Thursday, November 19, 2009

Making Gamers, part 2

I actually wanted to do this blog last week, but I felt that I was putting up too many gaming posts and losing my Oz "cred". I keep shooting for a balance, but that balance swings from one side to the other before it eventually (I hope) settles down.

I think one of the biggest obstacles to bringing more gamers into the hobby is, well, the gamers themselves.

Reason #1) The Geek Social Fallacies. Everyone wants friends that accept you for who you are. But there is such a thing as taking it too far. The unwashed nerd is a pervasive stereotype and a tough one to beat. The good news is that I have only met 1, maybe 2, in my 10 years as a gamer. All of the other gamers I've known have been fairly normal people.

Reason #2) Gamers think they need gamers. It's a fairly common complaint on RPG forums and internet boards: "I can't find any gamers!" People seem to think that only people who play RPGs are going to be interested in playing RPGs. I'll admit that I fall into this to at least some degree. My last two gaming groups have consisted of people that I knew from previous gaming experience.

But remember that every gamer started out gaming sometime. Whether that was red box D&D at the age of 10 or finding the gaming club at your local university, before that point, you were just an ordinary non-gamer. Someone had to introduce you to the idea, plant the seed in your brain and run your first game.

I'd like to propose that any gamers out there reading this invite one of their non-gamer friends to their next game. And if you're a gamer who can't find enough gamers for a group, try gathering some friends and see what happens. And for those Oz fans out there, next time you have a meetup, rather than busting out Trivial Pursuit Wizard of Oz edition, try Adventures in Oz. The beta files are still available on my website until the official game is released, so you don't have to wait forever.

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