Ah, this little hobby of ours. Add us all together and I daresay you’ll barely fill a handful of football stadiums, yet there’s still room enough for all of us. The young and old, the venerable old school gamers and the new kids keen to break past the limitations of console gaming. There’s room for immersive narritavists, hack’n’slashers, superheroes, wizards, rogues and more. Role-playing is a hobby that can cross differences in age, culture, race, religion and creed. All good hobbies can. They are the pointless things in life that mean so little, and precisely because of that, can mean so much.
What there isn’t room for though is pointless tirades against this, that or the other edition of the game. It’s time they ended, for good, and for the good of the game.
Google makes us all Ambassadors of the Game whether you like it or not. Any google search from a curious potential new gamer (or a lapsed one keen to find new gamer buddies in their area) could well hit your site, and that means that your words carry weight. If those words ain’t positive, or are badmouthing any facet of this industry, you’re putting us all in a bad light – and yourself especially.
If you don’t like something, balance it with something that you do, or don’t talk about it at all. Rants serve no healthy purpose other than to polarize the trolls. And the last thing we need is magnetic trolls. Take it from me. Those buggers are a real pain to separate.
Don’t get me wrong. Positive criticism is a Good Thing, and game designers need to hear it in order to improve their art. It’s necessary to help the hobby evolve, and not that difficult to do – if you truly want the game to evolve, that is. If you don’t, that’s cool too. Boast about what’s great about the game you love!
Negative criticism is a whole different thing though. You’re more likely to get a “screw you” than anything. If you’ve got nothing positive to say, for the sake of the game and your own credibility, don’t say it.
Before you write, think about what you’d like to read if you knew nothing about the game. Would you rather hear about the daring deeds of knights battling orcs in the wilderness, or about why this particular set of rules (which you don’t play anyway!) sucks worse than a barrel of lemons? If you don’t like it, move on. Suck it up. The rules that is, not the lemons.
The point is that this is a terrific, wonderful hobby that encourages team play, imagination, literacy, history, maths and countless life skills that are hard to learn anywhere else. AND you get to kill orcs too. What’s not to love?
So c’mon, people! Big it up!
Be a good game ambassador. For the sake of all of us. Whatever rules we choose to play by.