Skip to Content

How Do You Avoid The Awkwardness...

34 replies [Last post]
Zodiak Team
Zodiak Team's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/09/2012

I always have a ton of fun during conventions and various demo groups but what can really kill the mood is those social awkward, rude, smelly, and/or creepy individuals who lack a series level of social skills or commonsense and love to linger around your table.

They don't even play the game they just stand there picking things up, putting things in their pockets, messing with your displays, all while grunting and saying rude things about people around them and generally scaring off interested players.

I've worked in retail for many years and I've seen all sorts of people as I'm sure many of you have, and I'm pretty good at relaxing the atmosphere with a joke or polite gesture but sometimes it's just not enough.

A few months back I attended an event I had to pay $40 just to attend as an exhibitor (which was the same price as the guests! WTF?) and every person there was so awkward. No one made eye contact and few played together unless it was a game they brought from home and with a group that already knew each other. A lot of us exhibitors ended up leavings because it was so uncomfortable. By 3pm 6 of the 8 games showing off there had left and the event started at noon!

I actually heard the following lines from a few of the people who came to my table:

"Card games are dumb"
"Zodiak is a stupid word"
"This game isn't like Magic enough for me"
"This game looks like magic, just cuz"
"Card games are dumb, why are the cards rectangle if you want customers you should do a different shape or all different shapes"
"I don't want to use any girl cards"
"I want to play but not with you, just by myself"

I also had farters (gross let me laugh and wave it at a stranger farters), nose pickers, and even people who hid in the holes of their shirt like a turtle when we tried to take a picture!

When I left my girlfriend in charge of the table so I could meet the other exhibitors, everyone stayed clear of the table like she had a disease! They actually walked the long way to avoid the table all together!

I wish I was joking but I'm not =(

If this had been my first convention I might have just thrown in the towel on ever making my game because it was actually torture! I ended up skipped the next event because I didn’t want to meet those same people again, and in the early development of my game I don’t see how an atmosphere like that is healthy.

I know everyone is a diamond in the rough one way or another and we all deserve a chance to shine in our own way but I can’t help but feel as though people like that block the shine of my diamond and for no reason. I’m not all offended or bothered if you don’t like my game but I am upset when you’re just being rude and saying terrible things to people who want to try my game and making them leave.

I’ve used lines like these to try and get them to leave:

“Have you seen the other games?”
“Well thanks for stopping by”
“Here’s my card check us out another time”
“Well when you come back…”
Or even the awkward: Slowly stop making eye contact and turn away until they finally leave tactic.

Tell me some of your creeper stories and how you handled them. What are some of your tactics to avoid these Debby-Downers? How do you move them along when you’re displaying your game?

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
o.O

o.O...O.o...o.O...O.o... O.O...

Zodiak Team
Zodiak Team's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/09/2012
My thoughts exactly

My thoughts exactly

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:"Card games are

Quote:
"Card games are dumb"
"Zodiak is a stupid word"
"Card games are dumb, why are the cards rectangle if you want customers you should do a different shape or all different shapes"
"I don't want to use any girl cards"
"I want to play but not with you, just by myself"

Even I who criticise board game a lot does not use such lame excuses or insults. Serously, cards games are dumb? I can name you 3 card game that plays completely differently. From heavy strategy to party games. So you cannot evaluate a game by it's component.

Quote:

"This game isn't like Magic enough for me"
"This game looks like magic, just cuz"

Do you want it similar or different to magic? I though people were looking for something different not to end up with another Magic clone. But maybe there is an interest for magic clones (which I was not expecting at all)

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Clones Stink

Seriously, they need to take a shower and use some Old Spice.

I don't understand why people would want clone games either? If you want to play an LCG version of magic, just get the starter decks and be done with it.

We don't want you're stinkin' clones! We've got Droids!

Zodiak Team
Zodiak Team's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/09/2012
Because it wasn't said

>This isn't the clone you're looking for< LMAO!

