A few friends and I, on Friday nights, play board games and video games. It's enjoyable, and they're good friends. There's one small issue. I win too many of them. Far, far too many of them.
I've won all the games we've played on the last seven of eight nights. I'm trying to be a good player - I don't trample over others' successes, I don't rub it in, I give honest compliments on interesting play styles... but after so many consecutive weeks, it's starting to sound trite, even if I do genuinely mean it. They're interesting people to play games with.
We tried switching to video games - including games I've never played, like Mario Kart and Arms. I ended up winning a disproportionate number of matches of Arms, and (for how new I was) did well in Mario Kart.
It doesn't just happen at game nights. When I play Star Realms with them, I consistently get long win streaks. The last six games I played with one of these friends, I won. They won one before that, and I won what feels like another five or six before that.
I don't think anyone is going to overtly say anything - this group is too polite and kind for that. But I've noticed the group... avoiding playing these kinds of games, when I'm around. We usually end up doing something else. Which I'm okay with, but we all love playing games, and there has to be a way to get this to work.
I feel like I'm in a bind. I don't want my friends to lose interest in playing with me. Part of the fun of games is the social aspect, yes, but part of the fun is also the equitable chance to win, and I don't want them to feel like that's being crushed out.
Intentionally losing games feels manipulative, and there's no way they won't notice if I make obvious mistakes. Recently, I've started going with atypical strategies in games, to see if I can get them to work and give myself a slight disadvantage. I do, and so far, I'm winning no less often. I'm not playing competitively, either - gunning for a win and trying to shove others out of the game has never been a play style, or social style, that I like.
On the other hand, what can I do? I know this all sounds pretentious as hell, but it's a real problem I'm facing.
Is there anything I can do to keep game nights fun?