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Monday 1 February 2016

10th Anniversary Classic Rant: Abyssal Maw's "Social Gaming" Fallacies

So, Abyssal Maw has recently come up with a couple of truly excellent summarizing points for an issue I raised on this blog a year ago; I had stated back then that the central purpose of gaming for me is NOT to "have an excuse to be with my friends", nor do I only game with friends, nor are my best friends gamers.

With a few very notable exceptions, the majority of my closest friends are not gamers. And those notable exceptions are notable BECAUSE I do stuff other than gaming with them. So obviously, while I don't game with anyone I hate, I also would not say that I need someone to be my friend in order to game with me. Gaming over years develops acquaintances and friendships on occasion, but that's not somehow the point. THE GAME is the point.

So without further ado, here's the fallacies:

You should only game with your very close friends. Anyone new has to be carefully inspected, quizzed, and checked out beforehand. And probably vetoed. You have to be FRIENDS FIRST. Lets meet for COFFEE. It's awkward and wierd, actually when people do this. Dude, if you can't get a sense of a person before a game through email or simply talking to him, you can just not invite that person or set the game somewhere public.

Not gaming is somehow better than "bad" gaming. Gaming is a managed activity- how it goes is largely dependent on the facilitator and achieving a standard. It doesn't have to be a magical evening of wonder every time, it's just.. poker night. Simple. But smugly claiming that you are avoiding the "bad" game as if you are some kind of delicate connoisseur is ridiculous. It's just a game. I think this is more often used as an excuse by people who are themselves not invited to gaming, and when they host, nobody shows up, because, well.. they are the problem."

If you're gaming because it lets you pretend you have friends and make-believe you have a social life, then you're the one who's got a social problem, not the guy who's gaming because he loves D&D.


(Originally Posted March 31, 2009)

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