Friday, June 17, 2005

Dumbass Behavior

"No offense Sir. But I will fuck you up."
-Roxy, "Dead Like Me"

You're going to have to pardon me. I'm going into full-on Fire-and-Brimstone mode. There are certain forms of behavior that I have decided are not appropriate and should not be encouraged in the gamer public at large.

"Who am I to judge?" Some of you may be asking yourself...Well. I'm the Reverend. I've got the line to the Big Man and I can see to it that you end up in GAMER HELL. So don't fuck me around buddy.

The Chairs are too low. The table uneven, The soda is flat. Your fellow gamers are stinky. The lighting is poor, The dice are under the couch,and the only game you have to play is Realms of Yolmi. It ain't no picnic. You still wanna talk some trash now?

Yeah, I thought not.

There are certain topics related to gamer behavior that need to be addressed and that is what I am here for. And I'm not talking about boring the shit out of some poor slob about your character...I'm talking serious egregious offenses here.

Contempt for other gamers
Lest you think that I'm going to go off on a tirade by taking the moral high ground I'm going to start with the sin that I'm most guilty of. I am guilty of giving short shift to those gamers who don't meet up with my aesthetic standards of game excellence or who I notice lack personal skills or who have poor hygiene.

True Story: A friend and I stopped by a place on the UK campus where we were told that other gamers meet. We ran into one lone guy who subsequently began following across campus telling us all about his Battletech campaign...a game neither of us even play. We told him this. He didn't even stop speaking.

Everybody has met loonies and weirdoes in this particular hobby. Gaming is an attractive roosting place for people who have more than enough trouble in the Real World.

But that's the problem see. Don't gamers have enough problem with contempt from the mundanes without having to deal with it from their brothers and sisters? I keep thinking that maybe those Vampire Murder gimps in western Ky. might have gone another route if other gamers had been a bit more tolerant and had turned them away from the dark side. I don't know if that's so,but it seems right. If you simply don't like dealing with certain other gamers you don't have to, but at least keep a lid on your contempt.

Newbie screwing
I've spoken about this before. You invite somebody to come and take part in a game, and you try to get them involved, and you try help them have a good time. Then one of your players does something incredibly fucking childish like steal from or kill the new character and then hides behind the justification of "Well...My character would do that." I've seen this more than once.

Make no mistake. If any player pulled a stunt like that in one my games. That player would be gone. End of story. Maybe even end of friendship. If I see anybody pull this while I'm nearby, I may have to restrained. You have been warned.

Freaking the Normals without cause
This is simply never a good idea. Don't we have enough problems without unneeded public relations fiascoes? Granted there are times when the civilian types need to be weirded out. But I can say that culture jamming works best when it comes out of nowhere. Most gamers are fairly moderate people in their everyday lives and they are unfortunately saddled with a burdensome and unfairly gained mantel of freakishness because of the actions of their more discordian brethren.

How to avoid a flame war
Here's a tip; Whenever you are insulted online or somebody nitpicks the hell out of something you've written, or somebody does something that seriously offends you...Wait 1 day before acting. Do not compose a hate-filled wall of vitriol that is designed to send your target into a lathering wall punching fit. Wait 1 day. The next day you might feel like responding would be childish, or pointless, or both.

And that's because for the most part it is. Filters and killfiles have made ignoring people the simplest sort of affair. Even if you feel you must respond,you can at least approach that response bloodlessly and without unnecessary anger.

Heck. There have been times when I've waited to respond to negative mail and a number of people have jumped to my defense.

When not to play
Lastly, I want to say a few words about not playing. There are in my opinion at least 2 situations where Gaming is an extraordinarily bad idea. In the old days (You know...Back when dinosaurs ruled the earth.) I used to game as much as possible. I wouldn't think anything of staying up 20 hours just to play. Time and bodily abuse has taught me that sleep deprivation is more damaging to good gaming than a lot of other things. Sleep deprivation can cause bad decisions and a tendency to be more snappish. Get a little rest. You'll thank me later.

The other situation is far more serious. If you have 1 or more gamers who are emotionally overwrought DO NOT PLAY. Gaming is a fundamentally social activity and it deals heavily with emotional issues. Add into the mix a couple who are having an argument or a player who is mourning the loss of a loved one and you've got real problems. Add the inevitable bleed over into the game and you can see where that's going to go...Add the tendency of other players to use peer pressure to try to get affected players to cool it and soon everybody gets pissed off. Friendships end over shit like this.

Some might get the idea that NOT playing would be infinitely worse than playing. This idea is flat wrong. Emotional factors do play a role and your hard earned game is at risk....Not to mention your interpersonal relationships. Cancel the game and sit down and talk. Be a friend instead of a gamer, because believe me, it counts.

Sono Finito.


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