The Jaded Gamer

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Table Talk, Part 1. Categories - aka "I didn't come here to talk about DIY"

Alec Chapman
United Kingdom
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Anyway, how's your sex life?
"She said the same thing about waffles."
Microbadge: Offline from The Geek for a while
I thought we'd have a little chat over the next few posts about how to talk at the table during a game. Board or Card Games are a social medium, and developing one's social life skills is as important (if not much MORE important) than developing your skill at the games - at least until you reach a professional or tournament level and how many people do that?

Now, there's plenty of ways you can interact with other players, so let me split them into groups and give examples in our first part. Help me out with yours in the comments, if you'd be so kind.

For the sake of argument, let's arbitrarily split talk into the following categories.

EDIT: Point of order, I am viewing silence as the zero point in all of these categories, not a category of its own. Let me know if you disagree.

a. Gameplay Related (i.e. regarding the actual session you are playing)
- Could be commentary: "great move"; "Damn you! I was going to go there"
- Could be negotiation: "I'll trade you one wool for one wood"; "You support me into Brest and I'll cut his support in Marseille"
- Could be misdirection: "I've messed this up"; "Damn, that didn't work"
- Could be an annoying complaint: "I've messed this up"; "Damn, that didn't work"
(Note a certain similarity between the last two)

b. Game Related (i.e. regarding the game you are playing in general, including past plays)
- Could be game reviews: "I have to own this"; "this game is so boring"; "Another auction? Great!"
- Could be self protecting via game bashing: "This game is broken"; "That strategy is overpowered"; "there's too much luck in this game"

c. Gaming Related (i.e. regarding the hobby, including general strategy for games)
- "What have you played recently?"
- "Have you seen that new game Alec Chapman is designing? It looks bloody amazing!*"

d. Gamer Related (i.e. regarding other people in the hobby including their opinions and play style, game related stuff - anything else is in...)
- "I'm so glad we avoided x earlier, he plays this game like he's pulling out his own teeth"
- "I god, I hope y doesn't come over and start telling me how to win with the early pewter strategy again"

e. Off topic (everything else)
- "who's seen Dexter?"
- "how's your Mum?"

Most of your table talk probably revolves around a, b & c - after all, that's why we're all here and that's what we have in common. Talking about category d may take a nasty turn, especially in the case where groups have cliques or you've had a bad experience.

In my experience, category e (misc) is likely to come up when you are dealing with non-gamers. There's an important lesson for us all to bear in mind about tolerance of off topic discussion, having to do with social contracts and relative fun quotients, but we'll deal with that another day.

As I said, this is going to be the first of a few posts - I'd just like to get the blog readers input on whether I've missed any glaring stuff before I go off in the wrong direction (which I will doubtless do anyway) and embarrass myself (which I will... oh you know)

Final note: There seem to be so many blogs now that every writer's vanishes off the bottom of the list before many people see them, so take a second to subscribe to a blog you like (i.e. this one ) if you don't want to miss a post.


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