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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Suppressed Rant and Some Thoughts on the Lack of Social Skills Among a Segement of Gamers

Last night I thought a good night of sleep would take my desire to rant away, but instead it seems to have festered in my dreams. Ah well, this too shall pass.

In the meantime, I was thinking of social skills among gamers, or the lack there of among a certain segment of it. We addressed this in part when discussing group etiquette on episode 46 of The Brainstorm podcast, but I think we missed part of the point - certain gamers are simply attention whores.

We've all seen it - no matter where the enemy is, they are there. If the dialogue is happening two towns away, they have input that you MUST listen to. If there is a magic sword (and they are playing a magic user) it must be theirs.

I'm not sure if it was a lack of attention in childhood or a lack of self worth in real life, but the game is everything and everything is the game. If the spotlight isn't theirs and theirs alone, they bitch and moan and make everyone else miserable. Sharing and teamwork is a foreign concept to them.

I thank God that in my years returning to gaming, I've only had to deal with one person with the above traits (and they are not in my current gaming groups) but in my high school and college years they seemed more common. Perhaps most do grow out of such habits.

I do not know how to turn them into team players. I don't know if they have a desire to learn.

Look at that. A rant that wasn't the rant I was looking for ;)


  1. I've played with people like this.It's certainly a patience tester.

  2. I've had a few like that in my days as a gamer. Had one who killed perhaps the most enjoyable campaign I've ever played in. Party decides to go left, he goes right. Party wants to be stealthy, he's drawing attention. And the rationale? "It's what my character would do!" Ahh! So you take part in a social game, and create an anti-social, my-way-or-the-highway asshat? Nope, don't buy it. When another player called him on it, it led to a huge blow up.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for the link. I'd never heard that song before!

  4. I've played with kids (under the age of 14) who are like this. I think I've only had two adults with this tendency at my table in the last 15 years. Neither stayed long.

    But I've sure worked with countless @$$hats of this type.

    At the gaming table, I end up managing using a stricter "1 action per turn" flow than I otherwise would to minimize bilocation and insure my other players get a word in edgewise.

    At work I just try to be on different projects.

    And, in my experience, none of the people like this at work were gamers.

  5. I think I should use more overt whoring efforts! !

  6. It's more likely RPGs tend to attract the socially awkward and people with Aspergers and similar conditions. Many of them can't help it. Others are just a-holes to be kicked out of games.

  7. I had a case where this was getting to be a problem. A couple of my players had an unwritten superpower that allowed them to teleport instantly to wherever something cool was happening. Worst of all it was starting to spread.

    My solution was to start using figs and a battlemat again. I made them show where in the room they were, so that when player A found something cool, player B couldn't justify being right there. It actually got them to accept sharing the spotlight without any drama.

  8. (Now here I am, trying to center the attention on myself, however briefly)

    This dynamic is at work in many places with creative force: rock bands, marriage(s), young men playing with fire, and the age-old Sheep/Shepherd/Wolf executive model.

    It's a matter of (human) chemistry, heightened by the unreal aspect of fantasy gaming.

    Sometimes the great guitar player just won't turn his goddamned amp down. That makes him a great guitar player, but not a band member.

    Stop all the fake-moans, will ya, honey? I'm trying to get laid here, not bring all the hotel staff to our door . . . go be a great moaner with your next victim.

    Keep your fucking hands outta my cheetos. Your hands go in your mouth, onto my dice and back into the cheetos. Fine, take all the cheetos. Keep your hands off my Big Gulp.

    Chemistry. Kills bands. Kills marriages. At least the stakes are low in gaming!

    Oh God and there is always that asshole on an airplane . . .


  9. Sounds like you have a person you gamed with that really annoyed you? Maybe at a convention?
    We as humans love the spotlight and we all secretly want to have the attention. Come on, how great does it feel on your birthday, folks signing and praising you? It feels great! Just some people need it 24/7 to live

    and speaking of Brainstorm podcast, it's my favorite podcast.. well its my favorite when Glen is not on it.