would be too negative and there is no way Zeke would be quiet.  I would travel with my boss but don't like to go out to eat with her- she's a health nut and would make me feel bad about eating cheese.  I have a whole other set of friends and acquaintances that I wouldn't play games with- they wouldn't be interested or wouldn't be stimulating enough. 

So if you can have friends you don't game with, can't you have game partners you aren't friends with?
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Talen Lee
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« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2009, 05:34:38 PM »

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would make me feel bad about eating cheese.
Okay, that's just not cool.
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« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2009, 09:07:43 PM »

So if you can have friends you don't game with, can't you have game partners you aren't friends with?

  Ding! Also, it's disingenuous to require friendship to promote good play at the table. I have a friend I'm fond of, great guy, but at every game I don't GM he plays the most broken monsters ever by the players standard. He's my friend, but I grind my teeth everytime I see his character make everyone else at the table redundant and non-vital. I can OP as well, but that would mean I become another offender and not part of the solution.

  The GM and the group have chosen not to address this since he flares off at criticism and stalks off. I feel the game experience for everyone would be better if he left; politeness is not an asset when the principal offender won't change.

  In a non-utopian world, how would you deal with that situation?
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Meg
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« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2009, 09:41:43 PM »

The more I think about it and read these responses, I think the better analogy for people you game with is that they are like people you work with.  The big thing I'm going to talk about in the episode (or may do one just on this) is problem solving and setting friendship aside to deal with the problem.  That is much more similar to the way you would problem solve with a co-worker or subordinate.  The whole point is to keep it impersonal and rational and to just have it based on friendship is actually probably poor advice. 

Good stuff is coming from this.  Keep it going!
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« Reply #32 on: February 03, 2009, 10:46:03 PM »


  Agreed on the latter. On the former, sometimes a acquaintance is a an acquaintance unless you mean you describe them as an acquaintance retroactively to justify kicking them out.

Sure, but they are in effect the same person.  You treat the person in your game in a way that should not change in either reguard.
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Josh
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« Reply #33 on: February 03, 2009, 11:18:45 PM »

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Were you guys kicked out of a game?
Pretty much. This came up in the live episode.

That is in turn disingenuous.

I had the attitude years before we were ever kicked out of a game. 
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InnaBinder
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« Reply #34 on: February 03, 2009, 11:21:38 PM »

I see that you're 'trying a different tact', but this statement struck me sufficiently to want to comment on it:

Quote
People you invite into your home and you play games with are by definition your friends.
No.  Just no.  The people who respond to a posting that I've put up at the FLGS or on a local gamer's website and show up after an email or two, sight unseen, to my home to game are not 'friends' yet by any definition I can find in Webster's.  Nor are the cousins of our Rogue's fiance, who just moved to town and are looking for a game, 'friends'.  They are barely at the level of acquaintance at that point - quite likely for all parties involved.  I do not feel obligated, at this point, to put up with these new people for more than a session or two if it becomes clear that their presence is disruptive, nor do I especially feel obligated to give disruptive players numerous chances to interfere with everyone else's enjoyment of the game or the company.  I probably won't boot them after a single session, but I'm not putting up with multiple sessions where the majority are unhappy for the sake of 'not booting someone'.

'Disruptive' could mean they whine incessantly over the established house rules (seen it), they lecture other players on how they should build and run their characters (seen it), or that they constantly make in and out of character passes at the women we have seated at the table (seen it).  If booting these players from the game in order to preserve everyone else's enjoyment of it is a gamer's crime, I'm pleading nolo.

Josh, I recognize that you often tend toward hyperbole in order to drive home a point, but claiming that anyone that is invited over to the house to game is automatically a 'friend' is simply too far a stretch.
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Shoggoth
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« Reply #35 on: February 03, 2009, 11:54:51 PM »

The more I think about it and read these responses, I think the better analogy for people you game with is that they are like people you work with.  The big thing I'm going to talk about in the episode (or may do one just on this) is problem solving and setting friendship aside to deal with the problem.  That is much more similar to the way you would problem solve with a co-worker or subordinate.  The whole point is to keep it impersonal and rational and to just have it based on friendship is actually probably poor advice. 

I think you have both situations - people you just game with who aren't really friends, and people you game with who ARE friends.  Obvious, sure.

The thing is, dealing with problem at the table is I think often much more difficult when they're friends.  When you're dealing with an acquaintance, you're at liberty to treat like you would a co-worker - respectfully, but with the understanding that if they're causing a problem it needs to be dealt with. 

When it's a friend, you get into much stickier territory.  Confronting a friend about a problem, even if done with respect, can cause serious blow-ups, and if you plan to go to a movie with them tomorrow it's often easier to just let it ride than to "ruin a friendship". 

My old Sunday game included a guy who would min-max his characters into tiny little niches, then complain wildly and sulk whenever he was ineffective at the many things his character COULDN'T do.  We tallied his to-hit rolls, and I believe at one point he had a 75% crit chance based on his "die rolls".  If it had been someone we all barely knew, it would have been a no brainer to bring it up - but the Sunday game was about hanging with friends first and gaming second, so we all put up with it.  When it was too much for me, I'd just bow out of a campaign for a while - it was all I could do.
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« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2009, 12:04:20 AM »

OK, in the gaming club I was in I took in a bunch of problem players over the years.

I never had a problem dealing with them. 

So what does that mean?

And I have had all these situations.  It is not like I lucked out. 
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« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2009, 12:25:55 AM »

OK, in the gaming club I was in I took in a bunch of problem players over the years.

I never had a problem dealing with them. 

So what does that mean?

And I have had all these situations.  It is not like I lucked out. 
Insufficient evidence is available to draw any valid conclusions about what that means. 

Your face-to-face people skills may be so phenomenal that you were easily able to overcome these issues - regardless of claims to the contrary by Meg, Zeke, et al. 

Your personality may be so confrontational that what you perceived as 'never had a problem' was actually quite a challenge to overcome for the other players - or so challenging that they simply chose to leave before you had to ask them to. 

I listed 3 specific situations - assuming in my pride that your unattributed comment was directed at least in part to me - so it could mean that the 3 individuals who represented these specific situations seemed such a minor inconvenience to you that, in hindsight, you don't see that there was a problem.  Maybe all three situations were manifested in the same individual, which would have minimized the difficulties in dealing with them even further.

There's no indication in your response where this gaming club met, or what your role in it was, which both could alter significantly how much you had to personally deal with difficult players.

You could be misrepresenting the amount of difficulty the issues presented in order to make a point, unintentionally or otherwise.

Etc.
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« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2009, 12:30:42 AM »

OK, in the gaming club I was in I took in a bunch of problem players over the years.

I never had a problem dealing with them. 

So what does that mean?

And I have had all these situations.  It is not like I lucked out. 

If you've seen all of these problems, and you've successfully dealt with them all, then I'd say you have your episode.  Reflect on how you dealt with the issues, and share your wisdom.  With specifics, please.

A blanket admonishment of "Never kick someone out" helps no one.  Practical advice on dealing with issues before you reach that critical juncture helps immensely.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2009, 12:44:51 AM by Shoggoth » Logged

Still came that eldritch, mocking cry - "Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!" and at last we remembered that the demoniac Shoggoths...had no voice save the imitated accents of their bygone masters.
Talen Lee
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« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2009, 12:34:40 AM »

Quote
Were you guys kicked out of a game?
Pretty much. This came up in the live episode.

That is in turn disingenuous.

I had the attitude years before we were ever kicked out of a game. 

'Kay. I was just saying what Meg said on the live episode.
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