Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Gaming Buddies

Let's call a spade a spade. True gaming friends are more than just gaming friends. A good example in satire are the Knights of the Dinner Table. Though it is true gaming plays a big part in our collective lives, we also probably enjoy the same kinds of movies, maybe collecting comics, playing video games, reading the same kind of books, maybe even paintball, wargames, LARPing, the marital arts or even the SCA. Gamers tend to congregate in more than just one avocational arena. As a result our gaming companions are often involved in larger portions of our lives. I mean this isn't a necessity, but it often works this way, and if you ask me it's nice when it does. After all gaming is a social activity and expansion of such socialization is nice for people who often have a hard time coming out of their shells--that was the case with me in HS anyway.

And, as I've mentioned before I don't have gaming buddies right now. Although it brought a smile to my face to have one of my old gaming buddies comment on my last post. Unfortunately we're now over 1500 miles apart. Until we both get Skype, gaming aint happening.

And I should clarify slightly. I would love to play a game of my preference. As I've said before I would play Castles & Crusades or Hackmaster, if anyone wanted to play those games with me! But my Castles & Crusades game flyer has been up at the hobby shop for weeks now and no responses. Noone has even taken a call-back number. (You know--those little number tabs you can rip off at the bottom?) So what's a guy supposed to do? Well, I know that there are 4e gamers out there looking for games and there's tons of teenagers right now who want to play PathFinder. So I'm having to consider cashing in my memories and starting to build some new ones. I mean before all this came up I was doing pretty well anyway.

I've written about three entries now on "it's not what you game it's who you game with". Rarely does a game seem to be the problem so much as the people you are gaming with. I mean there are exceptions. Some people really dislike certain games. That's cool. If I could find enough who dislike 4e and Pathfinder maybe they would consider a change. But for now, I just want to game. And I was doing fine with both PF and 4e previously. Time to do so again. I suppose the rest of the gamers out there aren't Jonesin bad enough to play an unfamiliar game. Once a game is solid and friendships start to form then we can talk about trying out some other systems.

Lots has been made of tabletop gaming's power to bring people together. It has been called a social tool for the socially awkward. I don't think that's the case at all. I think certain people have similar interests, what they need is a forum to bring them together. Gaming has created that forum and it has expanded the interest base for many of us. As a social vehicle gaming does something for us beyond the fun of gaming itself. It creates friendships. And not just casual friendships as evident in so many other hobbies. Let's face it you can;pt crawl the much of a heavily trapped dungeon, sweat, bleed and often die together fighting off hordes of evil monsters and not come away better friends. Even beyond this however, is just having someone that is a little like you. To know that you are not the only one in the world who loves Tolkien, comic books, Star Trek, Star Wars, swords, magic, dragons and make believe. To know there are others like you that still want to play, have fun and imagine what could be. When you connect on that level you've often got friends for life. And you really need those, 'cause you never know what's just around the corner ... or under the ground ... waiting ... lurking ... just about to eat you ...


mikemonaco said...

I strongly recommend trying putting up a flier or two somewhere other than a gaming store. A library worked wonders for me. A coffee shop, a hobby shop (the kind with railroads), etc. can also work. Just say you want to run (or play) "old school D&D" or sometihng like that, that you will teach them if they have never played or haven't played sine the 1980s, and you'll likely find players. I did in a mid-sized town near a small (200,000 ppl) city. That at least gets you players. Buddies, well, not so sure what to say.

Chris said...

Hey thanks Mike, and thanks for stopping by. I am gonna try the library. I was kind of worried when noone called but the store owner said traffic was really low the last couple of weeks. I'm also gonna post it on our local supermarkets community bulletin boards. We even have a small advertising circular and thinking of putting a small classified in there as well.

mikemonaco said...

Yeah, the other thing is that gaming stores tend to attract the hardcore gamers who are more interested in whatever is new than in going 'back' to older games, in my experience, while posting fliers in more 'mainstream' places can get people who are either not yet or no longer in the gaming scene. Right now I have one of each in my group -- a college kid who has very little RPG experience outside my group and a fellow grognard who has been otherwise out of gaming since the early 1990s. The rest are people I've known a lot longer. If I had more time for "friends" I'd hang out with them. Unfortunately a full-time job, parenting, homeownership, etc. eat up a lot of time.

Reverend Dak J. Ultimak said...

I had some good luck with,,, and enworld's gamer finder; in that order. But the best luck was by recruiting friends from other social groups--I'm not shy about being a D&D geek.

Have you mentioned where you are located on your blog? I have at least one gamer find me through my blog. But I spent a day contacting everyone around me who's profiles seemed like they'd be remotely interested in "my game", I was also very straight up with the kind of game I wanted to play.