I like games.  I like all forms of games especially air hockey and Jeopardy.  It is said however; that I suffer from a bad case of Tourette’s Syndrome when I play.  This condition has warranted first aid for bloody injury and frowns from fellow players due to random verbal expressions of cursing.  For me, a perfect evening might be comprised of a large, padded room free of inanimate objects, an air hockey table and a big screen TV where I could play both air hockey and Jeopardy simultaneously.  The problem with this scenario is that I would be alone as no one I know shares my enthusiasm.  I am competitive.

This week’s Faux Pas lesson will be contained to the play of knowledge games i.e. Trivia Pursuit, Jeopardy, Outburst (ironic), etc.  As with most areas of civilized society, game playing comes with its own set of good form rules.  Let’s try and balance competition with fun shall we?

Contrary to the competitive player’s natural thought pattern, this is not the time to exhibit gloating or bragging rights.  Bear in mind that not all of your partners share your affliction and may, in fact, be frightened.  No one desires to be judged brainless.  In the event you have taken the lead and have successfully displayed your astute gift of knowing insignificant fodder (you are winning), heed Lesson #1:  Be humble. Don’t show-off.  You will be a respectful winner.

Lesson #2:  Never give up.  If you find yourself losing to a more worthy opponent, do not throw the game or quit playing.  That tactic is reserved only for 6-year old children.  You clearly have miscalculated your opponent’s skill level.  Your bad judgement should not lead to anything other than words of praise for their intellectual prowess.  WARNING:  There’s a dark horse in every group.

Lesson #3: Don’t curse or use vulgarities.

Unlike traditional card or board games, games of knowledge are difficult to cheat at.  If you’ve played the game countless times and strike gold with a repeated question you know the answer to, graciously admit your lucky draw and request another.  Everyone is aware you don’t know the answer to:

Q: The word hockey may be derived from the old french word “hoquet”.  What does “hoquet” mean? 

A:  Shepherd’s crook.  Duh.

Lesson #4: Don’t cheat.

Executing poor game playing form will only magnify your weakness and could leave you without future opponents.  The primary purpose of collective gaming is enjoyment in companionship and community.  If all parties are to gain the same level of enjoyment it is imperative that we exude our best form.

Party on…but not without me.

K. Martini