But yes I was so blown away by it all I couldn't tell if I was being snobish or these people were actually just up for a little air before they went back under their moldy rocks A.K.A. their's mother's basement.

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Tsssss, Ouch...That Hurt

Zodiak Team wrote:
>This isn't the clone you're looking for< LMAO!

But yes I was so blown away by it all I couldn't tell if I was being snobish or these people were actually just up for a little air before they went back under their moldy rocks A.K.A. their's mother's basement.

There is being critical, and being constructive, they weren't being either...they were being utter and complete whole ingnoramuses. These are the kinds of people that give us nerds a bad rep! We should invade all mother's basements and oust these blights upon our good names. Let us call a crusade on all cave dwellers (unless it's your own man cave), nay not a crusade but a Jihad against all nerd infidels! We must expel those trolls from their caves, to have them turn to stone in strong sunlight, nay not strong sunlight but overcast sunlight doth petrify them in their tracks! Oh were it that basement dwellers stayed in their basements to not emerge forth to tarnish our names.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:We don't want you're

Quote:
We don't want you're stinkin' clones! We've got Droids!

Hahaha!

The only reason why I would expect somebody to be willing to play a magic clone would be the same reason why some people only play monopoly: they want to play something they know.

At least, it means there is a light interest for MTG clones, which recomfort me ... since I am designing one. But it's true that in general, people see clones as something negative.

Quote:
We should invade all mother's basements and oust these blights upon our good names. Let us call a crusade on all cave dwellers (unless it's your own man cave), nay not a crusade but a Jihad against all nerd infidels! We must expel those trolls from their caves, to have them turn to stone in strong sunlight, nay not strong sunlight but overcast sunlight doth petrify them in their tracks! Oh were it that basement dwellers stayed in their basements to not emerge forth to tarnish our names.

Nice board game idea. Oh! that is not what you meant.

Zodiak Team
Zodiak Team's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/09/2012
In Zodiak Legends each player

In Zodiak Legends each player chooses 3 characters and builds a deck to help support them. That's the main gest of the entire game/the core concept. This guy tells me "This game isn't intutive enough for me" I ask o why is that? He says "well my guy is going to die so I should get a new one". I look at him for a moment and I thought well maybe he misunderstood the game so I say "well that's the point of the game you have to defend them as much as you have to use them to attack your opponent", he goes "I understand that I guess what I'm saying is you should just make the game different, like how Magic does it"....OK YEA LET ME JUST FUCKING DO THAT! lmao WHAT!?

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Hmmm...*Puts on Thinking Face*

larienna wrote:
Nice board game idea. Oh! that is not what you meant.

Lol! Now that you mention it...that would be a weird theme. You each player mothers with sons that live in your basement playing games all day long and eating your food. Whoever can get their sons jobs and get them to move first wins the game!

img

Zodiak Team
Zodiak Team's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/09/2012
Is this a Chex Geek

Is this a Chez Geek expansion?

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
I have never experienced this but...

My first card game was a collectible card game (CCG) and was made in collaboration with the great Geof Isherwood. Geof drew for Marvel and D.C. Comics (famously known titles such as G.I. Joe, Dr. Strange, Conan The Barbarian, just to name a few, etc.)

When I attended the Montreal Comic Con, Geof has *FANS*. These are people who like Geof's artwork and they like to *linger* around the booth, checking out his albums filled with prints of drawings he made (mostly commissions from other people).

So those *FANS* like to linger around the booth... But they are very respectful and PAY for *on-site* B&W drawings (pencil + pen). An original piece of artwork can cost about $60.00 at the Con. Last con, I did not attend, Geof told me he was busy with drawings all weekend long.

But I understand the *Super Fans* who like to linger and soak up all the artwork. I mean every year they attend the Comic Con and every year they visit Geof's booth to look at his albums or to have him draw custom art.

Again these fans are VERY respectful. But like I said, sometimes they *linger around*... You kind of would want them to move on to another booth... And talk with other artists. Which I am sure they do... But Geof's art is quite popular...

