Friday, March 5, 2010

Let's celebrate GM day with ideas, not ire

Yes, GM Day was yesterday I know, but hear me out. Recent developments in the last week have tainted the blogosphere with ire over the OSR's apparent attitude toward gaming. And I'm not going to rant (or link) back. That's well covered territory. There seem to be two sides to this, but I think there's a third that the "silent majority" would prefer to have heard: game and let game.

That's it. No eureka moment here, just go and play what you want whether it's in a big sandy box, on railroad ties, or using whatever other gaming metaphor puts fuzz on your navel. No one's forcing anyone to play a certain way or subscribe to their beliefs about Gygaxian naturalism for pete's sake.

From the Moldvay edition (1981), page B60:

I first got it in my brain that I wanted to try my hand at RPGs again, I wanted to re-learn the rules. I found blogs such as Grognardia and learned about a whole history to a hobby that I'd only barely waded into. By understanding where those ideas came from I caught on to an even greater realization: there's a whole community of people with great ideas of their own out there. So now, I spend my time focusing on one thought "how can I make this more fun." Setting, rules, what-have-you, are all meaningless if I can't make it enjoyable. So I beg, borrow, and beget what's exciting to me and let go of the rest.

Great ideas are made great by passionate players and GMs. They can emerge from anywhere and should be used with enthusiasm. And in the last two years the more vocal gamers (bloggers, etc.) have focused their energies in this direction. Blogs like Planet Algol, Eiglophian Press, A Paladin in Citadel and countless others that I read regularly are great examples of this. It's all relative to the people involved and how much of themselves they put into the game. Diversity of ideas is what feeds gamers' passion for the hobby. It's all good.

Sometimes our passion gets the best of us, but it's important to remember that this is a freakin' great hobby that takes a lot of brain power and energy to invent worlds and then invite our friends over to come and play in. I'm all for lively discussion, but why waste that energy on infighting? Unleash it on psionic, brain-eating illithids, I say!

Most people don't get to enjoy something as creative or gratifying as this hobby--and I'd venture to guess that they don't even understand it, or we wouldn't need public awareness campaigns. So for the rest of us who'd rather "imagine the hell out of it" over beers (root, lager, or ale) let's try and remember what brought us to the hobby in the first place--fill in your own blank, and roll with it.


Daddy Grognard said...

I second that!

Dungeonmum said...

Well said. It's a shame that yesterday was blighted by people trying to politicise the OSR and polarise the RPG community. It's a 'renaissance' not a revolution. FUN is the priority!

A Paladin In Citadel said...

Hear, here.

I say everyone should simply ignore those negative people and keep playing great games of old-school D&D.