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Author Topic: Gay culture / Gamer culture [Social Context]  (Read 23802 times)
Valamir
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2002, 10:04:49 AM »

Quote
I consider this issue to relate directly to the "self-isolating behaviors" that I'm asking about in the original Social Context thread. It strikes me that a number of people have diverse social contexts, but in most cases, they practice some isolating behaviors relative to non-role-players. And as I described to Jake in this thread, I'm not talking about plain old "don't bug people who aren't interested about my hobby," but rather, distinctive and self-subordinating modes of action and speech.

Any thoughts on that connection?


Whats kind of thoughts are you looking for.

Whether or not this is indeed a widely practiced behavior?
Given it is widely practised, is it a health / unhealthy behavior?
Should we do something to attempt to change this behavior?
and if so, what?

I'd say, yes it is very widespread, in fact I'd say its the norm.

Is it healthy.  Well, I consider myself to be a fairly well adjusted person psychologically and socially and I've been aggressively self closeted for as long as I can remember.  Like Matt I've never seen the need or value in grabbing a pink triangle and marching down the street proclaiming my open gamerness.  So I don't see anything inherently unhealthy about it.

Could it be unhealthy?  If its done out of some horrible sense of self-esteem or other maladjusted social issues.

Should we do something to attempt to change it?  For those healthy souls practicing self closeting voluntarily, I'd say its none of our business.  For those suffering some sort of psychological problem, I'd say we're hardly qualified to help.

With regards to your item A)  I see it as a cost to benefit thing.  It doesn't matter if 999 people out of 1000 couldn't care less, if that 1 person who does feel strongly negatively is in a position to cause grief, the potential cost is high.

And what is the benefit really?  Cure the the world of ignorance so we can come out of the closet without fear...not a big deal to me.  I find the closet perfectly comfortable and feel no impending need or desire to break out if it.  Raise the level of awareness of the hobby to attract more prospective gamers?  Maybe, but I've never really been sold on the idea that there IS a large resevoir of potential gamers out there who're just waiting for the opportunity to game.  I've expressed my opinion elsewhere that I think the vast majority of the general populace simply lacks the temperment to roleplay.  Whether one agrees with that or not, it does mean that, for me, I see no great influx of new gamers should we become more "out".  And besides, I'm not really convinced I WANT to see my hobby become more mainstream...after all NStink, Britney, and the BackDoor Boys are all mainstream...and they suck.  I really don't think I'd like what the hobby would have become if Hasbro had actually seen it as a profit source.  

As a general "war against ignorance" topic.  Yeah, ok, I guess it would be nice to have the ultra stupid "gamers are satanists" "Everquest killed my son" "RPGs promote violence in schools" morons drowned out by the general public say "yeah right we know better"...but who really wants to make a target of themselves to "fight the good fight".  

So I guess for me the real issue is simply...what is there that's so great about being outside the closet that would make me want to go there.  I can't think of any compelling reasons myself.
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Matt Snyder
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2002, 11:14:43 AM »

Ralph, man I'm right there with you. This is precisely what I was getting at earlier, and I made precisely the same indication that "I'm perfectly comfortable, thank you. Who dares suggest otherwise?"

However, after talking with Ron, and reading about it, I know he's not clamoring for some kind of social activism. Rather, I think what Ron's saying is that we as gamers and game designers have some pretty silly ideas about how our hobby is done. If we assess these ideas, and then use what we've learned to change the way our games are designed and played, then we start, ever so slowly, to change the way gamers interact with each other, and hopefully with the "world."

So, it doesn't require any real "Marching with pink polyhedrons." All it requires (at least) is for us to keep doing what we do best on the Forge: Discuss and design games in the ways we've already agreed are better -- like Dust Devils challenging the supervisory role of the one person, like Universalis' game play, etc., etc.

In other words, you and I aren't motivated to change the mainstream. But you and I are motivated to "normalizing" our game designs, or at least challenging some really absurd gaming assumptions. That's enough, I think.