So I can sympathize with you... especially if they say NEGATIVE things. That was never the case in my experiences...

I remember Dralius saying when he was demo-ing at a local game store (I believe), he was showing Nitro Dice and one person said something like: "So it's a racing game with dice?" That person didn't seem too impressed with his concept...

So I'm sure you get all kinds of types - again nothing as negative as your examples...

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:"I understand that I

Quote:
"I understand that I guess what I'm saying is you should just make the game different, like how Magic does it"

I still cannot believe that people at that convention wanted so hard to have another game like magic.

X3M
X3M's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
$ 40 for attending? You got

$ 40 for attending?
You got ripped off.

Of course, no one was interested. They all paid that much.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
I don't know how much people

I don't know how much people pay for conventions in general, but for sure, you wont buy much games if you pay too much just to enter the convention.

Corsaire
Corsaire's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/27/2013
Of course their moms probably

Of course their moms probably paid the $40 to get them out of the basement for the day.

Back in the day, I went to a ton of conventions. There were quite a mix of personalities, and certain proportion of those characters were always there. The best bet is to keep a package of toothpicks handy, then when they close in, scatter the toothpicks they'll follow the toothpicks and you'll have a brief respite while they count them.

Zodiak Team
Zodiak Team's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/09/2012
yeah I got an email to come

yeah I got an email to come back to another event for free. I didn't respond -.-

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
That reminds me...

I went to a Con in Hamilton, Ontario... and there was hardly any people there! I mean most tables had games - but people were like playing their own game! I was disappointed that there were no crowds of people attending the Con.

If you check out their website: http://www.hammercon.ca/

You would swear this is like a *good* event to advertise your game. People can play it, crowds of gamers who attend to see what's new in gaming... But the show was *almost dead*... Hardly any people besides the people who were exhibiting! :(

We don't have any Cons in Montreal (that I know of...) At least not for table-top games (Board and Card Games)...

X3M
X3M's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
The problem with that lies

The problem with that lies within the fact that people simply didn't know about those con.

This one time, I heard after 2 month's that there was one. Somewhere.
That's it.

Perhaps people assume there is no interest.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:I went to a Con in

Quote:
I went to a Con in Hamilton, Ontario... and there was hardly any people there! I mean most tables had games - but people were like playing their own game! I was disappointed that there were no crowds of people attending the Con.

If you check out their website: http://www.hammercon.ca/

You went to hammercon? That was something I could be considering. But it's more a designer convention so it should attract less people than regular convention.

Quote:
We don't have any Cons in Montreal (that I know of...) At least not for table-top games (Board and Card Games)...

Besides Comicon which is not board game specific. Filosophia does a convention called "Fista Ludique" every year if I remember. Thay are basically filosophia games. In the past, there have been a few con attempt that lasted a few year like the "geek" convention, Maicon, there is also draconis which is more an RPG con that I think is still alive.

There are also gaming events like "Stack Academie" and "Jeux au boute" but I think this kind of even is just for playing games. There are actually no publisher demoing their game. Still, at stack academie, we regularly get a guy from Filosophia/z-man that bring his own new games for demonstration each time.

Zodiak Team
Zodiak Team's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/09/2012
The only reason I've stayed

The only reason I've stayed in Boston is because there are so many boardgame cons and design groups. Pretty muh a designer's paradise =)

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Takes 2 people

larienna wrote:
You went to hammercon? That was something I could be considering. But it's more a designer convention so it should attract less people than regular convention.

Yes I attended the *Hammercon* when I was still *trying* to sell Quest Adventure Cards(tm). Some people enjoyed the artwork - but not many people (the public - I had about 5 visitors to my table). Like you said it's more of a designer convention, so if your GOAL is to speak with designers about THEIR games, it's a good Con to go to.

If you want to promote *your* game, it's probably not the best con to attend. Why? Well somebody has to monitor your table. As a guest you can go from table to table and talk with designers and see their games. But as a designer, somebody needs to watch over your game table... You would probably need to take 2 people, one that stays at the table and another person that goes around the other designer tables...

