On jealousy

I write this blog because someone i know won some sweet swag lately. hearing about all of it made me feel happy for the person, but on the other hand.. i just kept.. i don’t know… thinking…

Jealousy… How does this happen in a game?

Ever play a card game and another player gets the perfect drops? Turn one, a one cost. Turn two, they get and play a two cost… Etc. ok, not all of you have played tcgs, so consider also Scrabble: fist turn, nothing but vowels. Redraw tiles, as some versions allow, and nothing but vowels again.

Naturally these aren’t so bad…. Unless you’re playing for money of course… Or perhaps some other investment. You just bought the game and you were expecting something fantastic and luck ruins it. You spent all weekend planning the adventure and someone happens to roll extremely poorly, over and over and over again…. Or someone gets sick, or their parents call them back home or…

Perhaps you’d spent all weekend painting figures, you spend hours planning your army and the the scenario is rolled or you don’t get the set up that’s preferable and you sit there, staring at the table…. Your artillery is going to easily get rushed and there’s minimal way you’re going to win… Do you keep playing?

This happens in real life. You go to the club everyone says they’re going to … You don’t enjoy it, so what’s wrong? What do you do? Stay because you invested money in it or do you leave because you’re not going to have any fun? Do you keep playing a game because you’ve invested an hour in playing it already, or stop there, pack up and go home? Does jealousy of other people enjoying themselves factor into your decision? Are they enjoying themselves because they ‘got lucky’ or intend to? Or is that skill?

Ok yes there are third options here, but as you can see… Luck can lead to jealousy… Heck, skill can lead to it also. I was playing Hive and I just could not beat someone. It seemed the more people I taught the game to the worse I got, everyone understood how to win in the thing better than I. Success leads to jealousy. I was playing terra mystica and I have a suspicion that I had a solid strategy and my opponent did not… Was he jealous of the race and strategy I chose and that’s why we’ve never played that game together again? …

But does jealousy serve a good role in any systems? Open ended question… Not entirely sure.

When designing a game or a properly run system, do you account for jealousy? How do you account for it? …

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