Friday, June 21, 2013

Real Gamers Only Need Dice...

Yeah, I don't agree with that statement, but it is something that crossed my Facebook feed recently so now you get to read about it. For some reason, I blame human genetics mind you, people feel the need to judge others based on how they like to enjoy their hobbies. I honestly don't get why they would want to, though I have my theories, but I figured I'd take today to point  out some of theobvious reasons this viewpoint is kind of silly.

The Right Way To Play
This is the big reason a lot of people use when they say something that "real gamers" need. The answer usually comes down to "it's the right way to do things" or, more often "it's the best way to do things." For example, dice are the best way to do things because they offer more complex results and are more random and fair. This example is usually used when comparing table top gaming to LARPs. It is technically true, a D20 has more variety to it then two people playing Paper Rock Scissors or whatever other quick conflict resolution a LARP may have, but that doesn't make it the be all end all

The problem with this mentality is that everyone forgets that there are two words that need to go onto the sentence at the end. For example, if I were to say the line I would say, "Table top gaming is the best way to game for me."

The reason for that is simple. Preference is a subjective measure. Something being "better" than something else is a subjective measure. A Ferarri 550 is a "better" car than a Toyota Caravan mini-van, right? That's why every family out there goes out and buys a Ferarri 550 to ship their family around all the time. Oh wait, in that case - while I'm sure a lot of people would prefer to have the ferarri - the minivan is the better vehicle. Why? Because the needs are different. You want to go fast? Buy the Ferarri. You want to transport more than 2 people somewhere? Get the minivan.

The same is true with types of gaming. I prefer Table Top gaming because the types of characters I like to play aren't people I can play in LARPs. I gender bend about 50% of the time, and even when I don't I have a strong preference for smaller, sleeker, lither, finesse based characters. This is kind of hard to convey when being a 6'3 man with an American Football defensive lineman (lineMAN not line backer) build at a LARP, but at a table who cares, right? So Table Top gaming is for me more than say LARPing or Boffing.

On the other hand, a friend of mine really likes making boffer weapons and he likes selling them, using them, and trading them. He gets a real kick out of being a crazed inventor, cosplaying as one, and getting out to socialize with large groups of people. Mysteriously, he loves boffer LARPs because they hit every single thing he likes to do related to gaming at once.

If you asked either of us to describe the RPGs we were in we would describe very different games. Is one of them better? Not necessarily. Table Top has its flaws. Theater style LARP has its flaws. Boffer LARPs have their flaws. Heck, Computer/Console RPGs have their flaws as well. Every style has trade offs.

The Point?
So what is the point of this post? Honestly I'm not sure. I just felt a need to rant. I'd imagine most people who read this blog prefer table top RPGs because it is what I talk about. Just don't be a jerk about it I guess. Remember that in the end we're all just looking to escape to a different world for a bit and have some fun.

1 comment:

  1. Of course!

    Mainly, though, I'd never heard of boffer LARP before, so thanks for that 'something new' I learned today:)