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Gaming Etiquette

Apr 06, 14 Gaming Etiquette

Let’s look at some basic gamer etiquette. Gaming – tabletop gaming – is a social endeavor, which implies that it is done in the company of others. As such, it is important to remember one’s social graces and practice good etiquette. Not only is this just good advice in general for any social gathering, it also helps a game go much more smoothly.

Be polite. Remembering your basic manners is never a bad idea. When someone does something for you, the least you can do is offer a “thank you” in turn. Help out when you can in preparing for the game, or take duties such as tracking initiative or various status effects without being asked. Every little bit helps and is always appreciated.

Be tactful. Mind what you say, for never know what someone might find offensive. Racist, sexist, or other discriminatory comments regarding creed, nationality, religion, or lifestyle choices have no place at a game-table. A game is meant to be fun for everyone, and that is the responsibility of every person sitting around that table to make that happen.

Be patient. Wait your turn. Sure, it might get boring when you take only a few seconds to enact your character’s actions, only to be followed by others taking five minutes or more, but that is how things happen sometimes. Players only tend to notice when other players are taking “too long” when they are not the ones doing it. Do not get agitated. Relax. Remember that every player will get their turn in the spot-light at some point.

Be aware. On the other side of that coin, players should be paying attention to the game at all times. The occasional distraction is fine, but keep it to a minimum. That way, when your turn comes up, you are already aware of everything going on and can react in-character in an appropriate manner rather than having to ask exactly what is going on every single time. Having to ask that occasionally is no problem, as it can be easy to get lost in what is going on, but you still need to make the effort. No Gamemaster wants to see a player playing a Nintendo DS, messing with a Rubik’s cube, with Facebook open on their laptop during a game – yes, this has actually happened. If nothing else, that is being rude to both your Gamemaster and your fellow players.

Be informed. Know when the game is going to be, where it will be, who will be in attendance, and if there is anything you need to do to prepare for the game. In short, practice good communication with your group. Group message boards are great for this sort of thing. Be an active participant on the board, not merely an observer. Know what is going on.

Be punctual. Take steps to show up on time and if you find yourself unable to make it, either in being late or not at all, let your fellow players and Gamemaster know as soon as possible. This will help a great deal in working out any changes this might cause.

Be tidy. Clean up after yourselves. Whoever is hosting the game has opened their home up to you; so the least you can do is make sure to leave it in as good if not better shape than it was when you arrived. Trash goes in trashcans. Wipe off your shoes or take them off, as the homeowners prefer. Be respectful of other people’s property. Basically, you are a guest. Even if you are a regular guest, never forget that you are a guest and should behave in an appropriate manner. Treat their home as you would want your own home treated.

As always, thanks for reading and I wish you all good gaming.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

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About 

Joshua is a freelance writer, aspiring novelist, and avid table-top gamer who has been in love with the hobby ever since it was first introduced to him by a friend in 1996. Currently he acts as the Gamemaster in three separate games and is also a player in a fourth. When he is not busy rolling dice to save the world or destroying the hopes and dreams of his players, he is usually found either with his nose in a book or working on his own. He has degrees in English, Creative Writing, and Economics.