Wednesday, March 3, 2010

[In The Game] Who Are You?

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” - Socrates

A link on brought me to Paul Graham's article Keep Your Identity Small. He makes a convincing argument that people who have identified with specific ideologies have a difficult time arguing about religion and politics that deal with those ideologies because they are personal.

I think it can also apply to RPGs. There are plenty of gamers who self-identify with one product or set of gaming thought or specific authors. They argue endlessly that others are playing the games "bad wrong fun." I've done it myself.
  • Do you consider yourself a traditional gamer? Do you eschew indie games?
  • Hardcore power gamers are the only ones that have fun!
  • Are you an indie gamer not interested in the hack-and-slash of D20?
  • Have people accused you of being a casual gamer, like it's a bad thing?
  • Damn those LARPers! They're not real gamers!
There are plenty of blogs and articles about how we balkanize gaming into sub-groups from an already small niche. Do we split up or just step back, take a deep breath and realize that we're all gamers.

After reading this article, I have to honestly ask myself: who am I? And who do I identify with and why?


  1. Having corresponded with you for years, I would say that you are one of the most open-minded, accepting gamers I've ever known. You'll give any game a fair shot. It may not be your cup of tea, but you'll play it, write about it and drive it around the block a few times to figure out its nuances.

    I think that's a very good quality in a gamer.

  2. Hey Christian,

    This was an interesting article to write. I'm not sure if I got it the way I wanted but I think it was good enough to get some of the parts right.

    However we label ourselves, it seems that we build barriers with those labels. Graham's article got me thinking quite a bit, about more than gaming. It's still filtering through my head.

    Thanks for the kind words. I hope that I'm an open-minded gamer, willing to try every game I can. At the least, I plan on re-thinking the RPG thing, but maintaining a sense of humor about it at the same time.

  3. Good post, thanks for the reminder that we all need to be open to new experiences, gaming related or otherwise!


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