Am I making sense? Ron, am I on target here?
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Matt Snyder
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2002, 11:31:39 AM »

Hi Ralph and Matt,

I guess the key issue for me is personal happiness. Which, frankly, is a variable I hate, like "consciousness" or "realism" or any number of other empty terms.

Where you guys are tripping up, slightly, is looking for whatever mandate I might be driving at ... and there isn't any such mandate, in terms of personal behavior. How all five threads work out is going to be a really big deal for the Forge as a site, but not a big deal for what anyone is "supposed" to do.

It's kind of like the game design issue. Does the Forge, as a community, say that everyone should design RPGs? No. But if you want to, here are X and Y and Z and Z', which are issues that we do, as a community (a diverse one actually) think you should examine. I'm extending that exact logic to role-playing as a social phenomenon, and I'd be interested in generating a body of ideas and issues that are as strong as we have (again, representing a diversity of views, not just one) for design.

But now I'm getting way ahead of myself.

Best,
Ron
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jrs
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« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2002, 12:06:12 PM »

<Okay, this is the 2nd attempt to post this.>

I agree that the parallels between gay culture and gaming culture as described by Ron are fairly obvious.  I also agree that it should be recognized that the analogy can only be simplistic in nature being that we are comparing a lifestyle to a hobby.  However, I think that anyone who has some experience with gay culture can recognize that some of the social and isolation behaviors exhibited by gays and lesbians are similar to those practiced by gamers.   In particular, I'm thinking of the creation of social family that acts as a surrogate to biological family in order to generate a supportive environment.  As well as the decisions that are made as to whom one reveals this information and to what extent.

I want to comment on greyorm's first post early on in this topic regarding the social box model originally raised and discussed at the Social Context thread.  I suggest that the stereotypical gamer reverses the boxes or is stuck in the role-playing box because that is the person's sole source of enjoyment.  I suspect that this person does not care or is little affected by others' knowledge of his or hers role-playing activity.  In the case of the non-outed gay or lesbian, he or she will deliberately engage in social activities outside the culture in order to be liked or accepted as normal (dare I say mainstream?).  I also perceive an important element missing from the social box model as proposed by Ron.  It does not address enjoyment of an activity which seems to be one of the themes of much that Ron has written or said about gaming (case in point, the GNS essay).  Engaging in activites in order to be liked does not necessarily coincide with enjoyment.  Ideally the two should largely overlap; when they do not, those isolation behaviors kick in, and I would say that this is the case for any closeted activity.  

Julie
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Valamir
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« Reply #19 on: November 20, 2002, 12:15:55 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Where you guys are tripping up, slightly, is looking for whatever mandate I might be driving at ... and there isn't any such mandate, in terms of personal behavior. How all five threads work out is going to be a really big deal for the Forge as a site, but not a big deal for what anyone is "supposed" to do.


Not sure I follow you Ron.  I don't see me tripping on anything because I never read you saying anything indicating a mandate.

Rather you asked for thoughts...you didn't specifiy what topics you wanted the thoughts to cover, so I threw out some potential topics and answered those.  Your item A was suggesting that gamers may be overestimating how widespread the negative attitude of the general populace is towards gamers.  My cost-benefit analogy was my indication that IMO how widespread it is is not the only factor in evaluating the "danger".

Not sure where you see me mis cueing.  If you want to provide some specific lines of questioning I'll happily attempt to address them.
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greyorm
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« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2002, 12:41:47 PM »

Quote
However - I'll tie this back in with Ron's point - this does not only come from the role-player. Role-playing is considered a lifestyle by the "mundanes," in many cases.

You're spot-on with that, Clinton.  And therein is the whole conundrum...the community really faces an identity-crisis, brought on by themselves and society itself: themselves, for perpetrating the stereotype indulged in by society, society for forcing the stereotype of a lifestyle on those who don't want it. "When I smoke, I drink, when I drink, I smoke...it's a vicious circle!"

