I had an interesting insight into the care and feeding of a game a couple weeks ago. This insight chiefly revolved around the importance of communication and how one bad apple can ruin the whole bunch.
For me there were a couple primary frustrations with One Hit Wonders. The first was that, despite the volume of people who had asked to be included on emails for the game, we only barely managed to get three people for any given session of One Hit Wonders.
To add insult to injury, one of the most reliable people to play in the game was someone I didn’t particularly like. He wasn’t necessarily a bad person. He was just annoying and a little creepy. In that “let’s give all the women tickle hugs” sort of way. The fact that he wouldn’t take a turn running something also didn’t endear him to me. I understand that not everyone is good at it. But I think it’s only fair that some people take their turn in the barrel.
There were a couple other people who thought he was lame, and there were some who thought he was fine, but cutting him (and, by association, his girlfriend) from the game would have made it exponentially more difficult to have enough players to play. So I resigned myself to the feeling that if I wanted to keep doing OHW, I’d have to keep him in the loop at least as a warm body. The fact that I hate confrontation just doesn’t help.
When schedules got harder to coordinate and there was going to be a span of a few months where I was just not going to be available, we put the game on indefinite hiatus.
While moving, we had two friends helping us who had been on the mailing list for those one-shots. Both they and their respective husbands had refrained from coming to the one-shots because they could not stand the player. But they didn’t want to say anything because they didn’t want to just trash talk “my friend” to me.
So, ultimately, I could have actually had more people interested in showing up if I’d just asked one person to stop showing up. Seriously.
It highlights how valuable it can be to have that communication. One person, ultimately, killed the game for a lot of people. And the game ended. And while I realized he was a pest, I didn’t realize the extent of the impact he was having.
Now I know. And knowing… well, you know the rest.