At least, that’s how I’m starting to feel. I don’t want to feel that way. It’s just that the more I begin to look at various gaming forums again, the more I start to feel a disconnect from the attitudes and philosophies of many gamers. It reminds me of reading Facebook and one of my friends or family posts something intolerant and ignorant. I start to feel like “the other” among people who, by all rights, I should feel open and comfortable around. It’s statements like “story games aren’t roleplaying games”, or “I just want to play a character and not see anything metagame, so that game’s not an rpg”, or any One True Scotsman-type statement, It’s feeling like I can’t enter certain discussions and offer input without someone crapping all over any ideas that involve player authorial control. It’s notions that anything that is beyond the character’s abilities is “metagaming and not roleplaying.” It’s narrative mechanics always being lumped into “You can just make it up and automatically win”. It’s blatant, outright dismissals of entire segments of games based on a label, and a completely fabricated one at that.
If it makes me uncomfortable to see intolerance like that in my friends and family, when I see it in the gaming community it makes me sad. Even if the bile and vitriol launched by some segments of the gaming community against anything that deviates from a “traditional” roleplaying game is from a very small, vocal, abrasive minority – it still serves to drive wedges between people who, ostensibly, all want the same thing. To play some games, without someone trying to judge whether or not it meets some mythical standard of “roleplaying”.
Disagreements are fine, and debate is essential in helping us refine things that we enjoy or don’t enjoy about gaming – and even discover new (or even old) points of view. But for fuck’s sake, some people just need to stop trying to exclude people because they don’t roll their dice a certain way. Who knows, maybe you might learn something from the “swine”.