And I say I think Ron's going to spit out -- with an evil grin on his face -- the change from subculture to social activity in the eyes of the mainstream is going to come about via "Actual Play in Stores" and gamers themselves responding to queries about it like they'd respond to queries about any "normal" hobby activity...ie: "So, what's the deal with model railroads?" or "Hey, want to come to Poker Night?" or "Well, I'm bored...what should we do tonight?"

Hence, I think, Clinton's questions about "How would your family respond to..?" because thinking about it, that's a pretty good indicator of how folks will respond to such statements. This means, if you respond with some modicum of dignity and thus silent dismissal of any issues with the hobby, someone even slightly misinformed is going to stop and question themself and their judgements (because human-type people behave this way).

ie: "Huh?  Joe just responded to that question about D&D like there's nothing wrong with it...maybe there ISN'T anything wrong with it."
They may not think this precisely, but you can bet their subconscious is churning away at precisely that, and the seed is planted.

What this identity crisis comes down to is that one can't expect the mainstream to change its opinion until the ones being judged stop acting as though they shouldn't: practicing isolation because of gaming ("being gay"), not because of social context of the activity (ie: Poker Night).

Not until the regular Joe, who happens to game (like he happens to bowl), isn't afraid to say to one of his buddies, "Hey, want to come over on Saturday night with Fred and Joe to play D&D?"

(or some better worded phrase than that)

Honestly, how do you respond to that situation right now?  Be honest with yourself. Do you freeze up, get sweaty or nervous, have an aversion to doing so?

I know I do...I get a funny feeling in my stomach just thinking about saying that to a co-worker (maybe that's backlash from recent events, though). Or is such comparable to saying, "Hey, want to come over on Saturday night with Fred and Joe to play poker?"

Which I'm betting everyone here isn't batting an eye about.

And as Clinton notes, this ties in with Ron's ideas:
Quote
I'm not talking about plain old "don't bug people who aren't interested about my hobby," but rather, distinctive and self-subordinating modes of action and speech.

Any thoughts on that connection?

It seems to me even folks who treat it like "Poker Night" (like Matt's group) still somewhat fear the "being gay" stigma and to a degree practice the isolating behavior out of a sense of fear of reprisal or judgement.

I think maybe folks are curious or nervous about handling this dual-identity when the subject is broached?  Any thoughts?

Quote from: Ron Edwards
The issue of internalized homophobia. Taking it to role-playing (and looking for no more direct correspondence than what I'm about to describe), role-players, in my view, expect more censure, significant snap judgment, and disapproval than I think really exists among the non-role-players.

This is not to say that crises don't exist - they do. Raven's recent experience matters. But I also think these instances are readily identifiable, and with the proper approach, can be addressed effectively (in the future).

Yep, but take a close look at some of the events of my saga...I was knocked off balance by the replies of the majority: my coworkers and the folks who sign my check expressed, "I didn't know D&D was such a big deal."  It was the vocal minority who were howling for blood, while everyone else was squinting and saying, "What the heck is up with THAT?" recognizing the whole thing as unquestionably bizarre and on the level of accusations and "threats" to the tune of "Pokemon cards have real demons in them!"

This supports what you say about the perception of ostracization and the actual reality.

(Hrm...well, I don't know if any of that was in any way useful, or if it was just me babbling and rephrasing already mentioned points. Gah, I hate it when that happens.)
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2002, 01:14:08 PM »

Hi there,

Ralph, you're right, there's no real reason for me to have perceived you as misunderstanding anything. I guess my only answer to your "Where's the payoff" is twofold: (a) I'm not stating that anyone has to do anything, and (b) several possible payoffs for several possible and different courses of action are emerging through discussion. Not much of an answer, at this point, I know.

