1: I would like more people to be
expected to bring games for an event. In recent years with attendance
reaching higher amounts, even multiplayer events are running
into situations where there aren’t enough games.
||We expect everyone to
bring the games they will play. At least that’s what we tell
people at every opportunity, be it program, newsletter or website.
But that doesn’t make it happen. Obviously, folks who fly or
use other forms of public transit can’t be expected to bring
much in the way of games with them, but if all those who drove
did so, there would be no shortage. Usually enough games are
present—albeit back in the hotel room.
|Cheating 2: Start actually aggressively dealing with cases of
cheating, and/or abusive or inappropriate behavior; the WBC’s
reputation for great competition is second only to it’s reputation
as a refuge for markedly unpleasant people to play with. I know
y’all like to talk a good game about how great the people and
culture of the WBC are, but reality is sadly different. Take
the blinders off, please. For “outsiders", even hard-core
gamers, the particular (unsanctioned!) unpleasantness of a number
of the “regulars” is way more than a little off-putting.
/ I have heard more and more stories about cheating going on
at WBC. That trend is really worrying, especially as the hobby
draws more and more new players. Can we find some truly draconian
way to stop it? For example, if someone is caught cheating, rescind
their membership for the year and don’t let them back the next
year. Maybe even take away any wood that they may have “earned"
from other tournaments that year? Call them “tainted"
victories or maybe even “Armstrongs.” While WBC remains
committed to competition with “wood” as the primary
goal, cheating will likely continue and expand.
||Renewing Friendships 14: I like the comaraderie of fellow boardgamers who
I often only see once a year. / I love how friendly everyone
(generally) is. I love how folks are happy to play/teach games
with folks they don’t know. There is a community here at WBC.
I like being able to play games with the publishers themselves.
I like meeting certain people year after year, when this is the
only time and place our paths cross. I like how everyone comes
together to play games.
Whenever you open a conference to thousands
of people as opposed to an “invitation only” convention,
you’re going to attract a few bad apples. It is part of the price
you pay for an “Open” convention. Does WBC attract
some people with the wrong priorities? Absolutely. People are
people and the ones who come to WBC are no different than those
who frequent other gaming conventions. Does cheating and bad
behavior occur? I’d be surprised if it didn’t, but I would also
be surprised if it occurred with any more frequency than it does
elsewhere. The vast amount of comments in this survey about the
friendliness and sportsmanship demonstrated at WBC would seem
at odds with your observation. All in all, I believe the suspicion
of cheating in some quarters borders on paranoia spread more
by rumor than fact and actual proof of misdeeds is far harder
to come by.
That said, we have evicted some individuals
and revoked their memberships over the years due to poor conduct.
But in the final analysis, the line has to be drawn by the GMs.
Understandably, not all are equally willing to take on the unpleasant
task of dealing with such behavior, and although I encourage
being proactive in this, it is not an easy thing to do or to
be everywhere at once to observe it occuring. Even so, I believe
the presence of a GM with power to disqualify offenders gives
such players more pause than they would have elsewhere. But the
problem is made worse by those who suffer in silence or make
accusations without the courage to name offenders. As if I am
supposed to use my pyschic powers to ferret out the evil doer.
If those with such suspicions are not willing to name names,
there is little I or any GM can do.
In the final analysis everyone will judge
this issue based on their own observations and react accordingly.
I cannnot fault you for your opinion if you feel you’ve experienced
such behavior at WBC. However, I do fault those who repeat idle
gossip to reinforce their own preconceived notions. I’ve lost
track of how many times I’ve heard someone get their revenge
by labelling an opponent a jerk (or worse) from the safety of
the internet, only to discover with investigation that the accused
was more the victim than the accuser. Being the first to yell
foul does not make you right. Just because someone says X cheated,
does not make it so. And even if it were—I can guarantee you
that story will be repeated more times than the hundreds of friendly
games played without incident.
Bad things happen in the world. I’ve witnessed
countless acts of hooliganism at ballgames and seen fans abused
both verbally and physically for no other offense than wearing
an opposing team’s cap. My own frail, 70-year old father was
the victim of such. Stadium officials did nothing to intervene
when I complained. He never went to another ballgame. That doesn’t
mean I won’t go to any more baseball games. But neither will
I wear a sports cap while doing so. To tar all competitive gaming
for the misdeeds of a few is nearly as bad an act as cheating.
If someone thinks competition is the root of all evil, they msy
exercise their right not to participate, but why must they rain
on someone else’s parade and deny them an activity they enjoy?
How are they being harmed?
Complaining about the rumored actions of a
few unnamed individuals tars the reputations of hundreds of others
with the same brush. For such a bloodthirsty “win-at-all-costs"
environment, we generally get along pretty well.