Talking with a lot of gamers over the past two weeks, both in person, as well as via e-mail and on blogs has really demonstrated a few key things, although I'm not certain they can easily be put into words.
- Like formative sexual experiences, our earliest gaming sessions seem to heavily contribute to the choices we make in selecting our future outlooks, down to even which games we will play, and how we perceive how they are to be played. --Kathy B. was my first real kiss, and although she was a terribly skittish sort of gal (horribly abusive home situation), she had a smouldering fire that blew me away that October night. In a way, she was the measure of all subsequent kisses. --Likewise, the first session of Joe C.'s AD&D campaign, in which I realised we were facing an undead (in the dark) before we got within melee range, and his appreciation for my intuitive-inferential way of thinking was a flip of the light-switch that gaming could be more than the rules and rolling of the dice. I'd GM'd before that, but never had meet a 'peer' in the games. Although much of the subsequent Giants/Slavers/Depths of the Earth/Demon Web Pits campaign was highly adversarial, it became the measure of a good game.
- Phobic or other conditional experiences often cause us to steer clear of people, places, and things that have, in the past, caused us harm or turmoil, go on to inform us of patterns in our later life. --Sitting down to game with these shit-kicker Rebel sons in Jacksonville, I was already aware of their malign nature before I was filled in on their racial agenda being played-out in their campaign. I lasted about as long as it took to create my character. Later, I almost got into a fist fight with steroid-junkie Dane when he didn't like me calling him out on his hate rhetoric at my friends' store. --Now, when I meet pricks, online or at the table, I don't get angry...
- "That's not the way we ran it..." That's nice. Go run your own game. --Likewise, if I want to play in a game with folks with diametrically opposed gaming philosophies, I need to just STFU and play my character. Let the dice [wor]k me over, if that's my fate, but don't give the f[ol]ks ammo.
- "It's a man's world." Yeah. --Bruck up, sister.
In my SO's 3.5 (forgive her) game the Ent, the Elven Wolf-shifter Druid, and my Grugach/Dryad/Eladrin Src1/Scout3 (hopefully soon to be Fey-pact Warlock) did our best to spare the lives of Goblins we bumped into when we strolled into their territory. The bow-happy alcoholic Halfling Rogue shot a captured gobbo in the hand of the Ent, losing much of whatever charm he had in the process.
Cutting the bonds of the second of the surviving gobbos after I updated their painted warning on the rocky entrance to their zone, now in 'Common' and 'Elven', my character was told,
"We killz you fast fer lettin' uz go."Sweet. I'm making inroads with the anti-human critters. Soon the cities will be in ruins.