Raven, I think your points are making a lot of sense. It might surprise people how much of the time, when they say, "Ron's probably anticipated this ..." that I haven't. So far, in the Four-So-Far of the Infamous Five, I've been about 50-50 in that regard.

I'm not sure about the game store thing. It may be that the majority of the stores are a lost cause. It may be that the "bite-size" approach is brilliantly successful. It may be that Chris Pramas' points about the basic economics (which dovetail with my usual observations about the three-tier) override the whole issue.

However, in regarding the comportment of the person who role-plays toward others who don't, when the hobby is mentioned or whatever, you are dead on. That's an agenda. This has been an explicit issue in my own lifestyle since the mid-80s, and I even have a fairly harsh essay in one of the Sorcerer supplements about it. In fact, receiving semi-traumatized emails about that essay is one of the reasons I resolved to turn my attention toward this issue-set on the Forge at all.

Best,
Ron
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Anthony
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« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2002, 05:42:07 PM »

Ok, I know this topic has drifted a bit but there really are a few things I feel the need to say about this.  But first a little bit of a disclaimer.  I happen to "sleep with men." (As a side note I always love that phrase.  It sounds just so... clinical.  Then again you get the question in medical situations so hey.)  I also live in the SF Bay Area, which as I'm sure you all know is considered a gay mecca, not to mention a pretty decent area to be a geek in as well.

Ok, here comes the biggie.  I find this topic makes me slightly offended. No I don't mean that as a knee jerk reaction, nor do I mean that as an attack on anyone.  But ya know, trying to equate the life of a semi  closeted gamer and a semi closeted gay man is just silly.  While yes, there is some stigma attached to being a gamer, it doesn't come close to what gays have to go through.  Can you imagine spending years agonizing over wondering if you should tell your best friends, or your parents, that you game?  Worrying that if you do they will trow you out, never talk to you again, maybe even try to beat you up?  Do you personally know anyone who was beaten to the point of hospitalization because he was seen leaving a game store?  After 9/11 did you hear evangelists that a scary percentage of the country agrees with saying on a national radio program that the world trade center attacks ar the fault of gamers?  Are there any states where you can plead temporary insanity for killing a gamer because he suggest you go any play some D&D together?  Do people get kicked out of the military for saying they like to play role playing games?  And I could go on and on, but I've probably already bored most of you.

And not only is the stigma on a totally different level, I don't think you can even equate sexuality with what is just a hobby.  Ok, maybe a really important hobby (even a career) for some of you, but still.  As much as it annoys me that so many gay men out there (and gay women actually) pretty much only identify with their gayness, a person's sexuality is a large part of them.  I think of never having a sex drive again (or worse never being able to act on your sex drive, and maybe even feeling ashamed about it), versus never being able to role play again.  I sure know which one I'd choose.  Let's not even get into the whole being gay is not a choice part of things.  I'm sure you've all heard that beat to death already.  Even if someone made the case that for some gamers out there sublimate their sex drive into gaming (argument I'd probably agree with), well we were talking about healthy, more mainstream versions of our hobby weren't we?  And I would bet most of those that have turned to gaming in order to make up for an unused libido would be willing to reverse the process if given a chance.

I mean, have any of you known someone who came out of the closet?  Have you seen how much happier they end up becoming?  (That is if you manage to not kill them when trying to deal with the 6 months of pure hell they put you through when they go through the seemingly mandatory REALLY ANNOYING FAG phase of coming out?)  I can't imagine someone going through that kind of change after admitting that, yah, they like to play role playing games.

The truth is I don't even feel there is that much of a stigma about playing these days.  Yah, you might get a little teased, but it isn't that big of a deal.  I'm not in high school any more.  Things like that really don't matter that much.  And if they DO matter to someone I think they such an idiot that it just doesn't matter.  But to be frank, if I can admit to people that like to suck dick, and I can deal with their reactions to that, hell, who cares about role playing?

Oh and there is one point I really need to address.

