Saturday, January 10, 2009

Do you hide the fact you play RPG's?

News article that gets under my skin. The condescending tone is irksome but what really pisses me off is people believing they have to hide their hobby from society at large. That's bullshit.

Recently, Jan/Dec, (sorry can't find post) one of the many rpg blogs I read posted on this subject. Many agreed that they would not admit they played RPGs in "polite" company. Many excuses were given, some valid. But ya know what? Unless you come out as a gamer the stereotype and societies ignorance and disdain for our hobby will endure.

Do you enjoy hiding an important part of who you are? Slinking around the internet with pseudonyms always fearful a coworker or friend might discover your "shameful" secret. Personally I couldn't stand it. I've never been "normal" and as a young teenager lost any ambition to fit in or interest in conforming to societies mores. So, my entire life I've always expressed who I am and felt if society doesn't like it then too fucking bad. It's not my responsibility to change or hide who I am. It's society that needs to adapt.

Others have taken different routes and now find themselves with impediments built up all around them. Worry that boss will judge their hobby. Fear friends will laugh at them for playing "child's games". Need to be polite to inlaws even though they're religious nutjobs who would scream Satanist at the mention of D&D. Etc.

I understand. You can't just put on your umber hulk costume and jump out of the closet one day. You aren't free like me to just say "fuck em". It's very hard and worrisome to make that first move. But I implore you to try. It will make the world a better place for everyone.



6 comments:

  1. I think I know the post to which you're referring, and I was one of the folks there who said they aren't open with most people in their day-to-day lives about the fact that they're gamers. But, to set the record straight, many of the comments (and the original post itself) weren't about keeping mum due to fear or concern. The reason many of us keep a lid on it is because we are just tired of the same old dance: so-and-so discovers you play games (and may or may not act disdainfully), and you are duty bound to respond by offering an explanation/defending your hobby. One grows weary of this dance, and I think we have as much right to choose to avoid it as you do to choose to engage in it. (And unless I see statistics indicating otherwise, I have a hard time believing that engaging in it will increase the quality of life on Earth. /wink) Thanks!

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  2. I don't hide being a gamer. Everyone even somewhat familiar with me knows it. Young people have tried it and don't care, old ones have no idea about what I'm talking about but may or may not pretend or even be interested.

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  3. Norman, I'm assuming the post you are thinking about was at Amityville Mike's place:

    http://poleandrope.blogspot.com/2008/12/and-you-will-know-us-by-dice-in-our.html

    And it was a great post.

    I've learned through this life to not impress my feelings or emotions upon others. They do what they do for their own reasons.

    I understand and agree with your sentiments. Damnit if we are so passionate about this hobby we should be sharing it with everyone! Guess what...I have found that it just isn't worth it. This is a shortcoming of OTHERS and not of myself. While I love D&D and gaming in general, it is not the end all nor be all of who I am.

    I do respect those that make their gaming preference loud and proud. Really, I do.

    That said, I'm not going to change. Unfortunately our society places a stigma on us. It's a fact and even Vin Diesel won't change it.

    So yes, I game in my secret life. And I am envious of those who are able to openly game and find contentment in their own lives. That said, I realize my own gaming possibilites are restricted by this view.

    Kudos to you for being open and unabashed!

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  4. I'd have to say that I am "quiet" about it, but don't necessarily "hide" my gaming around people. I've got gaming books around my apartment, and I occasionally print out stuff at work, but I try to be discreet. It'd be nice to think that advertising my interest in RPGs won't change how people look at me professionally, but I'm not going to take that gamble, and like Sham, I get tired of having to explain gaming to people. I don't work at a comic book shop or a "hip" office environment, so saying "Eff it" and going all geek pride will gain me nothing but trouble.

    As for internet anonymity, damn straight. I work in an IT environment and I like to keep a firm barrier between my real life internet presence and my "gaming handle". Nowadays, Google searches and other routine internet checks are a part of a lot of hiring practices, and I don't need to miss out on a new job or have my current job affected because someone comes across "me" on the internet and stumbles across gaming rants or whatever. There's already a few threads out there from over a decade ago that I'd love to get rid of, but of course, Google never lets anything go...

    So am I a coward because of this? Maybe, but since my real-world personal information can lead people to my work e-mail, my phone number, and my office location, I'd rather keep it firmly separate from my online gaming presence.

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  5. I'm up front about it, although I don't look for openings to bring it up. The only time I conceal it is when I'm dealing with someone to whom I don't want to offer any conversational openings whatsoever.

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  6. Hide it? Heck, It's a major discussion on my blog (www.bamatthews.com) and everyone in my day to day life knows as well including my parents and my fellow employers/employees (cute info: My boss finds it more scandalous that I write novels when I'm not working).

    Mind you, I'm Pagan as well, so perhaps I just have a thick skin. I just don't see the need to hide the fact that I write novels, game or my religion from people.

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