Burning Bridges... Even Jerks Design Games
Thankfully, there are lots of great people in the boardgaming hobby. Jay Tummelson (Rio Grande Games), Zev Shlasinger (Z-Man Games), Greg Benage (Fantasy Flight), Bruno Faidutti (Designer) and Mark Osterhaus (Out of the Box) just to name a few off the top of my head. Prominent publishers, designers and gaming enthusiasts. And really nice people who I've had the opportunity to chat with at conventions, demo games to, interview with or otherwise interact with enough to know how bad by comparison some people in the industry are.
While it may not be as severe as one bad apple spoiling the whole barrel, sometimes it's not that far off. Since the industry is so small and so clique-y, I really am loathe to name names or point fingers (heck, I'm no saint myself -- but at least I try to be civil). But recently on BoardGameGeek, one designer in particular has gone off the deep end and has done nothing but come across as arrogant, superior and downright rude.
I certainly don't mind if someone questions a comment I post in a review or session report, but when a game designer sends me private messages just to insult me, tell me I'm a poor player or that I clearly don't understand strategy -- or even better, enjoys lording his design credits or superior experience within the industry -- well, let's just say it doesn't sit well.
I'm not the only person from my gaming group he's done this with, either. Our group played one of his games, and I believe several of us posted comments and reactions to the game. And at least one other player got similarly rude, confrontational and idiotic responses. I tried to extend the olive branch and engage in meaningful discussion on his game design to convey what I felt were weaknesses and potential issues based on the game group, and was met with vitriol and vanity. He's left similar comments on a recent positive review posted by a BGGers -- rather than being thankful and kind for the positive review, he snapped at a few descriptive comments made by the reviewer.
It's a real shame, as I had enjoyed the first of his games I played, but now, not only will I avoid any games by this designer, I'm also avoiding other games published by the same publisher.