Quote from: Ron Edwards

Everyone, one of my key points on this thread is to state that gay people were able to gain some recognition, and most importantly legal protection from bashing, when they were able to enlist support from straight people who had voices in the power structure. A fellow closeted gay person in the power structure is all well and good, but not, in the long run or during harsh times, very effective. No, the key was to be out to people who were (a) not "accusable" in terms you would be accused of, and (b) willing to go to the wall for you.


BULL FUCKING SHIT.  Gays got recognition, got protection, got some level of legitimacy by standing up for themselves and making that happen.  One of the important things people should learn about the last century is it doesn't take that large of a group to make a significant change towards acceptance.  Now as a post Stonewall baby I can't tell you how important that was, but I know lots of people consider it a milestone.  Ditto Harvey Milk and his martyrdom (ok I was alive then but I don't think I even knew what gay meant back then).  But I can say the big change I saw was the AIDS crisis.  Because of AIDS the gay population came out in droves.  They made themselves visible, they gave themselves another level of legitimacy and they gave a voice to gay men who previously had kept quiet.  It is a critical mass thing.  The fact that straight people joined the fight doesn't matter.  The real fight was what happened before that.

Oh, do you want my take on how gay men are similar to role players?   Both have scary fat men with bad taste in clothes who scare off the cute ones by being chasing after them and folling them around till the cute runs freak out and run away.

Anthony

P.S.  Sorry I reacted so strongly.  There are some interesting points in this thread, but I don't think the way to bring them up was by comparing gaming to being gay.
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2002, 07:14:02 PM »

Yay Anthony!

Frankly, this thread was giving me the willies; too out of touch.

Fang Langford
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Valamir
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« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2002, 08:00:07 PM »

I think you seriously missed the point...or else spotted it and roared right past.  At no time was anyone making the claim that the stigma attached to gaming is as severe as that attached to being gay (is or was).  Nor was there any intention to imply that the level of discrimination, danger, etc was equivelent.

But there IS a level of stigma attached to gaming.  There IS a level of discrimination attached to gaming, and there IS a level of danger attached to gaming.  Not nearly as severe, true, but undeniably present.

The parallel that was being drawn is that both groups have representatives who react to this in a similiar fashion...by remaining "in the closet".  

Sure the degree of trauma is quite different.  But the basic situation has alot in common.
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greyorm
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« Reply #25 on: November 20, 2002, 11:26:27 PM »

Let's take the opposite view, that Anthony is wrong about the stigma and Fang likewise is missing the point of discussion, that the thread isn't out-of-touch because it isn't discussing the issue the title might lead one to believe it is.

Let's say someone lost their job, was threatened with legal action, had their personal property smashed and vandalized, had their life viciously threatened and their children emotionally scarred in the process, all because they were a gamer. Let's say that happened.

Does it make a difference to what this thread is about?

Does "my group is more persecuted than your group" have anything to do with the purpose of looking at the psychology and behavior of "closeting" -- not itemic correspondence or matching between two items(!)?

The point of this thread is the "victim attitude" displayed by groups, rightly or wrongly, and acknowledgement of the reasons for it and how self-perceptions of being a "victim" affect you in a social context in regards to those outside that targeted circle.  That is, if you act like a victim, you'll be seen as one, which (I believe) is precisely where this thread is going in its discussion of gamer behavior.

Any discussion of being "more persecuted" than any other group -- whether that persecution be due religious choice or sexual orientation or hobby -- is seriously out-of-context and off-topic...in other words, utterly not the point.

No one, as Ron has already said, is claiming a one-to-one correspondence between a queer lifestyle and gaming. We're drawing analogies between the psychologies behind the behaviors, not creating a matching list that says, "Hey, we're just as persecuted as queers are!"

Let's assume Ron had chosen religion as the comparison instead. For example, comparing gaming to being a closeted pagan. Same thing, easily comparable to being a closted queer...but reacting to that comparison and bringing up all the same arguments about persecution and how such a group achieved recognition and defense would miss the point again.

