The logs of another dice chucker
Gaming, ranting, bitching, and moaning

The Fear Of Not Playing

I’ve noticed something over the years in this hobby, and I’m starting to notice it more and more as I get more involved on a personal level(between work, this blog and writing three freaking game systems); people are terrified of not getting to play games. So much so to the point where they will actually subjugate themselves to playing games they don’t enjoy, or playing with people whom they can’t stand, simply so they can play something, and this just outright astounds me.

I come across threads on various websites all the time where people discuss their RPG group and why they suck, and it usually comes down to either a terrible GM or, if the person recalling the story is the GM, awful players. We’re talking bottom of the barrel awful; power-gamers, “that guy,” people who just don’t care enough, and so on. So why do these people stick with these groups? Simple; they don’t have anyone else to play with. I’ve seen GMs try to introduce their group to new, exciting, games only to get stuck playing Pathfinder yet again because their players are closed minded goons who just want to be Gimli clones because thinking hurts, but the GM can’t go anywhere to feed their hunger for better games(spoiler; I think Pathfinder sucks) because there’s just nobody else around who plays RPGs. So out of a desire to play, and a fear of not getting to play, they stay with a group of un-creative dimwits who probably need a detailed diagram telling them how to tie their shoes every morning.

I’ve seen it with miniatures games, too. There was a gent not too long ago I was chatting with who expressed how he wasn’t a fan of Warmachine after having played for a good while. I asked why he still played then if he wasn’t enjoying the game(after all; that’s what made me stop for the better part of seven months) and his answer was simply “nobody here plays anything else.” I asked if he had tried getting people into other games and he said he had, but that people gave him the classic answer “I’ve already invested a lot into game A.” So he keeps playing a game he doesn’t enjoy, a game he’s actually come to loathe, simply because he wants to game and his only options are to keep playing Warmachine or piss right off. I’ve had the same thing happen with 40k; people will state that they, much like I, think the rules are a giant steaming pile of regurgitated 80’s garbage that will never get updated because the company that produces it is run by retarded chimps. Yet they keep playing because nobody in their area plays anything else.

And it’s sad, really; both that people can be so absurdly closed minded as to not want to try new things, and that there’s such a fear of not getting to play. The internet has mostly fixed that second problem, though. There’s enough programs out there to play just about anything you can think of. VASSAL has modules for tons of board and miniatures games, Megamek simulates the Battletech tabletop game perfectly(and thankfully does all the record keeping for you), and between IRC and Roll20 there’s more than enough places to get your RPG fix for free(because screw paying $40 for Fantasy Grounds basic).

But we desire to play, especially if we sink a lot of money into a certain game, and when it comes to either playing and being miserable or not playing we always seem to choose misery. Maybe gamers are just a bunch of masochist.


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