It’s just….

February 7, 2011

A bloody game! Here’s the thing folks. I have been gaming a long damned time. I got into gaming for lots of reasons. Partly because the jocks in my high school were a-holes, the goths were a good ten years from existing and my upbringing was too restrictive to  get me in with the burnouts. Probably just as well, that. With my moral flexibility I’d have celebrated my 21st birthday in a cell rather than a bar if I’d gone that route.

Mostly though I got into it because I was looking for something fun to do. D&D, board games, card games, mini’s; they’re all supposed to be fun. And mostly they are. That’s why it is so utterly f-wording baffling to me when I see people in this hobby who completely miss the point!

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s the deal. Ours is not a pastime for the light of pocket. A cheap game will cost you twenty bucks. A mid-range one fifty and an expensive one eighty or more. And that’s just board and card games. Dice?RPG’s? Mini’s? And don’t even get me started on Magic The MethHabbit!

So why in God’s name would you drop all this money and time and put yourself very deliberately on the fringe of society when ours is a universally xenophobic species only to not have as many laughs as possible? It’s a game you morons!  The average age of intended play is between eight and thirteen FFS!

It’s not a contest to see who has the most microscopic di…. I mean knowledge of the rules lore! It’s about getting together with your friends, eating food possessed of less nutritional value than the packaging it came in and making obscure jokes about fifty year old Brit comedy shows! And maybe moving some pieces around a board or getting some cards onto a table if it happens to work out that way.

You know what I’ve seen in my time? Grown men. Let me just repeat that GROWN MEN , -and I’m talking guys in their 30’s and forty’s here-, cheating at miniature games  when their opponent isn’t even in high school yet!  Moving their pieces out of turn, telling the kid-the frigging child for cripes sake!- that they are playing against that they can’t make a particular move and then making the same exact  move themselves on their turn,  and endless other examples of playtime d-baggery!  And then patting themselves on the back when they win! Or invoking some obscure bit of  minutia within the rules that makes their move technicallylegal but takes a big steaming dump all over the spirit of fun and community that is supposed to be at the heart of this little subculture of ours.

And I know I’m not the only one! We all know a few of these idiots! The guys with no girlfriends (gee, what a shock) hardly any social skills (connection maybe? I think maybe so!) and not much in the way of friends of the platonic persuasion either and aren’t we just stunned as a box of tasered baby ducklings at that! And they show up and their whole point is to win win winety win win no matter what.

And we all know what we’d like to do, don’t we? Deep down in our secret little heart of hearts? Of if you’re like me not-so-secret? That’s right. This right here.

Now, because I’m a good guy I’ve tried to engage the butt-tards in conversation a few times. I’ve tried to figure out what makes them tick, other than the two pounds of Semtex I wired to their chair while they were distracted. I mean, they’re part of the tribe right? The normal world doesn’t see much difference between us and them. And you know what I’ve heard? “The point of playing a game is to win.”

Noitaintjerko! The point of playing a game is to have fun! It is to laugh! It is to blow money you could be spending on girls and retirement and a new car on books that make you that much more proficient at pretending to be an elf on Saturday nights! Winning is just a nice little bonus that may or may not happen depending on how things happen to land for you that particular evening. It’s like going out with a pretty girl. If she kisses you at the end of the night fantastic! But as long as she doesn’t pepper spray you or her six foot seven psycho ex doesn’t show up with a crowbar and an alphabetized list of your bones it was still time well spent! Say it with me and say it slowly; Fun is the point, winning is optional.

Thing is, they don’t do it by going out and getting drunk or making a success of themselves or even getting into fistfights. Not that I advocate getting drunk or picking fistfights as a way of de-stressing or showing up people who were a-holes to you back in the day mind. But I’d actually respect some of them more if they did pour a bottle of vodka down their throat and puke into the open sunroof of some luxury automobile that you just know belongs to the kind of overpriviledged little wankstain who thinks it’s the height of hi-effin’-larity to make fun of us geeky types.

No. Instead they go out to public gaming events, bust out the obscure rules trivia and an ironclad sense of Always Needing To Follow The Rules As Written (except for when it gets in the way of them winning of course! Colon-clowns!) and generally rain doody all over everyone else’s good time. And for an added good time, try sitting near a table full of these types! You can always tell which ones those are because the silence is deafening and there’s an air of tension at the table you could bounce a 2-liter bottle of pop off. Yeah, that’s the group of hard-partying laugh-factories I know I wanna spend my free time with!

 

Seriously folks, it ain’t life and death here! I mean come on! How seriously can you take a bunch of grown adults pretending to be Orcs (let’s play make believe!) or building an imaginary railroad ( I has a choo-choo! Whee! Ima conductor! Toot toot!) or farm (Old McDonald had a …..)? If you’re not laughing, you’re not doing it right. And if you’re one of the cheating, rulebook-humping win-at-any-cost types I’ve been ranting about for three pages now guess what? This

might be how you see yourself at night’s end but for most of the rest of us it’s actually a little bit closer to this right here.

Until next time, keep havin’ fun and remember; if you’re not laughing you’re not doing it right!

Mech out

 

 

 

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One Response to “It’s just….”

  1. huuuuuuhhh Says:

    What you said here totally resonates.

    It always seemed to me that this was about 97% of the male gaming public (so, in other words, 97% of gamers).

    Funny that I was JUST TODAY thinking about an incident at Phoenix over two decades ago where two grown men were caught cheating at WH40K when their opponents were maybe 14.

    This is why I don’t game anymore, the general lack of social skills thing. Not that I am much of a charmer myself but compared to a lot of these guys I’m Mr. Suave.

    Then, like you mention in your other post, there’s the fact that they don’t fucking wash, they talk loudly, they bray their horse laughs, they are completely and utterly boorish and twice as boorish to women. And that’s the more pleasant ones.

    No, at long last I realized a number of years back that I don’t want to be around these fuckers. My heart just isn’t in gaming enough now, so when I occasionally get the urge to break out the dice and find a group, I remember what it’s really like and I ask myself what the fuck I’m thinking.

    25 years ago, the vast majority of teenage gamers were already a sad subset of society. Now, the more normal people have left, and an overwhelming proportion of the grown men who are still into it to any degree are… yeah, you get the point.

    Obviously not everyone is like this and there are a bunch of very cool people still involved in the lifestyle– more than a hobby, really– but I got really tired of the blowhards, rivet counters, poor hygiene cases and other social outcasts some time back. Cons are like Aspergers conventions, unfortunately, and I no longer want to be around it.


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