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GM Advice to gamers: This is NOT a HOBBY!

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GM Advice to gamers: This is NOT a HOBBY!

Post Number:#1  Postby The Keeper » 20 Jul 2014, 12:44

If you weren't aware, this site also has a blog. One of the posts in there is a rant I made about three years ago about priorities. Today, I'm choosing to expand on that a bit here in this forum. Since this is my forum and my blog and I pay the bills for this place I am going to make my point. If you disagree, that's totally cool. I understand and that's what forums and blogs are for - discussion. So, make YOUR point known in the replies.

Anyway, here is the pertinent part from the blog. "If you look at gaming as a hobby do people like myself a favor. Don’t game with us. Sorry to be so blunt, but it saves a lot of trouble down the road for both of us. I will say here that I was the one who suggested gaming via Skype way back in 2007 and pursued it, so the blame is on me. In any case, if gaming is a hobby to you then you don’t take it seriously. When you don’t take it seriously it means that you are more than willing to make other plans with other people on a scheduled gaming night. It often means that you game only when there is nothing else to do or be doing. Despite the fact that you know that there is a gaming night you have committed to, you will still schedule other things for that night even when you can easily schedule them for some other time.

I understand life and work/family committments. But seriously. If you have so many committments that always keep your life busy then why waste other people’s time? When you are unavailable for the holiday season it’s unfair to those who are, especially if those committments mean you aren’t available on a holiday or the day after even when the celebration is long over!

Admittedly, I don’t have much of a life in the sense that I always have a party to go to or a meeting to attend. Yes, I’m a homebody. But that’s my point. Many people who call themselves gamers are homebodys. They are available to play. If you aren’t and this is a hobby for you stop calling yourself a gamer and move along. You won’t miss the hobby if you have no time to devote to it anyway and we Gamemasters won’t constantly sufffer moments of rage to find out that yet again – you’ve cancelled!

If you are going to game, call yourself a gamer, well stick to the schedule. Here’s a concept. Schedule other priorities around your gaming night! Simple as that. If you cannot manage that then gaming is not your priority and you risk implying to the GM and other players that you really don’t care to game with them or even care about them at all. If you know you have a gaming night coming up, and you are aware of that, but you then go ahead and schedule something else with someone else (that isn’t a have to) then really, what is that saying to the GM and the players. Think about it. Don’t committ if you cannot or don’t want to keep a schedule.

Yes. I am aware of life. Things come up, things happen, have-to-events come up. I’m flexible and many of my fellow GMs are. But this really is untenable when it’s much more than an occaisional thing. Either this is a priority for you or it’s not. If it’s not, please don’t waste other people’s time. Nor insult their intelligence by calling yourself a gamer when you have no intention of committing to the game.

Now for my main points…

Hobbies are cool and they are a good thing to have. They give you something to do and they can be enjoyable. But a hobby isn't something that's really important. If you have time for it, you do it, if not you don't. It's not the same as something you truly have a love for.

Perhaps I am just one of those people that are either black or white. I either love something or I don't. There is no middle ground. That may be the case. But, if I am, I'm still in good company. Gaming is NOT a hobby for me. It's a passion, it's something I want to do, it's something that I miss and it makes me cranky when I'm unfulfilled and happy when I get to game.

Don't be a hobbyist in a gamer's world. A committment is needed. Gamers want to game and they are committed to it. Hobbyists are not.

Oh yeah. It was mentioned at the end of that blog post in an update that I am considered to be militant. It's easy for hobbyists to call true gamers militants. When you have a passion for something far beyond what the hobbyist can feel, that passion for something can be percieved as militancy. It's a matter of perspective. And hobbyists don't get it.

Just like I don't get the interest in Civil War or military reenactments. That's a passion for those that do it, and because I understand the concept I support their passion and interest in doing that. Those people have given that a priority in their life. It's not a hobby to them. Consequently, a little respect and consideration towards gaming from hobbyists (who should stay away from gaming) would be nice. It's the same thing.

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