The Stigma of Role-Playing Must Die!

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

Greg is so right here. I remember playing D&D years ago on a regular basis with my friends. Even after we all got girlfriends it just meant that there was another player there once a week. But after a while two moved away and the remaining members just didn't seem to have the time anymore. Now, ten years later, I goto game stores looking for a group to join and I always seem to get the same response. They either tell me that I need to be a "regular" or laugh me out because I don't understand these crazy new rules. First off, I'm not really sure what makes you a "regular", exactly. I go to these shops several times a week and spend LOADS of money on cards, etc. Secondly; is it just me or does the newer D&D just have an absurd amount of rules? I suppose it wouldn't seem like so much if I could maybe play it once or twice but this new generation of gamers is just obnoxious. ALWAYS too happy to prove you wrong about the simplest of things and angry at you for being wrong. These are the same guys that cry and moan about table top gamers have a bad reputation. Gee, I wonder why THAT could be?

"Videogames are everywhere; they have reached the mainstream. Once a fringe activity, thanks to the Wii, World of Warcraft and Modern Warfare 2."

I'd actually disagree with that - WoW certainly isn't mainstream, and the only things in gaming that are are the Wii, MW2 and Fifa/PES.

No, I don't count anything like Farmville as gaming, nor do the people that play Farmville.

Tarrker:
Secondly; is it just me or does the newer D&D just have an absurd amount of rules? I suppose it wouldn't seem like so much if I could maybe play it once or twice but this new generation of gamers is just obnoxious. ALWAYS too happy to prove you wrong about the simplest of things and angry at you for being wrong. These are the same guys that cry and moan about table top gamers have a bad reputation. Gee, I wonder why THAT could be?

More rules are, in my mind, a good thing. Rules provide consistency, and consistency provides believability and atmosphere. If your RPG is a pamphlet that basically tells me to make everything up, what did I pay you for? However, rules are flexible, so if the GM (and only the GM) wants to step outside of them and change something, that's his or her call. I'd say 4E has more rules than previous editions, sure, but it's made easier to understand because there's more consistency and the product as a whole is more streamlined.

Sounds like you know some dickhead players. They're exactly what I mention in my earlier post. Here you are, a professed gamer who wants to be involved in the hobby being shunned. As long as people like that still dominate (if not by population size than certainly by the volume they shout at) the hobby, giving the rest of us who don't act that way a bad name, it won't become acceptable. It's going to take a concerted effort by those of us who *aren't* like that to bring new players in, one by one, at least certainly for now.

Atmos Duality:

Unless you are running strictly from a sourcebook, making your own encounters and plot can be extremely time consuming, and the time commitment increases exponentially with the number of players. For every hour in game, I tend to spend another hour out of game in prep work (usually filling in the gaps of my regular work day typing out stuff).

That rule applies to any system I've ever run. ANY. Even the one I've created from scratch.

As for the stigma of RP...the article hit the same issues I've always wondered.
Such as the contradiction between acting being acceptable and RP not...it's the same exact thing! It's audience participation! I've been to real shows that pull that stunt!

In fact, in writing most of my plot, encounters, and characters, I often feel more like the world's worst playwright getting ready to show with some of the worst actors ever.
But it's all in good fun!

TBH honest AD, if it takes you 5 hours to prep for a 5 hours game of D&D 4e, you're doing something wrong... encounter building takes a handful of minute at most. As for the plot/rp, well, that depends on the DM. I know I like to freeform a lot, so my 'notes' for the night usually consist of a few guiding lines and stuff I think would be cool if it happened.

Still, it does take more time for the DM... but that's one guy. The players have it much easier.

The point still stand tho: The time needed is only really an issue if you're trying to tack it on top of an already busy schedule. If you decided 'D&D is my hobby' instead of 'Karate (or whatever) is my Hobby', you'll find you'll have plenty of time for it... and that in fact, it's actually a lot less time consuming than many other hobbies out there.

Tarrker:
Greg is so right here. I remember playing D&D years ago on a regular basis with my friends. Even after we all got girlfriends it just meant that there was another player there once a week. But after a while two moved away and the remaining members just didn't seem to have the time anymore. Now, ten years later, I goto game stores looking for a group to join and I always seem to get the same response. They either tell me that I need to be a "regular" or laugh me out because I don't understand these crazy new rules. First off, I'm not really sure what makes you a "regular", exactly. I go to these shops several times a week and spend LOADS of money on cards, etc. Secondly; is it just me or does the newer D&D just have an absurd amount of rules? I suppose it wouldn't seem like so much if I could maybe play it once or twice but this new generation of gamers is just obnoxious. ALWAYS too happy to prove you wrong about the simplest of things and angry at you for being wrong. These are the same guys that cry and moan about table top gamers have a bad reputation. Gee, I wonder why THAT could be?

Nothing I can say about the players being asshats... but I can assure you D&D 4e is actually the most streamlined and simple version of D&D since... well, ever. One of the battle horse of older players who hate this new edition is how simple it is.

Man, one of these days I'm going to get some mates together and play D&D.
It's a game that needs to be played, and I'm flustered that I've never tried it before.

This is the same reason why I go off on elitists who make fun of those who are either new to gaming or new to a game itself...

Why shun some one for being new? Why provoke them to not play the game? If you love the game so much, why chase away some one who has the potential of being a welcomed member of the community?

There is a difference between a new player, and a noob... People seem to forget that, and I for one feel that only Noobs make fun of new players...

Anyone that takes the time to chase people away from a community that I happen to be a part of, don't belong in that community... I'd rather have a group full of new people who are still learning the game and are curious as to how they can get better, than I would have a group of people who are good at the game but shun everyone else because they think their gods...

Reminds me of some of the arguments I've proposed in my old clan in CoD4 as a recruiter... They sometimes saw me as jumping around on the spectrum, recruiting those who were good at the game while at the same time recruiting those that were god awful at it... The thing is.. Those who I recruited that were good at the game, had to show they were acceptable not only in game but as a player... Those that were horrible at the game, had to show that they were willing to learn more about the game in order to succeed in game.

I've found that recruiting and training those new players turned them into some of the best players I've had in the clan. While the most people that got the boot from the clan were those who looked down upon others or voiced their opinions on the matter in selfish or otherwise rude ways.

Yes, I know... Why is this idiot talking about CoD4 in a D&D thread? Well... I have yet to play D&D, and would love to give it a go, but I feel that the issues brought up in the OP aren't just stigma's for D&D but for gaming communities everywhere... There's always that one idiot who would rather chase away potential additions to the community rather than take time to show them the ropes... That is wrong...

I pretty much agree with the article at large, really.. although I think 'gamer pride' is something of a defence mechanism against the general media hostility (not that someone doesn't have to stop the vicious circle, and it's better the ones with the moral high ground).

But that said, what the article really makes me wonder, is how the /hell/ did tabletop gaming survive the late 80's at all? It took such a storm of trouble from so many different angles, at a time when it had zero means of defending itself..

I think we're rather lucky to at least not be picking up the pieces of a shattered and irreparably degraded hobby, let alone free of any social stigma.

The only problem that I have your article, and admittedly it's a big one, is that I see a lot of the similar stigma (i.e. shirts, other accessories, the elitism, etc.) in a lot of video-game circles as well. The one thing video-games have that table top roleplaying doesn't is casual gaming and gaming that is little kid friendly, and honestly I think this is a good thing, at least on the casual gaming subject. I mean, I don't think that casual gamers would consider them part of the video-gaming community and I think some of the schism is still there because of that, and I think that you would have the same problem with DnD.
Now as for a kid friendly version of DnD or any tabletop game, well maybe that might not be such a bad thing. Dumbing it down to the point where little kids could have fun slaying dragons and saving the village might be a good way to point out that you don't need to have dark, convoluted, plots and incredibly evil villains to have a fun time with roleplaying.

Nimbus:
Some way to play these games without actually meeting in person would be a good start. Some sort of webcam-group would be nice.

The way to get around that is in fact one of the biggest obstacles to tabletop RPG's - they're called MMORPG's, and have much the same social stigma attached to them.

I don't currently engage in tabletop RPG's (I intend to start after exams this year), but I don't know a single person who doesn't play them that doesn't consider them the nerdiest, most socially ostracising thing they can think of (and most of the people I hang around with are studying for physics, engineering, or maths degrees).
Video games are having the same barriers erected around them, though - you need look no further than the escapist's forums to find a backlash against 'casual games' and games becoming easier/more accessible. Surely anyone should be entitled to take up a hobby, free of ostracism by those outside the hobby, and sneering from those already involved?

You know, I'm a woman, and I've been playing Dungeons and Dragons for well over 30 years now (started the summer before 5th grade, am now 43). I've played it since the original Blue Box edition (although you could still find the three books in the white box if you looked- I had book 4, the Gods and Deities, with the Egyptian Gods on the cover), and I still play today, although not 4th edition. Honestly, I feel 4th edition is a great combat simulator, but it's not a roleplaying game as I understand RPGs.

That being said, it's easy finding places to play online without resorting to webcams. You can go to RPOL.net or Playbyweb.com and find games there, though finding a good GM is harder. Also, the games are more spread out in time, as it is like posting on a message board. The GM posts what you see, people respond, the GM updates the situation. Playbyweb even has a dice roller to make random dice rolls for you. It's different, but that doesn't make it bad. It also allows people from different timezones and even different countries to RP together. Go check it out. I run two games there, both in the Adult section (for ultraviolence and occasionally sick-making descriptions, not necessarily for sex). They are Albion Forest and Called to Duty.

Atmos Duality:

...I often feel more like the world's worst playwright getting ready to show with some of the worst actors ever.
But it's all in good fun!

I've almost never been able to just play--I've pretty much always DM'd (except for short bursts or one-offs), and I'd have to agree with that statement. It's a blast, but really only for the people who are very into it. It's like quadruple off-Broadway experimental audience participation theater with wet dogs and strobe lights--there's just not a big audience for it.

But, yes, it is fun.

It can also be pretty difficult to find a good match for a group. They have to be people willing to spend several hours weekly or bi-weekly together with that nasty dichotomy of rules technicalities and wide-open imagination. The personalities often just don't mesh well together.

I also live in NYC and gamers here are like they are everywhere (just more of it and, at the same time, harder to find in some ways)--and the general population as well. There's always a certain percentage of slackers, jerks, know-it-alls, loudmouths, smelly people, rude people, flakes, etc. It's tough getting through the sludge to get to the particular brand of personalities you want. Daunting, even. And as you get older, chances are you know fewer people who consider gaming of any sort a viable hobby.

I'm not saying it's impossible--if one is dedicated enough to something, almost anything is possible. But these are all things that work against f2f rpging as a growing hobby. People are lazy, overcoming these things requires work. Most people don't like to work even when they get paid for it.
Net result? F2f rpging is a niche and will probably remain so.

Tarkand:

TBH honest AD, if it takes you 5 hours to prep for a 5 hours game of D&D 4e, you're doing something wrong... encounter building takes a handful of minute at most. As for the plot/rp, well, that depends on the DM. I know I like to freeform a lot, so my 'notes' for the night usually consist of a few guiding lines and stuff I think would be cool if it happened.

Still, it does take more time for the DM... but that's one guy. The players have it much easier.

The point still stand tho: The time needed is only really an issue if you're trying to tack it on top of an already busy schedule. If you decided 'D&D is my hobby' instead of 'Karate (or whatever) is my Hobby', you'll find you'll have plenty of time for it... and that in fact, it's actually a lot less time consuming than many other hobbies out there.

Heh. Who said I was running 4E?

And writing for game is only time consuming in an empirical way. I write my stuff down between breaks, during downtime etc, and I have a pretty strong memory for these things.

Fact is, I create most of my encounters from scratch since D&D 3.5 (or even 2nd Ed) has a number of logical holes in it, or because most of the default stuff is either too good or too sucky.
However, it's the plot work that consumes most of my time, as my games tend to lean on the "large" side; It usually starts small, and then word gets around about what I've been running and suddenly, I have a 9-12 person game.

For each character, that's another factor I have to consider since each and every one can potentially derail an already nebulous plot. It's important not to be too controlling with your players, otherwise you get what we call "railroading".

On the other hand...if the players start deliberately abusing the system and it's hurting any sort of mood or encounter I attempt to create, then it's probably time to bring the hammer down on someone. Creating the aftermath can be just as interesting.

0over0:

I've almost never been able to just play--I've pretty much always DM'd (except for short bursts or one-offs), and I'd have to agree with that statement.

It can also be pretty difficult to find a good match for a group. They have to be people willing to spend several hours weekly or bi-weekly together with that nasty dichotomy of rules technicalities and wide-open imagination. The personalities often just don't mesh well together.

Aye. The personality compatibility of my playgroup is so complicated that I could probably write a Psychology Master's Thesis on it. And you bring up a huge point that bothers me: seldom is anyone else willing to take the DM role and let me play.

It seems once you've sat in the God-Chair, you're stuck there.

Haven't played for a long time.
Used to do it a lot as a kid.
Still have friends who'd love to play.
Nobody I know has negative feelings towards RPGs.
So, why don't we play?
No time.

My friends started a game a while ago. It's really fun. Of course, it would be more stressful if our house rules weren't in tact.

Anyway, I'm playing 3.5 because the GM and veteran players hate 4.0.

Escape_Artist:
Simply put, it's more work to set up and play.

Really? coming from a complete newb: 2 hours one day to make a character. a half hour to go out and get a figurine(mine is Fry from futurama*ranger* and his bear is Nibbler), and once all that is in place, you can just start a game anywhere. All the work after that is strictly the Gm's, and even that can be half assed and take an hour a week, tops, to prepare. Once there is no question on which dice to roll, turns go by rather quickly and get quicker everytime. Just have good communication with the group and everything works out quite fine. Once a week session that lasts as long as we can play. Not too hard.

My group stayed with 3.5 bcause the veterans realized 4.0 was shit.

It may seem that there is a wall to entry, but IMO its imaginary. It really comes down to a few things does the idea of role playing interest you? and are you willing to learn the rules?

Pretty simple in my book. In my group of friends we just started (all of us) about 3 months back with D&D 4E. I started as DM and we just read the books and dug in. It was actually pretty easy to get started and we all were going into it knowing that we were going to make mistakes but learn as we go.

I honestly think it was easier to start not having anyone that had played before then if we had someone that was a long time player. The reason being that the experienced player would have gotten frustrated with the time it takes a totally new player to learn, and us as new players would have gotten frustrated because we were frustrating the "expert" player.

Since we first learned we have incorporated more experienced players into the group and everything went very smooth, and were were able to play while learning minor tips & tricks from the more experienced players.

For us until we just jumped in and did it, was the idea that the game takes a long time and a lot of effort to learn to even begin playing. That was the imagined wall that was barring us in the past. That's what needs to be fought against, IMO if someone has played a computer based RPG they can play tabletop games. And the learning curve is about the same.

Atmos Duality:
The personality compatibility of my playgroup is so complicated that I could probably write a Psychology Master's Thesis on it.

Actually, I met someone who was doing just that...kinda. This was about, gah...25 years ago? When I was a freshman as Miami, Ohio, someone doing grad work in sociology sat in on some of our Call of Cthuluh games for a thesis on subcultures.

The amusing thing was how quickly we assimilated her...she ended up playing the last quarter or so of Masks of Nyarlothotep with us. Tape recorder on, of course.

Atmos Duality:

And you bring up a huge point that bothers me: seldom is anyone else willing to take the DM role and let me play.

It seems once you've sat in the God-Chair, you're stuck there.

We had a couple DMs in our semi-longstanding group, but once the other guy and I both got tired of running stuff/ran out of ideas that thrilled us, it just sorta died out.

OT: The view of "Roleplaying" in general seems to be viewed as either a problem indicator (/shrink "What's wrong with your life that you want to escape it?") or as a useful tool (my brother has been Red in Red/Blue training, and tells me they tend to really get into the roles), but not as an entertainment.

Regrettably, RPGs like D&D tend to attract the socially bankrupt more often than not. And many members of the gaming culture just take their hobby way too seriously. Combine that with years of prejudice and stigma and you have the perfect storm of ignorance.

I've been running and playing RPGs since 1979; I even wrote a couple in the early 90s. So, I've been allowed to see the entire progression of the industry. And one thing continues to stick in my mind: We don't do ourselves any favors. I will never forget sitting on a bus and hearing a dopey-eyed, oily haired teen rocking back and forth and muttering the rules for Disciples (from Vampire: The Masquerade). My first instinct was to say, "Hey, you play too?!" But the instinct that won out was, "Don't make any sudden movements and back away slowly."

The reaction most uninformed people have is the latter as well.

Batsamaritan:
Been playing pen and paper table top gaming 16 bloody years and still play once a week, its great mental exersise and a nice alternative to hitting buttons all day long...

playing rogue trader at the moment and loving it but would not mind another classic d and d game sometime...

and yes there should have been more response to the idiots trying to depict rpgs as the devils instrument, when confronted by a christian fuckwit determined to prove to me that my hobby was evil I simply pointed out the irony of someone following their own mythical book that was actually PROVEN to have cause tragedy and death, jonestown to name but one.... and I can't thrown a d20 and simply kill jesus with my +10 sword of smiting so no fai, the dudes no more real than an orc.

Gah, people who see one retard who happens to also have religious beliefs and use them to tear into the religion piss me off so much.

I'm a pretty conservative christian, and my first d&d game was with a group of people I met at my church! The youth leader was the gm!

I actually did the whole process of becoming a gamer backwards, I started off being forced to play outside and do the whole sports thing. I had played snes and a good amount of n64 but when I moved up to middle school I somehow became popular and met a friend who got me more into gaming. By the time I left for my high school in another town (regional trade school) I had already met a bunch of the "cool" kids and so when I became more and more of a gamer no one cared. People who once looked at my computer shop and said nerd now were friends with one of them and stopped.

Since first hearing about D&D I always wanted to try it out but never knew anyone who would want to play. About a year after graduating I met some people who play D&D and have started getting into it and love it. I play 3.5 by the way they told me about 4th edition and well..no thanks.

I like to think I helped break the social gap between the "nerds" and the "cool" kids, not to mention one of my friends from computer shop ended up being the most well known person in the school. For better or worse.

People always look at D&D players as a bunch of looser but then I always bring up the difference between us role playing and an actor role playing is they get payed absurd amounts of money to do it, and sometimes we do it much better.*cough cough* megan fox *cough* oh excuse me.

Ohhh god just read Dark Dungeons for the first time... what a piece of crap... how poeple can take that seriously?

In my opinion, playing D&D is ok, if I could get a group going here in the middle of NJ I'd play regularly. Just 'cause some nut decides to go running into the catacombs of the nearest mausoleum to fight the undead hordes in RL, doesn't mean we all act like that(LARPers excluded).
Yet people still think that D&D is a weird hobby, sure role-playing a dwarf may alienate some people but you know what, f*ck them, it our life and if we want to play D&D that's is our choice and ours alone!

Plurralbles:
My friends started a game a while ago. It's really fun. Of course, it would be more stressful if our house rules weren't in tact.

Anyway, I'm playing 3.5 because the GM and veteran players hate 4.0.

Escape_Artist:
Simply put, it's more work to set up and play.

Really? coming from a complete newb: 2 hours one day to make a character. a half hour to go out and get a figurine(mine is Fry from futurama*ranger* and his bear is Nibbler), and once all that is in place, you can just start a game anywhere. All the work after that is strictly the Gm's, and even that can be half assed and take an hour a week, tops, to prepare. Once there is no question on which dice to roll, turns go by rather quickly and get quicker everytime. Just have good communication with the group and everything works out quite fine. Once a week session that lasts as long as we can play. Not too hard.

My group stayed with 3.5 bcause the veterans realized 4.0 was shit.

I'm not saying it isn't fun (because I enjoy such games myself), I'm just saying that generealy people would rather not spend the 2 hours of character creation and then the few hours (for the dm) to make the campaign and instead play some kind of video game with pretty much everything prepared already.

also, 4.0 does kinda suck. What happened to only magic users having spells?

Escape_Artist:
also, 4.0 does kinda suck. What happened to only magic users having spells?

IT is only magic users that have spells. A Fighter can't have a special attack or two? They really aimed for cinematic combat with 4e, and I think they nailed it on the head. I'd LOVE to play more 4e if I could find a DM and players...Makes me wonder where WotC were claiming that 4e was their best-selling edition yet or somesuch a year or so back...

OT: I have had a co worker tell me with a straight face that D&D was Satanic, and she was in her late 20's, early 30's, so the stigma's still out there if anyone doubts it, and it's not just the older folks. I just went "Nah, it's just a game." But I don't think she heard me....

Either way, I mainly play my RPGs online with OpenRPG, great program, it is! Been playin' soem 3.5 D&D, the occasional d20 Modern game, and just started up some Dragon Age!

Brokenglove:

Batsamaritan:
Been playing pen and paper table top gaming 16 bloody years and still play once a week, its great mental exersise and a nice alternative to hitting buttons all day long...

playing rogue trader at the moment and loving it but would not mind another classic d and d game sometime...

and yes there should have been more response to the idiots trying to depict rpgs as the devils instrument, when confronted by a christian fuckwit determined to prove to me that my hobby was evil I simply pointed out the irony of someone following their own mythical book that was actually PROVEN to have cause tragedy and death, jonestown to name but one.... and I can't thrown a d20 and simply kill jesus with my +10 sword of smiting so no fai, the dudes no more real than an orc.

Gah, people who see one retard who happens to also have religious beliefs and use them to tear into the religion piss me off so much.

I'm a pretty conservative christian, and my first d&d game was with a group of people I met at my church! The youth leader was the gm!

apologies for smiting jesus... to be fair I have nothing against the dudes philosophy just the people who use it to wreck this world and make others suffer.... not all christians but a significant number.

image

That is all.

I was at school before anyone who wasn't a geek in my town had internet access, there were no Chick tracts or fundamentalists on TV telling us that we'd burn in hell for playing D&D, and nobody at school cared about anyone else's hobbies. (Unless, of course, they supported the wrong football team.) I never found out either that there was supposed to be something wrong with playing RPGs, or that playing RPGs should somehow become a major part of your identity, until long after I left school. To this day I don't honestly understand either position. It's always just been something to do. A form of escapism, no different from reading, watching TV or for that matter video games.

I like that Greg referenced the "culture". I think it's worth noting that RP has a wink-nudge/secret-club appeal to certain people. Those people might not be nearly as enthusiastic about their hobby if roleplaying had mainstream acceptance.

It's a catch 22 really. We'd love to have more people come play with us, but certainly not at the expense of losing creative thinkers that identify with, and enjoy being on the fringe.

Nimbus:
Some way to play these games without actually meeting in person would be a good start. Some sort of webcam-group would be nice.

As you said, a new player can't really be asked to DM a game. So if there are no nearby players, then you can't start playing, and if you don't start, you can't be a DM eventually, therefore there will be no groups, so people can't start... Self repeating cycle!

The location barrier has kept me out of the game so far. I tried some play by post, but it took ~6 months for one battle to play out. Some sort of webcam type setup for people with no nearby groups would help with that.

Check out http://www.rptools.net/ It has a few programs that allow for internet hosted tabletop gaming. I havn't quite figured them out but they seem like a good idea. They would ceartainly cut down on a 6mo battle time.

I should really take the time to learn these tools. They would make for a great escapist PnP gaming option.

My experience with tabletop gaming has been tainted by the two head tabletop gamers in my area, Jim and Jason. They seem to be the only people who host games that meet according to my schedule. (what a surprise, they host some RPG or another almost every single day) The problem is, they're total douchebags. They try to alienate anyone coming to see what D&D and other pen and paper RPG's. It's turned me off to the whole genre so much that I don't even want to try again with a different group, much less learn to DM myself. It's people like that that give D&D a bad name.
*edit* I don't think D&D is a satanic indoctrination, or even a stupid concept, and i certainly don't look down on people I meet elsewhere that play it.

These are great articles, OP, the story web was very helpful actually. However, this one isn't making my game better, and I don't care how or what people think about D&D or any other table tops. If they don't like my cup of tea, they can have their own dumpster swill.

More tips, less soapbox pls.

I'd say it's mostly a lack of DMs. Also the barrier for entry if anything would be the learning of the game, a lot of people may watch someone play D&D and think it's cool but not have the patience for it.

i have a comment related to this article.
i am a metalhead through and through. i hang out with metalheads and i hope to be successful in a band. i am smart but i do poorly in school.
problem is, i'm also a nerd. i think roleplaying sounds like the most fun thing ever, but i'm afraid that if i did it i would be ostracized from my circle. i really need to be in a band.
i guess i'm just saying that i wish it was more acceptable to be a role player. :(

I've read 3 pages of rationalizing, and people dancing around the issue, when the answer is plain as day.

It's not because D&D was maligned in the eighties that the hobby has such a bad reputation. The only reason is that a vast majority of the people who play the games are nerds, period. There's no smoke without fire, and stereotypes are always true, else they wouldn't have become part of common worldly wisdom in the first place. Of course people protest when they're in the receiving end, but it doesn't change the facts.

Guys who were hardcore fans of intellectual and introverted hobbies demanding huge time investments, like chess, were universally deemed as losers well before any D&D smear campaign.

That's the only reason why. Introverted guys are deemed as losers by society, because a man's worth is entirely determined by his ranking in the social totem pole. An intellectual man who doesn't also have status and power to go with it is deemed a loser too. We still function on the DNA of our prehistoric ancestors, an era in which for men dominance, physical strenght and manliness were all that mattered. They were the ones who sired children and got to pass their genes, while their subordinates were weeded out of the gene pool.

The qualities deemed attractive are those that will allow guys to pass off their genes according to the standards of our prehistoric ancestors. It's plain to see that if you're an hardcore RPG fan, you have far less chance of having dozens of friends, of having a high status job, of being handsome and muscular, of being married, of possessing anything that our brains are hardwired to make us admire.

It's especially bad for RPGs because the introverted guy stigma is combined with that of escapism. If you fantasize about escaping reality, it's mostly because society and life have dealt you a bad hand. And it's even worse for heroic fantasy games because in fantasy men are blessed with powers and become heroes revered by the world's inhabitants. Fantasy games are based on European folklore, on the epic heroes of legend part of the fundational myths. They were the embodiment of the ideals that the men were then to strive for.

If someone has a fetichism over that it's likely because he fantasizes about being everything he isn't in real life, and of living in a world where he is not only welcomed, but where everyone needs him, admires him, and where he has the possibility to accomplish numerous exploits.

Many of you in this thread confess to instantly perceiving RPG players as losers the instant you witness any telltale sign of being a fan of the hobby. I admit that it's also the first reaction I ever have: "That guy must be a social outcast."

All of this is simply peer pressure and evolution at work, so there isn't anything wrong with spending a lot of time playing PnP games so long as you don't neglect the other aspects of your life. But for these reasons, as long as role-playing games exist, they will come with the stigma of loserdom, period. World of Warcraft is eclipsing everything else, including D&D, as to what most people instantly think of when they think of RPGs, and the stigma is still as strong as ever. Mention to anyone that you like WoW a lot, and instantly they'll think of you as a loser.

It's also true that there is a complex with hedonistic activities in our society. We are supposed to work hard and take care of our family above all, less we are perceived as irresponsible. Someone who has an inordinate amount of time to spend on hobbies has way more chances of being a social outcast because if he has so much time to spend on entertainment it's because he has a void to fill.

It's hard as hell to orchestrate PnP games because when you grow up no one has the time to dedicate a whole evening every week to a hobby.

I'm sorry this isn't meant as an attack, and I don't try to be hypocritical (I would say I am a loser myself), but to me it seemed like the elephant in the room.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here