Over the past few days there has been some discussion, some yelling, and some snark and hissy fits because Zak played Burning Wheel, and apparently played it WRONG… I’m going to repeat that, because it’s the kind of statement that has been floating in our niche little hobby for awhile and it needs to be addressed. He played a game that is designed (one would hope) to be fun, interactive, and a social outlet with a group of friends (and in fact they DID have fun). Then people, not involved in playing with his group, told him he did it wrong.
How in the fuck can playing a game with a group of people and having fun and laughing and being creative… be fucking wrong? Telling someone that they are playing a game wrong is nothing short of a strange psychotic-buried-adolescent-issues type reaction.
Unfortunately Zak is not the only person who constantly seems to get flack for his creativity or the way he prefers to play games. James Maliszewski (of Grognardia) and Jeff Rients (of Jeff’s Gameblog) have both posted, sadly, many times of being snarked at for something they have created, blogged about, or whatever.
Again- this is ludicrous. First off.. It’s a game. A GAME…. To engage in this hobby we gather with a group of people and sit around a table and play make believe. We pretend we are elves, dwarves, barbarians, sneaky rogues, and wielders of magic… and here’s the kicker… For fun!
If you take all of this too seriously and get all worked up over something like role-playing to the point where you treat another human being like shit, then there is a chance that you believe that the imaginary voices in your head are real and that someday you really will wield the forces of the cosmos and smite the minions of Orcus…
Second.. I get a game being “right or wrong” when it is competitive/professional style play at a game shop or con, but if it’s in someone’s house and you’re not involved with how they play.. why give a shit?
Third… If you are involved in a game and not having fun because the way the group is rolling, then you need to have a calm and open dialogue with the GM and see if it can be worked out…. If not, keep on trucking… because you’ll most likely be able to find another gaming group to your liking.
Fourth… Honestly… It’s make believe.. Why let it affect you?
Fifth… You’re forgetting the most important thing.. The rules of Calvinball… Once you can understand this concept, you are good to go with role-playing…
There are times that I really worry about this hobby… We are surrounded by an ever-present stigma from people on the outside… either we’re nerds, heathens, or perverted devil worshipping psychopaths…. Do we really need all this infighting about shit that doesn’t matter?
Can’t we just let people play what games they want and how they want and say, “well I wouldn’t play that way, but you know what? They look like they’re having fun.. Fucking awesome!” instead of ranting and raging and pissing all over someone for something that, quite frankly, isn’t your business?
Let bygones be bygones and enjoy what they like… Have a smile and a beer (0r coke). Grab some friends, grab some dice.. and keep rolling…
Aside 2: Here is an awesome post from Joesky about this as well!