Everytime You Play a RPG Wrong Zeus Smites a Kitten

This is Important…. This means something….

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: Zak’s impressions and fuck all attitude of playing a game and having fun: post 1, post 2.. Shame on him…. 


Aside 2: Here is an awesome post from Joesky about this as well!


About wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn. View all posts by wrathofzombie

8 responses to “Everytime You Play a RPG Wrong Zeus Smites a Kitten

  • norm

    > If you take all of this too seriously and get all worked up over something

    Sometimes you need to rant, I understand, I do it. But, you’ve succumbed yourself, to taking things too seriously and getting worked up over nothing. Trolls and haters should be ignored and no time should be wasted acknowledging them.

    • wrathofzombie

      I will not deny that this was a bit of a rant. However I’m not so much angry as I am shocked… I’m not going to rant and rave about it anymore. I’ve said my piece… unless someone really attacks me and mine. I also think it’s good to every-so-often to take a stance on trolls (I’m not engaging them here and I’m not feeding them) and just say, “Hey fucko’s! We’re having fun! See! Smiles! Now back off!” 

  • Mr. Blue

    Such folks violate Rule 00 (Don’t be a Dick). Because attacking other people for enjoying themselves is pretty much the essence of dickness.

    Noone has to play with folks if they don’t enjoy the same approach.

  • llanwyre

    I’m a little baffled about how that conversation on Zak’s page got so out of hand on BOTH sides–he was just as worked up as his commenters! The people on the actual BW forum seemed really well-behaved, though.

    I dunno…each RPG has its own type of social scene, and sometimes moving from one to the other can be a bit difficult. I remember the first time I saw people bicker over the Warhammer setting–it was vicious and people were referencing historical texts left and right, and I LOVED it! But it gives my husband hives because he doesn’t see the argument as part of the fun of the game as I do. Similarly, BW players tend (from what I’ve seen) to love to talk about mechanics and systems, and perhaps they come off as more aggressive and condescending when interacting with people who don’t talk gaming theory because they’re used to talking to people who are just as interested in that stuff as they are. Some of the people in that thread did seem like jerks, but some just seemed intellectual and passionate, which is fantastic IMHO. Yet they got their heads bitten off just for being excited about the ideas behind the game.

    I think people just need to think carefully about how different RP communities interact within themselves and not expect one to be like the others. For many of us, the meta argments are a HUGE point of the game, and when someone asks our opinion about one of those meta arguments, we expect that request to be genuine and the requester to be ready to engage in an energetic conversation!

    • wrathofzombie

      Those are good points. I think the problem is being defensive about something.. You can be passionate about your game/mechanics of choice and talk about them with others.. You can debate (debating is fine), but it’s when people start being asses to one another than the line is crossed.

      I’m not saying that people on “Zak’s line of thinking (for lack of a better phrase)” are innocent compared to the fans of BW…. both got heated and “took it to the streets.”

      However the line was crossed when the more passionate of the BW told him that he was playing the game wrong.. Which is going to pucker anyone’s asshole and make them defensive.

      There definitely were nice people on the forum post talking about Zak’s play as well as on Zak’s comments…. but they aren’t the ones who fouled.. I’m just annoyed by those who (of any system or group) who tell you that your having fun wrong.

      • llanwyre

        I think you’re right on the money with the defensiveness issue–and that often happens when groups who love different games come into contact with each other, unfortunately. I do, though, think Zak invited a “you’re doing it wrong” response in the title of his post: “Is this how it is SUPPOSED to go?” To me, that implies that he, too, thinks there’s an intended way the game works, and he wants to know if he’s reaching it–but then he got upset when he got his answer. Answering then seems rather like a rigged game. 🙂

  • Zak S

    llanwyre: No.
    The people on the BW forum were total assholes form the beginning and very rude. They made assumptions about someone they could’ve just asked without asking me questions first, which is the very soul of internet dickery.
    People whose pleasure in talking about what they wanna talk about vastly exceeds the pleasure of knowing what they’re talking about deserve no quarter and there is nothing good to be said for them.

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