Fundamental Truths

  • In war the best policy is to take a state intact.
  • Too Much is the Same as Not Enough
  • Fear is the Mind-Killer
  • All Warfare is based upon deception.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why Gamers Suck

All right, so I'm a dedicated gamer, given the chance. After a shitty workweek, unleashing "Burning" Takarov, priest of the thoroughly evil god of Fire and Poison on an unsuspecting village in the company of the equally vile Lovefist brothers had a cathartic joy to it. And of course, our interminable avatar campaigns in the World of Darkness allow an even more direct opportunity to blow off steam.

But let's face it, all gamers suck. Here's why-

1- We will tell you about our characters, knowing full well that you do not give a fuck. We will also tell you about how much we hate it when people tell us about their characters, because that's how we roll.

2- We find our in-jokes funny. Then we ruin them by explaining them to you. Honestly, if you weren't there, "that time Mike said we'd kill him if he fucked up" just isn't that funny.

3- We will argue endlessly about truly pointless shit in imaginary worlds. You have not experienced Hell until you've seen a Forgotten Realms fan throw down with a Greyhawk fan about the respective merits of their settings. And while just about everyone on Earth is capable of this, only gamers and other geeks will get in a frothing rage about why Elminster could totally kick Mordenkainen's ass. If they start citing page numbers, you're probably on the internet, and should just navigate to a porn site to unwind.

4- We, aware as we are of stereotypical social awkwardness, will still pick on gamers who "do it wrong." In the game store I worked at in Bloomington, we had a guy we called C.K.W. (Coolest Kid in the World) who we endlessly put down and abused in-game. A simpler, mature solution would have been to not let him play since his style pissed us off. But lord knows, we can't turn a fellow gamer away. Especially not when he's more pathetic than we are and makes us look better by comparison.

5- We have to be cool. And we have to prove it. Drunken rednecks have nothing on pencil-wristed gamers when it comes to dick-measuring contests. About shit that is usually either trivial, fictitious, or just useless.

6- Our system is better than yours. We have a tendency to cling to a gaming system we like as if it contained the only water left in the universe. And revised versions of systems we like are greeted with hostility. For example, I started playing D&D when it was AD&D 2nd Edition. A system, which, by the way, sucked the meat missile. GOD it was awful and arbitrary. But it took me a while to warm up to 3rd Edition, because, well, it was change. And would Eldred Shadowmere, Dual-Wielding Ranger Who Could Totally Kick Drizzt's Ass And I had The Stats To Prove It survive the transition unchanged?! WHO KNEW?!

7- If you don't like a system, you clearly just played it wrong. Of course. It has nothing to do with the fact that you hated how it worked. Or that character creation required ninety-seven charts... or had NO charts! GASP! Our terminal inability to accept style differences stems from another problem...

8- We are frequently one or two players short of a good group, and will therefore take in strays who then have an awful time while we mock them. Lord knows, if we just loosened up and had fun, we might get farther, but THIS game is S E R I O U S. We promise. With all of these differences, each group inevitably feels it is doing things "right," and pities others who can't get the hang of it, which feeds back into 4, 6 and 7.

9- We spend money on crap we could easily make up. Don't believe me? World of Darkness: Hong Kong. Rather than, say, looking into an area's history and making up your own imaginary shit to put in it, you instead buy White Wolf's. Doubly shaming if you're playing a game in a TOTALLY fictitious world. News flash- Almost none of their fluff is that great or original. If you make up some derivative crap, don;t worry- you're just like 97% of published fantasy or science fiction novels.

10- We are aware of every single one of these flaws, and we do nothing about it. Seriously.

Now, in conclusion, let me say that I still love this damned hobby, and I miss my old group to death. Why? Because we try as hard as we can to mitigate some of this list. Say, I'm sure my old seat's open, why don't you drop by and try a game? Don't worry if you don't get it at first, but they're totally doing it right.