The 2016 elections are over, for good or ill.

Yet, as gamers reconvene this week and the coming months, no doubt people will want to discuss politics when they meet.

The #1 rule should be: don’t.

No matter how tempting. No matter how angry or upset. Save it for later.

Remember why you’re there: to play a game. Politics can be discussed before and after the session if people so chose.

Yet, unfortunately, in some groups, there’s also that one guy–and the vast majority of the time it is a guy–who won’t shut up.

Even if you agree with his views, he won’t shut up. Your his captive audience.

Now, at this point, I’m sure many readers might think: “Why don’t you just oust him from the group?”

That would be easiest thing to do, however… one must consider the 5 Geek Social Fallacies.

They exist–particularly #1: “Ostracizers are Evil.” 

Belief in this fallacy is understandable. Being excluded from the group sucks. It really does. And nobody likes the idea of hurting another feelings.

Yet the fact remains: ostracism can be a good thing. 

The ancient Athenians first practiced ostracism as a means of getting rid of a troublesome citizen for 10 years.

Maybe 10 years for a fellow player might be a bit much, but sometimes a would-be political demagogue might need such an exile from your group.

It is okay to tell people: “Hey, we’re trying to play a game here.”

And if they persist: “Fine, you’ve got 30 more seconds to talk, and then your done.”

And if that doesn’t work: tell them to leave. 

Of course, this is easy if you’re the game master. You’re in charge of running the game.

Yet it’s not so easy if you’re a player. In that case, you’ve got some decisions to make and questions to ask:

“Is the offending player annoying the other players?”

“Will the game master going to do something?”

“Will you be the one ostracized if you speak up?”

If you’ve answer “no, no, and yes,” you might want to find another group. Don’t be part of a captive audience.

Walk away.

 

 

…And that’s all I have to say about politics for a while.