I suggest: take a deep breath, a reread the whole of the thread and a couple days, and get into the idea, not merely the topic.

As to Ron's point about straights supporting gays and giving them power in society...here's the deal, let's take our nation's practice of racial slavery: do you think, for one moment, that the black man would have gotten any justice under the white regime, regardless of how loudly he protested and argued his freedoms...that is, without the white man standing up FOR him?
Hell no.

Had the white power structure decided to remain entrenched in old ideas, the black drive for freedom and equality wouldn't have done a damn thing, because they had no actual power themselves in that power structure, in that culture. What they did have, however, was allies...and that's what Ron's talking saying and I'm backing right up.

If you don't have allies where the power center is, you can come out in droves, protest and demand justice and equality all you want...the power center remains with the existing structure. If they don't give you the time of day, you aren't going to get it...ever...black, queer, pagan, whatever. You're simply screwed.

It's an unfortunate and unjust fact of politics and human nature, but there it is.

Hence, Ron's statement that gamers need the same...the support and respect and defense of non-gamers...that is, enlisting their power within the existing power structures of society in order to change perceptions and attitudes.

BUT this comes with the responsibility of standing up for yourself first, because no one in the power structure is going to do it for you. It starts with coming out, it starts with ceasing to behave like a victim, it starts with petitioning for equality and justice and getting the power structure on your side...precisely what the gay community did.

And this applies equally to gamers...if we, as a hobby, want to change perception, we have to act like we want to be treated. With dignity, respect and zero-tolerance for assinine misperceptions and accusations.

That's what this thread is about discussing and developing as an idea.

So, regardless that the events noted in the second paragraph of this post happened to me, as a gamer, because I was a gamer, they don't mean shit in the context of this thread.  Regardless that the whole "gamers aren't persecuted like that" burns my ass in the worst possible way for reasons we don't need to discuss here, despite that over a lifetime I have had more queer friends than straight ones and understand and sympathize from a partisan viewpoint with Anthony's reaction and feelings of the thread slighting the gay community, as well as from my own inside-perspective as a pagan and all that entails, despite all that...it doesn't mean a damn thing in the context of this thread.

So, let's get back to discussing the topic...

and I sincerely hope this won't moderate the thread.
I'm done discussing it, so should everyone else be -- Anthony, myself, Fang, everyone -- we've had our says and now we need to continue useful, positive examination of the original point of this thread and what that point means to gamers and can teach us as a group.

Whew.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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Anthony
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« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2002, 02:07:21 AM »

Ok I came on pretty strong in my last post and I want to clarify some things.  I'm not trying to play the victim game or anything. I'm just trying to say that trying to equate being gaming and being gay is just silly, silly to the point where it is counterproductive.  Both as a question of scale and how much gaming influences who you are.  Frankly, if gaming defines you as much as your sexuality does (and straight people are defined by they sexuality too, it just is a lot easier not to be aware of it), well I think maybe that's a problem.  And in fact I'm seeing other people suggest the same thing when they talk about gamers having screwy social priorities. Substituting a safe activity for a basic human desire IS a problem, and not one that is restricted to gaming.

The truth is I see a lot of people who are somewhat embarrassed about our hobby.  Yah, some are afraid of what others think of them.  And I'm suggesting, hey guys it isn't that big of a deal. People really don't care that much.  (Ok disclaimer, I don't associate with fundamentalist whackos and when they get on my case I just roll my eyes and keep moving.  Plus I don't think even they care that much anymore.)  No honest.  Even if someone teases you about it they are just giving you a hard time.  And if they actually really think less of you, whatever.  Get over it.  They aren't threatening you, they aren't going to ruin your life. There are plenty of people I don't get along with for a large number of reasons.  (wow, I sure used a lot of cliches in that last paragraph).

