A couple of weeks ago, we were at the APOEL game and i raised the question of “why would anyone want to be a referee”. I could not understand the mindset of someone willing to put himself in situations referees usually find themselves. What sort of satisfaction can a referee possibly gain? Maybe some sense of authority at most? But is that enough to accept being abused by basically everyone involved in any given football match? I can’t understand it.
Over at the Cyprus Board Games Facebook group page we started a play by forum session of Quartermaster General (which is a fantastic game btw). I’m actually not playing. I’m the GM and 6 other group members are battling it out in two teams of 3, Axis Vs Allies.
I imagine being a ref is a similar situation (in principle) with being a GM in a game where you watch others play. You are just a facilitator, administrator allowing others the opportunity to play a game. Again though, why would anyone choose to do that? Wouldn’t you prefer to play instead? I know i would. Why did i choose to be the GM then?
A couple of reasons.
The first is simply curiosity. To see what a GM does and how complicated or easy, interesting or boring it is. It would have been more interesting and challenging if i had to also setup the means to do it i.e. the software,spreadsheets etc which i didn’t do as i got everything from another GM. I’m not sure that i would put in the effort though in the first place or that i would have the imagination to think of it before seeing take place on BGG,
The second is that in general i get a sense of satisfaction from watching others play games and enjoy themselves whether it’s with videogames, boardgames or fantasy football. Even though i can’t say it’s any sort of achievement I still feel a sense of pride in being the facilitator of other people having fun, particularly when i’m not a part of the “playing”.
By organising this play by forum session via our Facebook page i’m also hoping to encourage people to take initiatives to become more active and involved in the Group. This is not my personal board games group and i’m not always going to be around or have the time to be as involved as i am now.
Finally it’s fascinating to have this insider knowledge and know what cards people are holding, the cards they are about to draw and thinking what i would have done differently.
However, this will likely wear off so i i’m not sure how i will feel after 1-2 sessions. I guess that i would get tired of it. It also depends on the group playing of course and how smooth the session is. So far it’s been a great pleasure. The people involved are extremely good natured and very cooperative.
We will see how it goes, but this has made me very conscious now of people volunteering to take roles like this one. I’m not talking about charity or humanitarian work but in a lot more simple roles which i would guess usually relate to a hobby. Why would one do it over a longer period time?