A few weeks ago, I wrote about how my mental cred checks get in the way of my RPG enjoyment. Too often I’ve been told that, because I’m a chick, there some inherent faux-ness in my devotion to games. Which is straight up BS, but – when you’re told something a bazillion times – it’s hard to not let it get to you.
For whatever reason, there are lots of people who treat RPGs as some kind of secret club. It’s an exclusive geekery that needs to be protected from “hobbiests.” That attitude hurts games, guys. It makes us unapproachable and unwelcoming. We’re trying to attract new players, bring lapsed gamers back to the table, and keep people interested in the hobby. Creating a “you” and “us” dynamic sabotages our beloved hobby.
Whether it’s treating women like they’re too slow to get games, turning your nose up at young gamers when they show up to our con games, or blatantly judging people who like a game that you do not, it’s unacceptable to be that judgmental jackass.
So, how do we avoid it?
Stop assuming chicks can’t game. We love games as much as guys do. We’re as capable of understanding the rules as guys do. There’s no mold that we emerge from that makes us all “role players” instead of “roll players.” We’re not all a bunch of yippy-dippy ladies who just want to frolic with unicorns and dance with fairies (but, if I wanted to do that, it’s my prerogative).
Stop acting like your edition or favorite RPG makes you better than anyone else. You should be passionate about your favorite game. You should hug it and love it and squeeze it forever and ever, but stop believing that your preference makes you some kind of soapbox hero who can vomit hateful jackassery in the middle of the street. This attitude is rampant with the dndnext playtest and it’s ridiculous.
Stop with the incessant WELL ACTUALLY-ing. Take just a second before you open your mouth to think about your words. And, maybe above all, remember that this is a game. Correction and critique should be an important part of any gaming group, but there comes a point when you need to step back and just. have. fun.
There’s probably a hundred things I could add to this list, but I’m off to spend some time with my kid. Which doesn’t make me any less of a gamer (though I have been accused of not being dedicated to RPGs because I sent my husband to GenCon without me the year my son was born).
What things can YOU do to make our hobby more welcoming?