Tasty wrote a great article on Bell; here's the link. Why do I like it? In my opinion, opinion pieces allowing for multiple, yet possibly equally valid opinions are great for discussion, in that they can change one's opinion. It's best for you to read that before reading this; go on, I'll wait.
Back? Okay, if you're a decent person, you're probably a bit irked at the thought of bullying going on in our hobby. I know I was - and no, I didn't need Tasty to point it out, I've seen it for myself on occasion. Moving on, our hobby attracts every different type of person, but let's face it, by the definition of a gamer, we've all got a bit of nerd in us. Maybe you can fit in elsewhere, maybe it's not that noticeable otherwise, but the moment you pick up a man-toy, or hell roll dice anywhere outside of Vegas or an Indian Casino, you're something of a geek.
(EDIT: Does Blogger have some kind of auto-edit function? There was a rather risque joke that somehow got deleted. Strange.)
Okay, part of me finds it funny that anyone on our hobby plays at being a bully. We're simply not the culture that produces dangerous aggressors... which is not to say that we some of us can't be dangerously aggressive, but c'mon! Imagine it, if you will:
"I'm totally going to BoLSCon (being held the last weekend of July in sunny Austin, TX) with my bag of toys to threaten and verbally intimidate those smaller than myself... so I can win some more toys. I'm going to be totally cool..!"
But joking aside, it happens. Even in my FLGS, we've seen grown men acting out. Two of our locals almost came to blows during a tournament, and I know the organizer was embarrassed about the image of our store, as there were out-of-town'ers present. I'm not innocent: I yelled at a dude who wasn't watching his kids. One of them almost got really hurt, a 3 year-old that was climbing on a table, and she almost took a nosedive. Then this grown man yells at his 5 year-old for not watching his sister closely enough. I kept my cool until he tried to stare me down, then I tore him a new one, using language that wasn't so appropriate for a 3 or 5 year-old - he hasn't been back much, that I recall. No loss; piss on him - he was a card gamer, anyway.
I guess my point is that any group with multiple guys will occasionally have the testosterone-fueled episode, but bullying during a game crosses the line.
Here's two games from my archive. These are the links, so you're responsible for following them and reading them, or not - your option. Thing is, both of these games were competitive and became tense but in different ways with different results. The BoLSCon 2009 game against Joe Cherry was great, tense in the sense of competition but that's enjoyable. The Hard Boyz 2009 game tense in that the ending was marred by controversy. Until our disagreement about playing the last turn, the game was fine and I would have said my opponent was a decent guy - truth is, he may well be, and I have the wrong idea about him.
You be the judge.
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