Hey everyone! Adam, from TFG Radio, here to educate and illuminate your life!
I enjoy watching 40K games. I like the painted models, I just hate painting, and the different visions people have of how a model is posed. I enjoy seeing how people play, and react to their opponent’s play, during a game in a competitive setting. One thing that really bugs me though, among a number of other things, is not the players themselves but the spectators. The problem I’m talking is what I call the “Fishbowl Effect”
Now, in a lot of competitive games, as the rounds progress during the day, the top players begin playing each other. As a result, people begin to gravitate towards these tables to watch the game play. This also occurs at your local game store when people are playing in an tournament or for a league game. It’s usually people that are hanging around because they are just there with a friend that is playing, or their game is already over. What ends up happening is that a large group of people gather around 1 or 2 tables.
During the game some of these people will start to comment about a number of aspects of the game. They may even “help” by reminding players of rules, dice rolls, and other things the players may have forgotten. They may also comment about how good, or bad, someone’s roll was, or how certain models are destroying the opposing army. These people need to be quiet, and, actually, the whole group needs to disperse.
I don’t know where to begin as to why this isn’t cool. Like I tell me wife* “you should just stand there and look pretty”. If you aren’t playing the game, then you should not be talking about where your buddy should move his models, or what to shoot at. That person is to win the game on his own merits, not with the help of their friend that they brought along, or a teammate that already finished their game. It puts the other player at a disadvantage and can cause some tension between the two players. So just zip it and wait until the game is over, so you van tell him how he sucks and you would have easily won the game.
The other issue with a crowd around a game table is that of personal space. Most game stores do not have a lot of gaming space. With the tables, armies, and the players taking up a lot of, it doesn’t leave you a lot of room if many people want to spectate. As more people gather, they begin to crowd the actual players and may cause some players to be a bit “anxious” with so many people watching their every move. This also has the unintended side effect of telling the players when someone has made a bad move, or have a run of bad luck, as the spectators will sometimes leave the table in droves. This is almost as bad as just telling the players the outcome because they will notice and it will affect how they play the rest of the game.
It is really on the organizer of the event to be sure that the top tables do not suffer the “Fishbowl Effect”. This will help with keeping your players sane, and, hopefully, with the integrity of the event.
That’s all for this week, I hope you enjoyed the read. Let me know your thoughts, and any stories about people interfering in a big game, in the comments section. Don’t forget to visit our Facebook, Twitch, and Patreon pages to stay up to date on what we’re up to and when episodes drop!
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*If I actually told her this, she would kick my ass