There is something else I see which is that some of us are pretty down on our fellow hobbyists.  I know when I'm confronted with some of the more amazing examples of pure gamer dysfunction my response is to roll my eyes and try to distance myself from them. But no matter how visible they are the really scary, no social skills, kinda smelly, wears the same clothes he bought in the 70s, lives in his parents basement, etc etc troll that causes so many of us to run in fear is not the typical gamer.  There are tons of people out there who gamed or have gamed in the past who are perfectly well adjusted.  Just keep doing your thing, be social in
other ways, mention your interests and you will be really surprised.

As a side note, within the past few years a lot of people I know have gotten into the German and German style boardgames.  Although no these aren't RPGs, to the outsider they come really close. Especially if you consider a game like Once Upon a Time a semi-RPG, which I do.  Gaming is acceptable.  No they might not take it as seriously as some of you do, but hey, every hobby has its extremes.

In short, get out there.  Do your thing.  Stop worrying about what other people think, and I think you will be surprised that a lot of your assumptions were wrong.

Now if you want to turn role playing into a mainstream activity? Hmm. Personally I'm not convinced it will ever happen.  It is a fringe hobby, there are tons of them out there.  Role playing actually gets more attention than most of them.

Anthony (Who is trying really hard to be a good boy and not get in an argument with greyworm about social change)
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Le Joueur
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« Reply #27 on: November 21, 2002, 06:35:28 AM »

I do get the point of the thread.  I think it is a good point, however, the choice of comparison was...indelicate.  Provided that some attempt had been made to just acknowledge this fact probably would been enough.  To do otherwise has this, I dunno, demeaning quality to it; like 'these people's problems don't really matter,' is what I was getting.

That gave everything in the thread (which, separate from this, is important and intriguing) an air of, I can't think of the word, superiority(?).  It was just a feeling; one of those creepy feelings you get when you know someone in the room is being highly, but indirectly, insulted and you just don't know what to do about it.

Now I'm not saying that every single post to this thread should carry a disclaimer, but couldn't someone generate an acknowledgement that we aren't trying to depreciate a segment of humanity who has a pretty tough time as it is?

Fang Langford
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #28 on: November 21, 2002, 06:53:32 AM »

Not to say that the RPG stigma compares to Gay stigma, and not to say that it's not easily surmounted, but have you considered that perhaps the stigma is less where you are than it is in the rest of the country? In fact, I know that this is the case. California is a very accpepting environment in general when compared to the rest of the country.

While I don't want to overstate the case, I think that you are understating the experience for many of us.

Mike
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Valamir
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« Reply #29 on: November 21, 2002, 07:20:35 AM »

Quote
People really don't care that much. (Ok disclaimer, I don't associate with fundamentalist whackos and when they get on my case I just roll my eyes and keep moving. Plus I don't think even they care that much anymore.) No honest. Even if someone teases you about it they are just giving you a hard time. And if they actually really think less of you, whatever. Get over it. They aren't threatening you, they aren't going to ruin your life. There are plenty of people I don't get along with for a large number of reasons. (wow, I sure used a lot of cliches in that last paragraph).


You need to back up and reread Ravens' post Anthony...cuz you're wrong.  Go read his hate thread in the site forum.  People DO care, they DO threaten and they CAN ruin your life, and it NOT easy to simply "roll your eyes and walk away".  To suggest that somehow its not meaningful because it isn't "the same" as being gay is rather disingenuous and completely missing the point...that being to see what can be learned from others experience in similar situations.

And Fang...I have no idea where your sense of demeaning anything comes from.  Are you suggesting that being compared to a gamer is insulting?  Personally your "delicate" and "deprecation" comments I find to be the worst form of PC baloney.  When you render a topic too "delicate" for discussion you remove the ability to critically analyse, question, or learn from it.   Sometimes issues just need to be held up to the harsh light of reality and shaken a bit to see what comes out...something that can't be done if everyones walking on egg shells worrying if someone might get offended.
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