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Gamer Weirdness: Example #91

August 30, 2007

When you’re able to back up and see gaming discussions from afar, you have a chance to appreciate their magnificent weirdness. Here is a statement from RPGnet’s forums that would probably be alarming in your regular life:

“I will always downplay cannibalism…”

This reminds me: When our good friend Oscar came to work for the company, he sat down to play in a long-running D&D campaign with some of our coworkers. He didn’t know much about the game. During the first session, one of the players, in a panicked moment when the threat against their characters became clear, said this:

“Oh no! That means we’re probably being watched by beholder-kin on the near-ethereal plane!”

Yeah, what the fuck does that mean, right? This kind of immersion in the utterly crazy is part of what’s great about RPGs, isn’t it? At the moment that statement was made, all but one person at the table were intellectually involved in the fictional story and fantasy world that they were able to take in that idea with a sense of actual menace and excitement. “If we are being watched by beholder-kin in the near-ethereal plane, we’d better come up with a plan before they blast us with their magic eye-rays!”

But for Oscar, this was alien speech coming out of the ordinary mouths of his co-workers, not their characters. Take one step back, and it all gets weird.

To me, those people who can’t take steps forward and back — who can’t appreciate the oddity of the game as ludicrous, or who fancy themselves too cool to enjoy their own imaginations — are the ones missing out.

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5 comments

  1. “Hey, Dave, let me give you this stick. Oh, wait, let me give you the shit end.”


  2. Was with Fred at lunch one day, discussing our various experiences with EVE Online. I was saying I tried doing black market stuff for a bit and he countered with “I was pretty heavy into the slave trade for a few months, but it just wasn’t as profitable as I’d hoped”. Well, after our conversation died down, I noticed a shocked and maw-gaping retired couple at an adjacent table, staring directly at us.

    Yeah, that’s right, my friend is in the slave trade. Watcha gonna do about it with your measly skill points lady?


  3. You’d think Oscar would be used to weird commentary from his co-workers.

    I loved OwlCon best for the wacky conversations I could overhear at the gaming tables from my dealer’s table. We didn’t always know what the gamers were talking about, and sometimes it was more fun that way.


  4. Will! This is totally off-topic, but Rachel Jamieson Kick is looking for your latest email address (me too).

    Could you please send it to me? I’m at writergirl at earthlink.net

    Thank you!


  5. The survivors need to retake Caiger Mall from the zeds, but I don’t have enough revivification syringes.

    Best example I could come up with on short notice.



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