Maybe if you print out *business cards* with a link to a website of your game, you might be able to do *some* marketing of your game... Sort of like: "I like your game... BTW if you want to check out my game - visit this website (handing over a business card)."

Something like that might work... People who are *genuinely* interested will probably visit the website. Those who don't care will simply put the business card in the trash...

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
No publisher support in Montreal

larienna wrote:
Besides Comicon which is not board game specific. Filosophia does a convention called "Fiesta Ludique" every year if I remember. Thay are basically filosophia games. In the past, there have been a few con attempt that lasted a few year like the "geek" convention, Maicon, there is also draconis which is more an RPG con that I think is still alive.

There are also gaming events like "Stack Academie" and "Jeux au boute" but I think this kind of even is just for playing games. There are actually no publisher demoing their game. Still, at stack academie, we regularly get a guy from Filosophia/z-man that bring his own new games for demonstration each time.

That's because I don't think we have any "Game Publishers" in Montreal. The only think that I know we have is "Distribution" via Universal Distribution (in Saint-Laurent). They distribute games to the brick & mortar stores in Montreal. I have visited their website and had a tour of their operations. But when it came time to discuss ordering my game, I never got any one calling back...

Draconis is permanently *closed* but is replaced by a Forum known as Roludo (www.roludo.ca). I will look into this further...

ilta
ilta's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/05/2008
Aspergers

Obviously any neurotypical person can fail to bathe or enjoy breaking things down into systems and rules, but the two together are often a sign something larger is at work. And in the Venn diagram of Autism-Spectrum Disorders, you have a huge overlap in "interest to the point of obsession in systems" and "inability to perceive social cues."

The incidence of ASD in the general population is 1/200. Once you self-select for the first group -- for what are board games but collections of systems to obsess over? -- you'll find the ratio of the socially oblivious increases very quickly indeed. And it only takes two or three such people to make anyone feel surrounded.

Today many of the "nerds" we grew up with and who are saying inappropriate things at your booth would likely receive an Aspergers or other ASD diagnosis, and might even get help early in life to help them learn how to function in society. Not just drugs but behavioral therapy too. My wife does just that kind of work in fact. However, that doesn't help you when you encounter them in a professional setting as adults.

I'm not sure I can offer you specific advice but hopefully it helps to be be aware that social cues may be a problem for many in your customer base. Remember also that rudeness is not necessarily the intention, and try to have the kind of patience you would have with someone who doesn't speak your language. Those on the "Spectrum" don't speak your language of subtle body cues and tone of voice, and often simply can't pick up the social dynamics of a situation at all.

And of course some people are just jerks, diagnosis or not.

larienna
larienna's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/28/2008
Quote:That's because I don't

Quote:
That's because I don't think we have any "Game Publishers" in Montreal.

I know that asmodee has some offices on montreal. That is all I know.

Quote:
The incidence of ASD in the general population is 1/200.

I work in a Psychatric hospital and live in a poor neighborhood of Montreal. I always said that I seem to see more mentally ill people outside the hospital than inside the hospital.

Still, I don't think any of the user comments above is related to any autism disorder. It's just a type of target audiance. I had an asperger friend, and he would have never made such comments.

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Four Examples

I know of four different people with Aspergers, one an uncle, one my younger brother's friend, and two other young people. Two of these kids seem normal except that they don't pick up on social cues. This makes them actually very easy to get along with because they aren't weird. Sure they may rattle a bit longer than you'd like about their favorite topic, but for the most part they are likable people that don't have problems fitting in for the most part.

The one girl of the four I know however does act weird, and THIS mixed with the fact that she can't take social cues has made life hard for her it seems. At least the other two can understand when someone is being facetious. For her if I want her to understand that I'm merely joking and not meaning what I'm saying, I have to layer on a thick coating of sarcasm before she begins to understand that maybe I don't mean what I just said.

