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Thinking Out Loud

Thursday, September 08, 2005

My Kind of Gamer >> Part II - The Enthusiastic Gamer

Following up on my previous post, musing about the different types of gaming behaviors and personality types I prefer gaming with, I had some time to think about another attribute that I enjoy in my fellow gamers -- enthusiasm.

While this seems obvious, I've been in several forced, contrived gaming situations where one or more participants were obviously there "against their will" and were anything but enthusiastic about the prospect of an evening of gaming. That's not to say that the tagalong participant won't get into it or enjoy themselves, but it can be difficult if the person lacks enthusiasm.

Enthusiasm is not just blindly being led around, willing to play/do anything to placate the other players. I've played with those sorts of players, and it starts to wear thin after a while... True enthusiasm for games and gaming can manifest in many different forms. Here are just a few ideas that come to mind as I mull this over:

  • Willingness to learn new games, integrate new players and broaden their gaming horizons
  • Offering to read the rules to a new game beforehand and teach it to the group
  • Tries to coordinate gaming time with friends, or replies when others in the group are looking to get some gaming in (even if they can't attend)
  • Interested in reading more about a game to learn new strategies, check out variant rules, post session reports and share the gaming experience with others
  • Offers to share their own games, purchases new games for the group or is willing to pitch in for games that will be played by many
  • Looks forward to game time, chats about it socially with others and presents a positive vibe at the gaming table

Some of these attributes may seem to overlap with being a gracious gamer, as I discussed before, but there are some subtle distinctions. I think enthusiasm is a bit more internalized per player, but a player's enthusiasm can definitely be contagious and spread around the table. But overall, as I add more and more traits I appreciate in my fellow gamers, I think there will definitely be some cross-over. And quite a few of the gamers I routinely play with exhibit quite a few of these traits.

Good thing... But I guess that's why I'm gaming with them in the first place!

So what do you think?
How important is enthusiasm among your fellow gamers?
What are some other ways enthusiasm expresses itself around the table or in your group?
Can a general lack of enthusiasm suck the life out of a game, even if it's your favorite?
How do you foster this behavior so players maintain interest and enthusiasm?


  • Enthusiasm with a game isn't too important. I play games that don't excite me with the expectation that my friends will play games that I want to play even if they aren't excited about playing.

    It's a good trade off. I suspect most people with game groups are in that position. I will frequently come around to liking a game that I had no enthusiasm for.

    However, a half-hearted player or a player who would rather be somewhere else can really suck the fun out of a game. I don't try to keep such people happy. I find an excuse to end the game, because they make everyone miserable.

    If I ever play with them again I go to extremes to find a game that might have more appeal to them. More likely I won't suggest playing a game with them again.

    By Blogger Coldfoot, at 12:10 AM  

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