Sometimes, I'm told, people play games and don't like them. At least half the time, if you listen to what people say, the problems they have are not really the fault of the game, but of the people they play the game with.
So, how do you figure out who to play a game with?
The general rule is: play with people who aren't dickheads. I don't know whether Wil Wheaton or Noisms said it first.
However, the only time the Dick Head Theory may be inadequate is when dealing with teenagers. These are people who may be actually good and interesting people who would enjoy playing but may yet simultaneously not have the perspicacity to remember to deal with the rules in such a way as to always be attempting to distribute maximum fun.
To teenagers and other immature people, I propose the "Explosions in Space Rule" which goes like this, and which should be printed at the beginning of every game, under the heading "The Explosion In Space Rule":
"Are there explosions in space in this game--like in Star Wars? Or not--like in real life? We, the game designers have left this entirely up to you.
"Before each gaming session, you must get together with your players and decide, as a group, whether--should such a contingency come up--there will or will not be explosions in space.
"We do not care what you decide, or how you decide--by silent ballot, by GM fiat, by best-of-3-Super-Mario-Kart Tournament, whatever. What's important is that you decide and decide conclusively.
"If you cannot all agree, or if this conversation goes on for longer than 20 minutes, DO NOT GAME WITH THOSE PEOPLE."
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