[A little gamer psychology today. Sorry.]
I game every two weeks in a World of Darkness LARP. I believe I’ve mentioned that before, but if I haven’t, here it is.
There are about 30 people in the LARP. We have a facebook page to keep track of the group and everything.
I am not the most welcome face in the group for a number of reasons. I feel like a pariah, almost. Although I do have a few friends in the game, I really only roleplay with one storyteller and two other people 95% of the time.
That’s just what it is.
Oddly, I feel like a majority of my diaspora stems from the fact that many people play characters I cannot wrap my head around and/or play in stories I am not interested in and/or generally clash with me. Conversely, I tend to read gamers pretty well and I can see through all of the “issues” they bring to game. My buddy Mike is very good at showing patience when necessary toward these kinds of players. I am not. So rather than rub people the wrong way, I just avoid them. I’m really not a nice guy.
But over the course of the last year, I’ve noticed an alarming trend of disrespect among other people in the group toward one another (not toward me).
Which brings me to my belabored point.
We have a lot of players under the age of 30. Most of them have never done any other kind of gaming. Some of them say things that (out of context) trigger hostile rebukes from other players. Many of these people have more friends in game than I do. Rather than temper their voice of their response to seemingly innocuous (albeit inane) commentary, I sometimes watch in horror as people talk very very inappropriately to one another.
I’ve been to a lot of game conventions in my life. Heard people say awful, hateful things to one another. Racial slurs, brainless misogyny, and outright misinformed idiocy. In that arena, it’s so easy to ignore. People will be stupid and engendering debate with someone who thinks a game convention is the appropriate place to debate that Jews secretly control the World Bank is a waste of time and energy. I’m at a game convention after all.
And these are people I have zero respect for. I could easily tear him/her a new ass and never feel an ounce of remorse, so I move on.
Somehow. In the setting of a “Pollyanna” game environment like an all WoD game world, I find it troubling that people with this much background and connectivity to one another fail to show the least bit of awareness and understanding to (in their own head) say, “Okay. Joe is just being Joe. I need to temper my response to not sound so loud, abrasive, and antagonistic.”
I don’t have a final point, sadly. This is the first time since high school I’ve seen this kind of behavior amongst a regular group of gamers. And since I’m the guy no one likes and I never yell at anyone, I have to wonder…
…what am I doing wrong?
Feel free to post, if you’ve witnessed something similar in your gaming travels.