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Monday 10 September 2018

Classic Rant: Gaming Groups and Political Affiliation

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.


Currently Smoking: Masonic Meerschaum + Image Virginia

(Originally Posted 4 January 2017)


  1. First, let's not buy into the propaganda: Hitler was a vegetarian, he was also on the left. The only way you can put Hitler and his national-socialist party is with this bullshit horseshoe theory that "duh, if you go far enough to the right it just become just like the left"... yeah, maybe you're axis just doesn't make sense. Relocate the Nazis to the left (yes, on the right of the full-blown commies) and then, you don't need to make a horseshoe. Now, things just make sense on a straight axis, with on one end the collectivists/statists and on the other the individualists/voluntarists.

    Now, with this out of the way, I also disagree with the idea that you can game with just anybody. Maybe that makes me not a real gamer. After, although I really like the hobby, it is not the first thing on my list of priority. If I could live in a freer society at the cost of never roleplaying again, then goodbye RPGs (although, those two things seem contradictory).
    That being said, I don't play with communists because I don't associate with communists. I have too much self-respect too treat people who, given the chance, would send me to the Gulag for not wanting to redistribute the fruit of my labour with any civility. If you want to live in a more libertarian society you'll have to make your entourage more libertarian. There can be no tolerance toward communists in a libertarian social order.

    1. The inability or unwillingness to interact with those of diffent opinion is one of the most visible signs of ideological radicalisation...

    2. What do you think, should I black guy be willing to play with a member of the KKK? "Sure, if I could I would lynch you, but in the meantime, we can play RPGs"... I guess if the black dude refuse, he's just radicalise to the idea of preserving his own life.
      I'm not talking about believing taxes should be 1% higher or 1% lower, or even if gay marriage should be legal or not. I'm talking about people who advocate for the most murderous ideology mankind has seen: communism. If you're any other thing than a full-blown communist, or not the right variation of communist, you are on their "OK to kill" list. They just don't do it yet because they're not in power, yet.

      The same could be said of religious zealot; do you believe I should be killed for not believing in the same god as you (or not believing in a god at all)? If so, I'm unwilling to associate with you. I'm not gonna indulge you and treat you with civility until you get power and start working towards the elimination of my kind.

    3. Careful, Thomas is one of those in favor of gulags for wrong-thinkers and hates free speech.

  2. It depends how you find your group. For a long time my group were my friends, so people who thought much like me. More recently I've cast my net wider, and some fluffy liberalism has crept in. Next month I'm running my first game at a con, and I fully expect to be dealing with trigger warnings, trans characters and the full SJW circus. But hopefully gaming too.

  3. I game with all races, religions, political persuasions, ages, etc. There's a trans kid who I game with at least once a week, with rarely a disagreement about anything. But there's an unwritten rule that we don't discuss politics at the table.

    Sometimes I meet someone at a convention, and have a great time gaming with them. But then I add them on social media, and I'm often unfriended or blocked within a month or two. I can only assume that my politics offend them- or IDK, maybe they just hate funny dog videos?