OSR/RPG Mudslinging

I didn’t attend GenCon, but I watched some blogs going nuts with different bloggers complaining about other bloggers. Why can’t we play nice and turn on our brains and manners?

There were claims of misogyny in gaming, unworthy products winning Ennies, and lots of tearing down.

Here’s my take on RPG’s. There are some RPG’s that I know I won’t like, it is a genre thing. Some genres just don’t appeal to me. That doesn’t mean I hate or despise people who play those games, just those games aren’t for me. For some of those genres, if I played them with a familiar group that I felt comfortable with, I might have a good time, but wouldn’t find that at the top of my list to play.

I agree that it is good to get more people involved in gaming. People includes women. I like women. They make good friends and they see the world differently than I do. I will admit in the awkward teenage days, there were no women in our gaming group. I did not play RPG’s with women until college. I went to a university where women were in the minority, so the women were still a minority in games. I experienced my first male player with a female character in college. While I have never had a female character, I had not thought of running one until I experienced it. Nothing against women, I just never imagine myself pretending to be one. I am sure there are women who feel the same way about pretending to be a man in an RPG. As a DM, I have NPC’s that are women, but that is somehow different, since the DM is everybody and thing other than the PC’s.

That’s my clumsy attempt to say I like gaming with women. At Marmalade Dog back in February, we had one memorable woman gamer and she was a lot of fun to play with in RPG’s. There were two other women at Marmalade Dog in two different sessions of Homlet I ran. They were with their boyfriends, and were just as involved as the guys. One woman was way more into it than her boyfriend, and they were with the same regular weekly group they play with. I think the right environment and the right group of people make the situation more appealing to women. I am sure the GM has a big influence too. I have never played in an RPG ran by a woman. There has never been an opportunity. I know that one of the women I played with at Marmalade Dog will be GMing for the first time at UCon in November, so if her game doesn’t fill up too fast, I will sign up. However, just like with men, not everyone who is excellent at playing a character has the desired, motivation, and ability to be a competent GM. Until you try running a game and see what is involved, if you have played with skilled GM’s they can make it look easy. To a point it is easy, but the prep time and grasp of the material and scenario, and engagement of the players go a long way to making a good GM.

Side Note: Most of my hobbies are mostly followed by men, so it’s not a good place to meet single women. What women are involved tend to be girlfriends and wives of the guys. Sometimes they met through the hobby, or one or the other of them introduced the other to the hobby. Generally, it is the men who introduce the women to male dominated hobbies, but there are women who introduce men to it as well. I’m old enough that RPG’s were for boys and men, and Barbies and dolls were for girls. I’m not saying it was right or wrong, only the way it was. Women either need to jump in and do RPG’s, or be willing to participate when their boyfriends and husbands invite them to join in. Common courtesy should prevail. Don’t treat women like a piece of meat. If some players have poor social skills and so forth, the group should help that person along. Remember, it is a game, and it is supposed to be FUN!

As to the Ennies, I didn’t know what products were nominated until the blogs were buzzing about it during GenCon. To make Ad Hominem attacks against winners and throw public tantrums because someone won an award you don’t think they should have won is ridiculous.

If you don’t like the outcome of an award contest, don’t show your ass to the world. You don’t like someone’s profession, so you equate that with the quality of their award winning entry, that doesn’t make sense. Judge the entry by it’s own merits. Is the person a jerk to people online? Well, I don’t know him, and don’t follow all the drama. Just because he may or may not be a jerk to some people does not mean his product is crap. Is it a product that does not interest you, OK, that’s fine. You have a constructive criticism of the product. By constructive, I mean a comment that will add value to the discussion. I don’t have the product, I haven’t seen the product, I just know what I have read from others. Thus, I have no opinion on the product. NOTE: I know that some consider the art to be adult/pornographic.  If that’s your problem with this game, you better get busy and get all the magazines out of gas stations and stores, and movies and pictures off the internet. Those have a far wider audience than this game.

Sometimes the RPG blog community reminds me of high school, or in some cases preschool. Grow up and get a life. If you spent less time complaining about how bad things are with this or that person, RPG, supplement, etc. and put that energy into either making your own product, or playing more RPG’s then you would be happier.

The older I get, the more I realize that all these kerfuffles are just so much horse $&!#. They stink and some people throw it around like a monkey in a cage. Step out of your cage and look around. If you don’t have a cellphone, computer, or other internet active device, does anyone care that you don’t like something? People like that are the ones whose parents didn’t teach them good manners and the movie theaters have to spend all this time reminding people to turn off their devices so they don’t bother others. You are not the only person in the theater! The world does not revolve around you! What happened to common courtesy?

I think this is true of the world in general. With the internet we can make rapid posts of whatever is on our minds and blast people for not being in lockstep with our desires and beliefs. I know that if everyone was like me, the world would be a boring place. It takes all kinds. Live and let live. As long as someone is not trying to come into your house or on your personal page(s) on the internet and tell you how to live your life, why do you care?

The whole “outrage brigade” thing is a tempest in a teapot. Get over it. Will it matter when you are laying on your deathbed? When you are laying there taking your last breath, if you are still thinking about some dumb argument online, then you have a very small and lonely life. I know that I am working to have a great relationship with my sons and my granddaughter so that whenever I die, they will miss me, rather than be glad I’m gone.

I shouldn’t be surprised and amazed at how stupid, petty, and narrow minded people can be. It is part of the human condition. I don’t know any of these people, I just had this on my mind. I don’t have to post it, but I will. My hope is that someone will see this and realize that they are doing more to hurt others and the RPG hobby than they are to help.

If you think that the only way that the RPG hobby will be wonderful and grow is to only do things the way you think it should be, then you are leaving out a large segment of the population. There are games and genres I have no interest in. If RPG’s were done based on my interests, there wouldn’t be very many to choose from compared to how many there actually are. Is that the kind of reality you think the RPG hobby should have?

For crying out loud, we’re talking about a GAME! It is supposed to be FUN. Not everyone thinks the same things are fun. No problem, don’t do those things! END OF PROBLEM. No need to whine and complain and waste others’ time telling us how miserable your life is because you gave someone you don’t even know in real life the power to control your happiness. SMH. The only one responsible for your happiness and satisfaction in this life is you. The sooner you learn that, the sooner you will find happiness.


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