My Uncle didn't discover his aspergers until he was 80. Before then he was a grumpy old man...once he found out he had aspergers since he was a wee tot, he actually turned his atitude around and has become a very pleasant if somewhat an awkward 80 year old uncle.

The point being, even IF ALL those people at the con that were rude HAD aspergers, their rudeness comes from their own personalities and not their aspergers. The aspergers would explain social awkwardness, but so does too much homeschooling, video gaming, etc. Ever seen a homeschooled child with aspergers? I have...it's not pretty.

Zodiak Team
Zodiak Team's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/09/2012
My little brother has PDD

My little brother has PDD which is very mild autism and usually causes him to miss social cues but he knows to bathe and be polite. I can't comment about these people's state of mind but the question still remains, how do you move them along?

This is going to come off as insensitive so I apologize now but us tabletop gamers get a bad rep because of these weird basement dwellers. There's a stigma that goes along with being someone who enjoys competitive card games and such and I always hated that growing up.

I never really got to enjoy card games when I was younger because I was always afraid of what people would think of me. I was in modeling, I did a few TV show extras, I was part of a few after school programs. My rep was important to me so I hid that fact that I LOVED YU-GI-OH and Raw Deal.

Me and a few of my gym buddies would hold secret tournaments at his house in the basement twice a month so no1 would find out and if someone mentioned something while we were at school they would be outcasted (not even a little joking) I once instinctively shoved a kid because he tried to ask me about a trade in the hallway. I felt so bad about that but I didn't want to be labeled.

The point of that story is, kids are cruel and always worried about being judged. I always envied the nerdy kids because they were always way cooler then me because even though they got bullied and picked on (by me yes) they never changed, they just kept doing what they were doing because they enjoyed it. I remember thinking once that these kids where going to be the ones to rule the world because they have a path and they know what they want. After my Jr year in high school I decided to become a “herald of nerd justice” (coined – lol). I attended gaming events, I befriended those kids, and I’d like to think I formed a relationship between the two sides of the cool spectrum (I mean lets be honest being a bully in your senior year of high school is pretty lame). I still never played games in school and my other friends wouldn’t go with me to events but I enjoyed coming out of the closet (sort of speak).

I don’t want Zodiak Legends or any of my games to be hit with that stigma and I don’t want guys like me to avoid my game because those weird kids are hanging around it (again I’m sorry if it’s rude). I just wish there was a way for me to have people enjoy my game and then move them along.

I did however successfully do this at BFIG by using my gf to run the table which attracted the “cool” guys to come and play and I ran intercept for the social backwards groups that would linger.

Also I should state that I’m not saying the kids who enjoyed card games in school and the kids who linger are the same. They are very very different people socially but that stigma I mentioned above groups them together which is unfortunate.
.

Zodiak Team
Zodiak Team's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/09/2012
again that wasn't meant to

again that wasn't meant to sound rude if it did =(

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Cold Man, You Are SOOO Cold!

Zodiak Team wrote:
again that wasn't meant to sound rude if it did =(

You were SO rude...I'm SO offended I'm going to help your shameless bump out. I mean I can't believe you would be so self-centered as to hurt these poor cave-dwelling, parent-blood sucking, parasites! How could you be so crass!

Ok, in all seriousness, I think the best advice has already been given. Talk about the other games in the convention and ask if they've seen them. Tell them they should "really" go see those other games. This requires that you yourself be familiar with the other games at the con though.

Zodiak Team
Zodiak Team's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/09/2012
haha it totally was a

haha it totally was a shameless bump but I did it for you Kroz I saw you were online and your posts make me laugh =p

Kroz1776
Offline
Joined: 10/09/2013
Your Sins Be Forgiven You!

Awww...I make people laugh? I don't know what to say...actually I do.

clears throat

We Kroz1776 hereby forgive Zodiak Legends of all past shameless bumps.

That should do. Carry on all you commoners! Carry on discussing these trivial matters.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut