Judging A Game by Those Who Play It

Division and Drama.  I’m sick of it. Yes, it would be nice if folks would at least be able to politely disagree.

Has this ever happened to you?  You buy a new game and play it and like it. Then you go online and try talk about it.  You might go to a group or community specific to that game or even mention it amongst the general chatter.  And oh my god.  You just kicked a puppy or feel like you rolled around on a fire ant mound.

There’s some communities where you’re judged by how long you’ve been a member, how much you post, and how money you shell out to game’s designers.  You make think that’s silly but that was my experience on the old Paizo Forums when Pathfinder 1.0 was still in beta.  After those initial interactions, I walked away from the forum.  No point in sharing there.

Then there’s those communities, where they spend more time talking about other things rather than the actual game.  They tend to complain about “those people”. Generally it’s anybody that they disagree with on some non-gaming issue. Of course, it gets even more craptacular when the actual game designers/publishers are moderating, posting, and even encouraging it.   Often you’ll see the “we don’t money from those kind of people”. You’ve probably seen that more than once.

But what about when you mention a game in passing like in a normal post some where and you didn’t take the time to do a complete background check on the authors, artists, publisher, or whatever.  OMG, how can you like THAT GAME!  One of the artists did something six years ago that was BAD. But maybe it wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t bad then. It was rumor. It was proven false but is still “true” according to some one out there on the Internet.

If you’ve been around online gaming communities for any significant length of time, you’ve seen one or more of these little dramas play out. Sometimes even the flame wars started by these have literally lasted decades. Yes, the internet has been around that long.

So let me get back to my main point.  Judging a game by its community. You’ve bought a game and played a game and enjoyed then you went looking for the online communities.  Or maybe, you’re interested in a game and you hunt down an online group.  And you’re first  thought is “What the hell is wrong with these people?” You might post some slightly different view on something and out come the pitchforks and torches. It sours the whole experience.  Yeah, I know.  You’ve got your home game and they can’t change that. It still sours that home game experience.  It’s like when eat some bad sushi and get sick then months or even years later you have sushi again.  It’s perfectly good but it still turns your stomach because of that past experience.

I know a lot of these start of as political or moral arguments.  I have a pretty simple philosophy on that.  There’s obviously right and obviously wrong and a big assed gray area in between and in that gray area different people have different lines in the sand.  Any more, there’s very little “agree to disagree” and move on.

I don’t have any solutions for this.  I can’t tell anybody not to do X or Y. I really don’t think anybody is capable of doing anything to that would have any significant effect. It’s just one drama at a time and try to move on and hope there’s something left when the smoke clears.

And a couple of final thoughts.  No matter how many people agree with an opinion that still doesn’t make it a fact.  And who’s see this: If you are friends with/like X then you can’t be my “friend”.

Ugh.  Enough of this for now.  Need to get back and have some fun!

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