Advice on Being an Active Player
by Jairus Elarbee on June 27th, 2016

Anathema to the success of a game in a social setting is the disinterested player. Though they often come with the best of intentions, often out of friendship or dedication to another player, they only participate halfway in the activity. While it is certainly the game's job to engage the person, there is also an expectation that the player will come with the appropriate mindset. Here are some tips to avoid this common error:
  • Put the phone away. Seriously. This communicates the same thing as yawning during conversation, which is disinterest in your surroundings. Pulling it out briefly once or twice in the evening is fine, but you're here to engage with the people in front of you, so focus on what's around you. 
  • Pay attention to the action. If you drift your focus from the game, you'll feel lost and always be asking what's happened when it's your turn again. If you focus on the action, you and the other players will enjoy the game more.
  • Ask questions about how to play the game and pay attention to the answer. It's perfectly understandable if you have questions about how a rule works or a system is operated. Everyone has to learn the game, so ask these sorts of questions and internalize the answers. If you forget, that's fine too, but make an effort to try to remember what you're asking.
  • Ask for advice, but play the game yourself. If you're a newer to games, it's completely understandable to ask questions on how something is played. It's important to see what possibilities are out there as you develop your own strategy. The problem is when this is used as a crutch to the point where the other player is playing the game for you. Make your own decisions, and you'll start improving the experience for everyone.
These are some my recommendations on how to avoid some of the common pitfalls that new players often fall into. Any experience on your end you want to share dealing with these problems? What sort of advice do you have for players?

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