Or why I hate this craze
I’ve never been into social deduction games. I struggle with hidden role games or anything that involves bluffing in general, but I can enjoy these. But as I find it hard to read people and hard to stay deadpan when I lie, full on social deduction games are hard for me.
I’ve never played Blood on the Clocktower. The very idea of it sets my social anxiety to 100%. I can be in a party with my best friends, and I will be sat in a corner feeling anxious and depressed and won’t talk to anyone unless I get into a 1 to 1 or 1 to 2 conversation. I will be alone in a crowd. I am just not comfortable being in a group of people all talking to each other.
But get me to a boardgame night and I can be one of the most sociable and loudest people. I’ll greet newcomers, get people into games, help teach games (to my detriment) and I’ll love it. Sat at a game I will talk about anything – which may slow the game down but this is how I socialise and get to know people.
So Blood on the Clocktower turns my social dream into my social nightmare. Which on the one hand is fine. I don’t have to play. There are other games I won’t play. And some people I won’t play with. It’s not the end of the world.
But the craze has affected my enjoyment of gaming nights.
I’ve found that there are a lot of new people I’m not getting to know because they are all staying for Clocktower when I run home, and I’m already in a game or have a game planned by the time they turn up. I’m used to knowing everyone in the group and while Clocktower isn’t the only reason I’m not getting to know the newbies, I don’t think it’s helping.
It used to be the case that I would get to gaming, play a short game, and then play one or two longer and heavier games in the evening. Each game would often be with a different group of people. Nowadays, after the first longer game it’s usually time for everyone else to start playing Clocktower. Rarely I’ll stay on for another game with people who aren’t playing Clocktower. This Friday was a rare occasion where after a long game I then got to play a quicker game (Azul) – mainly because I’d promised one of the other members that we’d play it. I would have quite happily stayed on longer but… well… Clocktower.
My friends probably don’t even realise it’s a problem. I’m often an early to bed type of person anyway. And if it weren’t every week it probably wouldn’t be a problem because I’d know that sometimes I’d have that choice to stay on longer. It’s great that they are enjoying this game, I just wish they’d do it a little less frequently. Because as things currently stand it almost feels like I’m being thrown out of what should be my safe space.