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Wednesday 4 January 2017

Political Affiliations and Gamers; and Gaming Groups

This last little while there was a thread on theRPGsite which asked about whether one's gaming preferences tended to predict one's political affiliation.

The general position of most people on the thread was a strong 'no'. Generally speaking, most gamers run the political gamut and their political preferences are not typically reflected in their gaming preferences.  There are some very extreme exceptions of course; probably most people who claim to really love Blue Rose are serious regressive-leftists, while almost everyone who claims to love 'myfarog' are literal nazis.

But D&D and most other mainstream games? No.

This got me to thinking about my own gaming groups.  I don't think in all my history of GMing, both in Canada and now here, that I've ever made any kind of political litmus-test of my fellow gamers, and I'm pretty sure that all my gaming groups ran a gamut of political ideas.  And that was pretty much regardless of which game we ran.  Be it Amber, RIFTS, Star Wars, or certainly D&D, you get all kinds.

And as much as it may surprise people, I really don't care what that kind is. As long, and this is very important, they're actually there to roleplay. But then, I've NEVER run into a situation outside of a con where someone wasn't there to roleplay (and even at a Con, very very rarely).  Most of the people who make a huge deal about politics and how it relates to Gaming, be it the "SJW" ctrl-left types or some of the more extremist 'gamergate' types, just don't actually roleplay. They talk a lot of shit about roleplaying, about what's wrong with it, about who's 'toxic' in the hobby, etc etc. But they are for the most part non-gamers.

I think it speaks well to the tolerance of our hobby that almost everyone who is a real gamer, whether they are the most hardcore MAGA/Brexit right-wingers or the most radical Green Party Neo-Environmentalist Socialists, don't actually give a fuck when it gets to sitting at the table.

My current DCC party has myself (I'll assume my own views are known by the reader, but we'll sum it up as 'Cultural Libertarian'), a guy who's a literal Trotskyite, a globalist euro-socialist, a centrist, a guy who's completely apathetic about politics, an alt-right shitlord, and Bill the Elf (whose player can sometimes shock the alt-right shitlord with some of the things he says, though he says them more to shock than anything else, in my experience).  Plus a couple of people who are too new for me to even know what their political views are. Though one is a vegetarian so I assume she's somewhere on the left (maybe I shouldn't stereotype though, Hitler was a vegetarian, after all!).

And we sometimes discuss politics. Sometimes heatedly. But then it's DCC time and no one gives a fuck anymore.

I figure that if someone as known and outspoken in political viewpoints as myself can game with anyone, then that applies to all gamers universally.

Which, frankly, is why the efforts of mostly-non-gamers to try to infuse political/ideological rules on the gaming hobby are such total bullshit.


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1 comment:

  1. Same here! In my D&D 5E group we have a DM who is a right-libertarian/Classical Liberal, myself - a left-libertarian, a vegan feminist, a guy who is probably a nationalist (Israeli) right-winger but does not talk too much about politics. and a person who is centrist-libertarian but does not talk politics in game but tends to post cultural-libertarian and anti-militarist stuff on his Facebook account. And we sometimes play sandbox campaigns and sometimes more structured ones.

    I have also war-gamed with a dyed-in-the-whool minarchist, an outright ultra-nationalist, and at least one communist. But who cares - we're dealing with Imperial Guard vs. Chaos Marines, not about Israel's geopolitical situation.

    As an author, things get even more complicated - I tend to write settings with very different tones than my own political beliefs. Settings have internal logic. I have just finished writing a full-scale setting for "not"-Traveller which is very jinguistic and militarist in flavor, two things I tend to dislike in real life. But plucky Terrans vs. the Reticulan Empire does call for a very militaristic outlook and so the book is written.