Monday, February 20, 2006

50 steps to a healthy gaming life

Inspired by this post by Better Me, I decided to make a checklist for healthy board gaming ...

By a "healthy gaming life", I don't mean just "a healthy life", or a "gaming life", but a synergy of both. Therefore, a certain amount of obsession is implied. A life full of gaming that is also still healthy. If this is not your intent, then the list doesn't apply to you. See the comments for more details.

Your stuff:
  • I am aware of all of the games that I own.
  • I have played all of the games that I own.
  • I don't own any games that I have no realistic plan on playing in the future. I don't own any games just for nostalgia. All of my games are fun to play, right now.
  • I own or have easy access to all of the games that I like to play.
  • My games are kept in a safe and dry location, in an organized manner.
  • All of my games have all of their pieces. None of the cards or pieces are marked or broken.
  • All of the components to my games are in their right location, and are not mixed with other games or under the couch.
  • All items in my games work properly, such as spinners or towers.
  • All of the boxes to my games are intact and sturdy.
  • All of my games contain rules in my native language or a language I can read easily.
  • I do not play with games if the parts were acquired by means of copyright violations.
  • I put away one game before taking out another, unless many people are over and playing simultaneously, or unless I have a designated area to store a long game such as a monster war-game.
  • My game collection is not obtrusive, and does not interfere with the functions of the house or the room in which they are stored.
  • I have a well-lit, uncluttered, and healthy place to play games. This place has access to fresh air, natural light, and a bathroom with a sink.
  • I have enough chairs for all players, and these chairs are comfortable.
Your self:
  • I don't overindulge in caffeine or sugar.
  • I exercise a few times every week and I don't watch much television.
  • Games do not take up more than 1/3 of my waking hours, unless I am involved with them professionally.
  • I read or write general articles about tech, math, or game strategy, as well as about games that I play.
  • I can effectively teach all games that I play.
  • I make a reasonable effort to win games while I'm playing them. If I'm playing with children or sensitive people, I still try to win, but I give advise to help them as well.
  • I really don't mind losing, since I find the game enjoyable for the experience.
  • I am a good winner, because I don't think that any of my opponent's are inherently incapable of doing whatever I did to win; it just clicked. I make other people feel good about specific plays that they did after the game, or I point out how the loss wasn't really under their control due to some random event, when appropriate. And I mean it.
  • I never cheat, and if I gain inadvertent information, I either don't use it or I disclose the fact to my opponents.
  • I never play with an agenda in mind. I don't try to humiliate my opponents. I don't carry grudges. I play for the shared enjoyable experience with my opponents, aware that both/all of us have to work together to achieve it.
  • I don't whine or use other means of coercion during game play.
  • I do not argue about rules during the game. I assume a ruling is unfavorable to my position before asking a question about rules.
  • I assume that actions are not permitted unless otherwise specified.
  • I do not favor an opponent when I can't win. I have a kingmaking code to which I follow in this situation (pick one or more:play for placing; play for max points; play for min point differential with leader; play for sub-goal; try a wild strategy that has at least some possibility of success; passively try not to affect the outcome and wait for the next game).
  • I play reasonably quickly, think only as long as acceptable given the spirit of the game, and do not hurry others to make their moves.
  • I maintain a record of my games and seek to improve my play in these games.
  • I am open to playing both games that I have already played and new games.
You and others:
  • I share my love for boardgaming with other people.
  • I play with my spouse or significant other.
  • I play with my children or parents.
  • At least some of my friends play games with me.
  • I do not use games as an excuse to cause distance between me and anyone else.
  • I do not play or suggest playing games when it will cause a fight of any sort.
  • I belong to and regularly attend a weekly game group.
  • I contribute to the game group more than just my attendance, such as organization, snacks, games, recording sessions, and/or cleaning up.
  • I ensure that all players feel welcome where I play, and I don't only talk to my close friends.
  • I give minimal strategy advice to new players, and otherwise only when asked. I never give misleading advice.
  • I politely decline to play games in which I am not interested.
  • I politely request to play games in which I am interested, unless I already know that other players don't want to play them.
  • I do not quit games in which I am losing, except for two player games where I politely offer to resign, but will continue if I think my opponent doesn't want me to.
  • I do not request takebacks that annoy other people. I let others take back their moves whenever possible so as to ensure they continue to enjoy the game.
  • I maintain a clean and healthy body and ensure that other players are not offended by my personal grooming or manners.
  • I am equally respectful to all people at a club, regardless of sex, race, age, or physical disability.
  • I prefer not to play than to get into an argument.
  • I do not gossip about other players or ridicule moves made by other people, even when they are not present.
Your initial score:

Score yourself again in two months and every six months.

Happy Gaming,
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