When choosing your game night games, it’s always good to know what types of gamer you’ll be inviting. Like oil and water, not all games and gamers mix. So to help you get the balance right, we’ve compiled a list of the most prominent gaming personas and their kryptonite games…
But surely there’s no place for such a list in 2021, you say? We don’t disagree. And we definitely agree with the sentiment that people shouldn’t be categorised, compartmentalised or pigeon-holed.
However, our combined years of playing game night games have taught us that gamers can generally be divided into these 9 stereotypes.
You’re bound to notice your mates’ worst traits in here. And remember to keep an eye out for your gamer type, too!
Also known as The Boffin, The Jobsworth or Ricky Rule Book, The Square will take great pleasure in sucking the life out of the game with their constant pecking and petty nit-picking at the way you’re playing.
No amount of ad-libbing or rule-bending will escape their by-the-book gaze. And you’ll constantly see them referring to the rules to make sure the game never strays too far from “organised” fun.
Game that will expose The Square: Catan
The Smug Winner
Nothing is more important to this guy than winning. They will happily forgo any conventions around social etiquette and general human decency to get the job done. Winning trumps fun, friendships, and practically any other motivation you might have for having a games night.
Also, their ego is an unquenchable gremlin that will never be satisfied with simple congratulations if they’re victorious. And will they ever let you forget it when they win?! Like hell, they will! You’ll be hearing about how they delivered a strategic masterclass to boss that game of Dobble forevermore.
Game that will expose The Smug Winner: Beat That!
A quick game is a good game; it’s a mantra that doesn’t seem to compute with The Dawdler. Their glacial approach to making decisions can even turn a game like Sushi Go into a frustrating slog towards an unsatisfying end.
The Dawdler’s overcautious nature tends to be evident elsewhere in their life, too. They do nothing on impulse, they never try anything new, and they’re usually so tight they squeak.
Game that will expose The Dawdler: Elevenses
The Distracted One
The Distracted One can be a particularly difficult character to play with. You should evict them from the game when they can’t even lend their ears to the rules. But you patiently persevere, explaining simple points of play again and again.
It not only slows the game down but, like distracted dominoes, it leads to others checking their phones or starting side conversations. And before you know it, the game has descended into chaos.
Game that will expose The Distracted One: Any game that requires more concentration than snap
Gamers are an inclusive bunch, even to the point of obsession. This can often result in a crusade-like approach to converting non-believers into hardcore hobbyists.
Problem is, as fun it might seem to invite your self-confessed non-gamer mate along to teach them the joy of Secret Hitler, the reality might not match up. You’ll probably find they’ll quickly lose interest and mutate into The Distracted One before the first round is done.
Game that will expose The Non-gamer: Perudo
The Table-flipper, AKA, The Sore Loser is possibly the worst persona of the lot. Their paper-thin ego doesn’t stand up too well to humbling defeat. And they think it’s perfectly acceptable to rubbish other people’s victories, the game or the entire night if they don’t get their way.
We’ve known dice, boards, bottles and entire friendships go out the window when The Table-flipper can’t get that W they so desperately need. Enter a game with this personality with extreme caution.
Game that will expose The Table-flipper: Dobble
The Rule Bender
The Rule Bender is the loveable rogue of the board gaming world. The Captain Jack Sparrow. Not to be confused with The Cheater (see below), this guy will use their wit and charm to swindle the opposition into making exceptions.
They are the lawyer, finding loopholes, technicalities and grey areas where none previously existed. They are a master of their craft, approaching their cause with near psychopathic dedication. And nine times out of ten they get their way. There’s a reason why everyone roots for Han Solo.
Game that will expose The Rule Bender: Rulebenders
If we’re gonna stick with the Star Wars analogy, The Cheater is undoubtedly the Darth Vader of gaming archetypes. No amount of hollow victories seem to prevent their win at all costs approach.
The Cheater can also cross-pollinate with The Smug Winner and The Table-flipper to make an insufferable, megalomaniacal gaming supervillain. Like Simon Cowell, John Mayer and Piers Morgan all rolled into one.
Game that will expose The Cheater: Any game ever created
The Addict is both the Dr. Bruce Banner and Hulk of gamer personas. Their enthusiasm to play any game ever invented is an asset to any game night. They will have their favourites, but that won’t stop them from playing whatever game the majority wants. And they’ll happily bear the responsibility of reading the rules and relaying them to everyone else. Great.
The flipside to that, of course, is The Addict is never satisfied. An hour, two hours, five hours, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing Camel Up, they’ll want to play one more game. So you’d better cancel that Uber!
Game that will expose The Addict: Monopoly
It’s probably worth mentioning that we’ve put this list together in the interests of entertainment, first and foremost. But as we mentioned at the outset, these personas are evident in most gaming groups. And they all add to the wonderful experience that is a games night.
No doubt you saw plenty of archetypes that apply to your group. And you probably recognised one, two or even three that you’ve exhibited on occasion. Why not tell us which ones in the comments section.
So, now you’re aware of the 9 deadly types of board gamer, you’re ready to prepare for that game night. And for that, we’ve got you covered, too. Head over to our post “7 Simple Tips For An Awesome Games Night With Your Friends” for the lowdown.