Six (and a half) Tips for Good Gaming Etiquette

Many of our number will be at GenCon this weekend playing new games, mastering familiar ones, and enjoying geek Nirvana. It’s an opportune moment to consider how we approach games.

In the spirit of helping everyone get along with each other and the venues at which we play, a bunch of our local organizers/coordinators came up with the following six (and a half) tips for good gaming etiquette:

  • Be respectful of other players, regardless of how gameplay unfolds.

Nobody’s perfect.  There will be times when players don’t mesh well. This is a game; try to get over it and move on when you can.  If an issue comes up, discuss it with the other player. If you need to, ask for help from your GM or event organizer.  Don’t let bad feelings fester.

  • Be mindful of your boundaries.

Gameplay may touch upon difficult issues such as racism, sexism, etc.  If triggering issues arise, reach out to your GM or event organizer–privately, if possible.  They will do their best to adjust accordingly.

  • Take the spotlight when you must, then be eager to relinquish it.

Allow everyone the agency to determine the direction of the game by consulting the group before taking actions that have consequences for the whole party.  This game affords opportunities for different styles of play, and everyone deserves the space to feel involved.

  • Remember that one of the tenets of the society is “cooperate.”

Strive to play the game with others, not against them.  Some characters are built with specific situations in mind.  Help others avoid conflict with your raison d’être by being up-front with your intent, and be especially forthcoming with your GM.

  • Strive  to keep a good balance with tangential chatter and gameplay.

Sometimes, things need to keep moving–especially at venues with a hard time limit.  It also takes focus away from a given player’s turn.

  • Be the person Mr. Rogers knew you can be!

Organized Play events frequently take place in public venues such as game stores, cafes, and convention halls.  These are often family-friendly businesses; conduct yourselves accordingly.

Related: Leave the venue at which you play as clean or cleaner than you found it.  If you re-arranged tables and chairs, put them back. Being good customers generates goodwill with the venue and ensures that everyone has a nice, safe place to play.

Got any other suggestions?  Let us know!

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