Spaces & Standards

August 14, 2008

Digital Femme makes an excellent point about the difference between the game, and the community around the game.

Unfortunately, the nature of tabletop rpgs requires that you work into some level of social network, you can’t enjoy the game in hermitude. Gamerdom (and fandom in the large) generally roll with the simple attitude of “More is better”, whereas, I’ve found “Better is better” to be a preferred method of building social networks, game groups, or communities.

Instead of lowering my standards, which seems to be the common response, I raised them. Turns out a lot of the bullshit people you get when you lower standards? Are what scares away everyone else (“When you play with Cat Piss Men, Cat Piss Men are what you play with”).

For the last two years, I’ve been trying out this strategy, and it’s working well. Who knew nearly a dozen folks I already knew, either used to be roleplayers and left, or were fencesitters who never jumped in? They simply didn’t want to deal with what they saw. Since they’re already people I liked, it made the social contract part of play and playing together really easy and nice.

Try raising your standards. (and y’know, not expecting people to play for months on end).

You might be surprised at what doors open.


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