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Why does PnP Gaming get a bad wrap?

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For some history on the stereotypes of gamers (right or wrong, most often wrong), I'd recommend starting your reading at The Escapist, then doing some searching of your own.

Key things to Google (touched on at The Escapist's site):
Gary Gygax on 60 Minutes
BADD/Patricia Pulling
Dark Dungeons by Jack Chick

Usda Beph:
Psst. I dont need to read it...I lived it!


--- Quote from: Usda Beph on ---Psst. I dont need to read it...I lived it!

--- End quote ---
I nearly did. The only thing that saved me from most of the BS was that my Mom was ultra-cool and there were literally NO other gamers where I grew up, so it was only reading material for me... Which is ironic, because you'd think the loner with D&D books would've scared people more.

I really don't think the "gamer stigma" is as linked to the whole devil worship/Chick Tracts nonsense as we like to sometimes believe.  We latch onto that stereotype as a way of -- after a fashion -- stereotyping Christians, and by extension stereotyping everyone that doesn't like us.  It's flattering to us to imagine that everyone that doesn't like gaming, doesn't like it because of how small-minded and bigoted they are, or how they believed a speaker at a seminar, or whatever.  It's crappy anti-gamer rhetoric and propaganda that we've "owned" by claiming it's reversal for ourselves;  we comfort and flatter ourselves by throwing the "shrieking right-winger" label on folks who don't like our hobby.

Likewise, it's pretty flattering for us to compare ourselves to Einstein.  It's pretty silly, too, though.  Individually, some gamers are certainly quite bright.  As a group, in fact, the average IQ at GenCon might be a little higher than the general public's average.  

The hard, ugly, truth, though, is that Einstein, Gates, and Hawkings did stuff with their intellect.  Yeah, they're all badass renegade supergenius types who think outside the box or whatever, but...well...they're using it.  They're sharing their genius, making lots of money off of it, changing the world.

We're not.  

We're rolling dice, playing with toy soldiers, and telling stories with our friends in a basement somewhere.

Yes, what we do is awesome and fun.  Yes, what we do requires creative thinking, team-building abilities, communication skills, imagination, quick wits, and all that good stuff.  Yes, as a community we're terribly, monstrously, imaginative and bright.  But -- and this sucks to say, trust me, but it's true -- ultimately, we're squandering it.  What we do isn't terribly productive, when you get right down to it, any moreso than Lady Gaga's latest song, or Brad Pitt's six-pack abs.  

To non-gamers, pen-and-paper RPG games just don't matter, and by extension neither do the people who play them.  When a game gets "mainstream" -- and look no further than WOW for an example of this -- you suddenly see people talking about Druids and Wizards and Fighters...people everywhere, commercials for it on tv, characters on popular primetime shows, mainstream soda bottles coming out in Horde and Alliance colors...  but that came from going mainstream.  That didn't happen after thirty years of sitting in our parents' basement and rolling dice.  It came from breaking the "gamer" mold, and going public.  Selling out, in a way.  I've got buddies that refuse to play WOW because of that.  It's some weird geek backlash stigma thing.  WOW's too popular, so they're like the kids that hate a band when it hits big;  it's not "indie" enough for them, so they stubbornly refuse to give it a shot.

People don't give gamers a bad rap.  Gamers give gamers a bad rap.

Chaotic Insane:
I started disliking WoW when my friend's boyfriend started putting it far before her. Because, you know, telling her to quit calling him when she's upset about her 4 year old dog being put down because he's trying to raid is totally ok. As was quitting his job. And refusing to come hang out with us (and when he would we couldn't talk to him because he was PVPing). If he hadn't gone downhill so fast, I probably wouldn't have developed such a sneer when it gets brought up, but I would really really like my friend back and it's a personal sting.

I don't care that it's popular. I kinda like that's it's popular BECAUSE the general population talks about druids and wizards and fighters now. So much easier to make friends when you have something in common to talk about! Sure. If I had 15 bucks a month to blow and didn't work full time I'd think about picking it up. But I don't. So that's why I play DDO (free) and Guild Wars (no sub). I don't get people who do the "it's too popular" thing. I -WANT- to introduce as many people to fantasy gaming (console, computer, pen and paper, whatever) as possible. I WANT as many people to hear Emilie Autumn and Abney Park as possible. To watch Firefly and Serenity. Etc. Just like I want my friends to introduce me to as many of THEIR hobbies and interests and passions as possible.


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