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Salty Tears - Losing Gracefully

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28 Feb 2023 10:06 #338522 by oliverkinne
Let me start by explaining what I mean by "losing"....

Nobody likes losing. Most of us don't mind it, but I don't think anyone actually relishes it when they come last. When we play board games with others, we want to have an enjoyable time. That's something we should keep in mind. So in this article, I want to talk about how to try and be a good loser.

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01 Mar 2023 13:58 #338523 by Shellhead
I play games to have fun. I don't enjoy spending my free time with either sore losers or gloating winners. If the game was fun, I got what I wanted from the experience, whether I won or not. I play to win, maybe out of habit, but winning is just a small bonus to playing and having fun. If we have a sore loser present, I might console them a bit and then move on to the next game ASAP. And then I will avoid them like the plague.

There was one sore loser that I couldn't easily avoid. He was a regular player in our relatively small Jyhad group that played on a weekly basis. On a good night there might be two or three games going at the same time, and I could just strategically avoid sitting at his table. But on a slow night, there would be just one game going on and I could either play with him or leave.

That guy complained loudly if he got eliminated or lost in the endgame, and he gloated excessively when he won. At one point, in a game where we were both already ousted, I asked him directly why he was like this. He said that he was permanently disabled and had PTSD from a tour of duty in Iraq, and this was how he coped with it. I pointed out that none of our players were responsible for what happened to him and they shouldn't have to suffer for it. He acknowledged that but said that this was how he was coping. Not long after that conversation, I stopped playing. For years.

A couple of years before the pandemic, I started playing again, and the sore loser sometimes showed up. But he was almost completely reformed. Apparently he happened to meet the right woman and she helped him become a better person. Maybe talked him into getting therapy.

The most extreme sore loser incident that I can remember was also during a Jyhad game, actually in a draft tournament. Somebody got ahold of a bunch of sealed, untuned starter decks from the original print run of the game. So there were just 111 unique vampires, which meant there would likely be contestation of unique vampires. Contested cards are out of play and cost a penalty each turn until one player yields or gets ousted. This one particular sore loser woman was seated between an aggressive player attacking her and I, a notoriously defensive player. She ended up contesting two vampires with each of us, which twice as bad a situation as I had ever seen in the game. She broke down crying by mid-game, mumbling "this isn't happening to me this isn't happening to me." I laughed.

Months later, she stopped playing Jyhad. I sometimes saw her playing co-op games at a different table, and she seemed happy and relaxed.
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