Day 5: Community
The stereotype of a person who plays role-play games is not a good one. Like the Trekkie, the general public tends to look upon gamers as socially inept loners who happens to get together with a couple of other loners on a Saturday night and dress up like their characters. I’ve been gaming since the late 80’s and the only time I’ve seen someone dress up as their character was for a Halloween party.
I really think that the general population doesn’t realize how much the gaming community has grown. I still meet up with friends, and possible new friends, at local gaming stores. I talk with the clerk about what is selling and what is not. And while I miss publications like Dragon Magazine and Challenge Magazine, the internet has taken on the load that those publications once served.
Not only are there active gaming communities on social media like Twitter, Facebook and MeWe, but they tend to be more focused. Want a group that only talks about 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons? There is a Facebook Group for that. MeWe has a FASA Star Trek/Doctor Who RPG community. There are a ton of twitter accounts that you can follow for both classic games and the latest releases. Discord has also become a popular destination for the gaming community for several reasons. You can have private chat rooms to hold games in. You can share files in certain channels. It’s a combination social media and communications platform.
I still think that message boards serve a purpose of bringing together the gaming community. Like some social media pages, they can be very specific, or they can be very general in nature. I’m going to link a few of them here for others to check out.
Old School Trek– If you want to talk about classic Star Trek gaming, this is a place to go. This includes some of the older classic Trek games, semi-official games and fan made creations.
Star Trek Starship Tactical Combat Simulator Online Database and Archive– This message board specializes in topics for the FASA Starship Tactical Combat Simulator for the Star Trek Role Playing Game. Lots of ship designs and homebrews posted here.
Trek-RPG Forums– This message board talks about all of the different Star Trek RPG products that are out there. Unfortunately it is not as active as it use to be.
Basic Fantasy RPG Forums– Basic Fantasy is a good retro-clone of Dungeons and Dragons with a very active community providing new content.
RPG.net Forums– The good thing about this site is it is very active. You’ll be able to find just about anything here if you just ask. The bad thing is that it is very active. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of posts made at this site.
Now like any community, the gaming community has it’s good and it’s bad. But overall I think that the gaming community is a good one. RPG.net has a series of Secret Satan (a joke on Secret Santa) gift exchanges every year. I’ve also seen gamers who have never met offer support to other gamers in times of need.
And there has been an ongoing battle to improve the image of the gaming community. My favorite Dungeons and Dragons DM would take extra time to not only help new players (especially encouraging them with the math in the game) but he would take extra time to talk with a spouse or family member of a gamer to alleviate any concerns they might have (no D&D is not of the devil, etc.)
While “Throne” was begging for a fantasy adventure blog entry, I just didn’t have one that I could post at the time. “Include” could have been integrated in the above post. “Gamble” didn’t bring anything to mind, but I could have talked about gambling in gaming if I had more experience in the subject.