Episode 142: The Good Gamer Thing

Hosts: Timo, Scott, Todd, Megan

The gamer-iest wedding ever! (5:09)

What did we play (13:00)
Lords of Vegas
Glory of Rome
Descent 2
Lords of Waterdeep
D Day Dice
Ascension: Immortal Heroes
Netrunner
On Mighty Thews

Main Topic: The Good Gamer Thing(25:10)
During Gencon, Timo ran in to an interesting thing: people

sitting down to games at Games on Demand and stating “I’m not good at this.” It sparks a discussion between us of what the “Good Gamer” mentality is all about, and what role it actually plays in groups and games.

Other Links:
Freemarket
Arkham Horror
Nazgul
Defenders of the Realm
Fiasco
Apoclaypse World
Tabletop
How We Came to Live Here
The Walking Eye
Steal Away Jordan
Dog Eat Dog
Bully Pulpit – Gamer Improv
Jank on Demand

You have been listening to The Jank Cast, copyright under the creative commons license. You can find out more about us at jankcast.com. You can send comments and feedback to feedback@jankcast.com We are sponsored by Chicagoland Games, and encourage you to get in touch with us via our Facebook page, Spooky Outhouse Forum (it’s a little quiet, but we’d love to get it going again), Twitter or Google+. You can also listen to us via Stitcher Radio. Now go out and roll some dice!

9 thoughts on “Episode 142: The Good Gamer Thing

  1. Some clarification/additional info! First, thanks Megan for the shout out!

    Sylvia and I also actually met at a Nerds at Heart event, so it wasn’t just Nora and Phil that met there.

    I am so glad that I didn’t roll for the jig.

    I also noticed right away that the grooms-cakes were actually not d6 accurate with the pips where they should be. Sylvia was upset when I pointed it out because she was very specific that they get the pips right.

    The custom dice were indeed Chessex and they are not cheater dice as we wanted to be able to actually use them. We were pretty happy with the way they turned out regardless of the colors that we picked.

  2. Also, Megan, I totally forgot to mention that I need to learn/play Fiasco so that we can run the scenario you wrote for us!

  3. I didn’t have room to actually write a full scenario for you guys on the sheet, but I’d be happy to do a special full sized one for you as a remembrance. There are supposed to be more tables than I had room to draw.

  4. So, I understand why you guys want to avoid “you’re bad at games!” It’s good to be welcoming to noobs and to avoid silly status games. However, the conclusions this leads you all to really bother me.

    It’s really obvious that some games are better than others, and that a large part of what makes games good is what the players bring to the table. I don’t think you guys would want to dispute that.

    If you interpret that as, “Some players have more skill than others”, then dealing with this is easy. You just say, “Hey, here’s how to improve, if you want to.”

    But as soon as you try to work around the easy interpretation, it gets weird and dehumanizing pretty quickly. If you can’t take that Fiasco group at face value when they say they’re bad, then you have to resort to “that’s just the sort of people/group they are”. Which is way more discouraging and pathologizing than just saying, “They didn’t know techniques for dealing with gonzo.”

  5. peter, I get what you’re saying. I guess my initial gut reaction towards that framing is to see it as self-denigrating, as a value judgement of the people playing, and it’s always unfortunate for people to self-label in such a way as to say “I am inherently bad at this” rather than “I want to be able to do this more fluently.”

    It would be nice to think that people mean “I could stand to improve at this.” however, I personally have seen “they are a bad gamer” as a reason to dismiss or ostracize people far too often for no good reason, and so when I hear gamers applying it to themselves it catches me by surprise.

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