When something comes up in a game and no one at the table is sure what the rule is:
- I’m happy with an on the spot rule being made up and agreed by everyone.
- I’d rather stop the game for a minute or so while someone reads through the rules for clarification.
And imagine this scenario. You sit down to play a game you’re very familiar with but in a group of people you’ve never played this game with before.
A short while into the game a player does something that’s against the rules but no one else is questioning it. They don’t seem to be deliberately cheating but perhaps they don’t know it’s wrong.
- Point out that it’s a contravention of the rules
- Ignore it out of politeness despite the fact that it’s niggling at you like an itch you can’t scratch
- Ignore it because it’s just a game and what the hell does it matter
Then, let’s assume that you mentioned it and everyone else said ‘oh, that’s how we play it. We’re not too bothered what the exact rules are’.
- Smile and say “Oh that’s fine, what a delightful bunch of mavericks”.
- Frown but politely say “Oh ok that’s cool, but what else have you changed just so that I can understand the game that we’re playing?”
- Smile and say “it’s a quirk of mine but I don’t cope well with this kind of thing, I’ll sit this one out”.
- Pretend you’re off to the toilet but go outside, wedge all the doors shut and set light to the house.