Continuing to fly your roleplaying flag…

2008 November 11
by Dante

Amid the hail of boxes and packing paper, I found a few minutes tonight to catch up on reading the comments to last Wednesday’s post on your right to be unique. Comments on that post are certainly a fascinating read and spawned off enough material to warrant another post on the matter, since many of you seem to have some valid points.

Humility replaced with shame/bravado

One of our commenters, Marty Lund, pointed out quite correctly that humility isn’t something that comes commonly in our culture. This is cutting very close to exactly the point I was trying to articulate… you can take ownership of your nerdly leanings in a humble way and not defaulty replace it with shame as many of us do.

When I am approached by someone at work that notices the d20 on my desk or my “Chewie is my co-pilot” sticker in my cube, I usually just tell them plainly that I enjoy roleplaying games (yes, like D&D) and I let the conversation unfold. Usually they don’t throw holy water on me and cast my demons out, nor do they laugh and tease me… in fact, most folks that I work with have at least tried roleplaying or know someone that is into it well enough to have some context, and it turns out to be a good conversation.

I will admit to being a little pumped up from watching a certain president-elect speak when I wrote the last post, but I really am not advocating you jump up on your chair at work, cite page 32 of the OD&D sourcebook, put on a towel as a cape and run around your cube to show how much you’re into the roleplaying nerd genre. In the end, I’d just be happy if we fought a little bit against that common (but not universal) reaction to self-deprecate.

That being said: I really wouldn’t MIND if you did the things I mentioned above. 🙂

For the record: yes, Anonymous, I am married. To Stupid Ranger (the person, not the site) and luckily she’s as much of a nerd as I am!

Thanks to everyone who commented on the last post, the intelligent discourse was certainly refreshing!

5 Responses leave one →
  1. bonemaster permalink
    November 12, 2008

    I’m geek/nerd/whatever on some many different levels that RPGs are one of many geek like things I do. I am a Computer/Amateur Radio/History/Anthropology/Cartographical (GIS) /RPG Geek.

    While I do display some of my RPG geekdom where ever I am. Usually one of the other geek things take precedence in conversation. I guess people find the other geek related things more socially acceptable to talk about. At my age, the people I come in contact with grew up during the “GREAT RPG WITCHHUNT”, so even today, I think they attach some sort of social stigma to it.

    Also for the record, I too am married and my wife does do RPG’s every once in a while. (For some reason she likes halfling rouges)

  2. Silent permalink
    November 12, 2008

    Out of curiosity… what field do you work in? I’d imagine that it’s something technical/IT/engineering related if the majority of your coworkers have played RPGs before. Or at least something that requires some level of education. I’m sure you know that people in those fields are more likely to be gamers. It may be somewhat easier/less stigmatized to let your flag fly in such an environment. Not all of us are lucky enough to work in such places.

  3. Donny_the_Dm permalink
    November 12, 2008

    @bonemaster – GIS? wow…small world! I do Cadastral CAD mapping in support of our countie’s GIS program…sweet.

    Currently, I have on display in my spacious cube; all three gargantuan dragons from the late DDM game. They are sitting shotgun over a small stuffed cow that seems to randomly migrate from one mouth/claw to the next – cleaning staff loves em 🙂

  4. bonemaster permalink
    November 12, 2008

    @silent – I work work for an Aerospace Company, although I’m a programmer not an Aerospace Engineer.
    I know a bunch of people from the Anthropology field as well that play RPGs.

    @Donny – I have a MAS in GIS but my current job I don’t use it at all.

  5. Jack Smith IV permalink
    November 15, 2008

    Bravo, well said.

    I was talking about this just the other day on an Enworld thread. We belong to a hobby that carries a bit of an odd stigma. These are more progressive times, and I think a little more openness on the part of gamers and geeks alike would be much warranted. It’s odd that now the age of original tabletop gamers are the adult, middle-aged generation in American and yet we don’t see any sort of progressive acceptance.

    Sure, geeks are more tolerated, but only because being ‘different’ is more acceptable now. But really, what’s so different about role playing games? In a time where even sports fans play pretend-manager of fictitious online sports teams?

    Gamers have a good chance to stand up and no longer be “misunderstood”. I think the more we start moving toward the whole “Nerdy and proud” mentality, the better off the gaming community will be.


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