This article is part of the RPG Blog Carnival. I’d actually started this post before I discovered the Carnival, so I had to participlate. Each week I’m going to tackle a different questions from this month’s topic.
More seriously, I think I’ve learned most of my social skills from gaming. Since I started gaming in 1980, I’ve gone from being the classic “foot-in-your-mouth-inadvertantly-insult-everyone-you-talk-to gamer geek” (yes, girls can be gamer geeks too!) to being the “bard” of the party, in real life as well in game. You know, the person who does all the negotiations ’cause they get the best results and the best deals? Gaming gave me a reason to learn to get along with other people, especially people I may not like.
I can’t imagine what my life would be like now without D&D. I wouldn’t have met any of my closest friends, the people who’ve always “had my back” and who’ve stayed with me through thick and thin. Heck, without gaming, I wouldn’t have my son — his father and I met during a game session. I’ve learned how to plan projects, innovate solutions from tools found at hand, and carry things through to completion, even when they originally seemed “too hard”.
Without D&D I wouldn’t be the person I am.
Every player has days they can’t make a game. Sometimes, a great conjunction of events happens and a player has to miss a session at the very last minute. It happens to all of us.
These aren’t the players I’m referring to.
It can be one of the most frustrating things about a running a game: having players who are chronic no-shows. My ex-husband and his brother are players like this. My ex was once 8 hours late to a game (without calling) and couldn’t figure out why everyone was mad at him. I usually found out that his brother wasn’t going to make a game when my father-in-law announced it on the way in the door for the game session itself.
Unfortunately, I’ve only found one cure for it — boot them from that game and don’t accept them into another. I don’t like to be mean. I understand real life — I’m a single parent, I work, take care of a house and deal with a chronic and sometimes dehibilitating illness. I try very hard to warn the GMs of any game I’m going to be in that I may have to “no-show” at the last minute for health reasons. But I try very hard to call and let the GM know as soon as I can. Most of my players are IT people and are frequently on-call. I have one great player who hasn’t been able to make it to character-building sessions for my new game because he’s been pulling 10 hour days at work dealing with server issues. I can work with this.
But the chronic “I just don’t feel like coming” or the person who habitually turns up 1+ hours late with no call and no explanation infuriates me. It’s rude. It’s unfair the GM who’s usually put in a lot of work for each character in the game and is basing that game on the fact that certain PC’s are going to be there. It’s unfair to the other players, especially if the MIA player is a crucial character for an upcoming encounter or situation. In my opinion, it’s a sign of supreme selfishness.
I make allowences for real life; I don’t make allowances for selfish indifference.