Oct 7, 2021

Dilemma

I have a lot of posts on a variety topics in various stages of completion, but for the past several weeks I've been in the grip of a dilemma. I'm not sure I like this hobby any more.

This is a hard realization for me to come to. RPGs have been a hobby of mine, off and on, since 1981. 40 years of wasted time and effort, if this feeling is true for me. That is a lot of wasted time and effort - so much so that I don't even know how to count the cost. I'm in my early fifties - I don't think that I would have another 40 years to spend on anything, which makes the prospect of so much time and effort spent such an existential problem.

The root of my dissatisfaction comes from what I feel are the implicit acceptance of concepts that I abhor. It seems kind of silly, but I think that like many prevailing attitudes that are harmful to the development of our societies are so ingrained as to be invisible without a lot of introspection, games also have these harmful prevailing concepts or assumptions. Libertarianism, racial and gender-based stereotyping, cultural appropriation or stereotyping, the propensity of might-makes-right as the go-to or sometimes only solution to conflicts, and the list goes on and on. This hobby carries a lot of baggage, and while I've done my best (not always successfully) to try to keep that shit out of my games, I'm tired of it.

My partner, who is much smarter than I am, thought I should try to put what I want into words, and see if there are others who might feel the same way about some or all of what I'm thinking. It's a great idea, but the more I think on the subject, the less I feel that a) I can really put my dissatisfaction into words that would make sense to anyone else, and b) that there are likely many people who feel the same way as I do.

I suppose, to give my partner's idea a chance, I'd welcome the opportunity to discuss this with anyone else who also finds these sorts of things problematic.

3 comments:

  1. I have definitely experienced this kinda thing within the hobby but I have also at times been lucky to have communities where we talk about this stuff and how we all can work to avoid having this stuff at our tables and in our worlds. I find that there are huge swaths of gaming and all hobbies that are intrinsically full of racism/homophobia/transphobia but there are spaces where we don’t pretend those things aren’t issues and find ways to play and also acknowledge games exist in our deeply flawed world. I’m part of a very nice discord that you are welcome to join full of nice indie creators and players https://discord.io/newschoolrevolution

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  2. I'd love to talk to you more about this. Not sure if you are on Mastodon anymore, but you can DM me there. Happy to lend an ear or actually engage. Miss seeing you around anyway!

    Contacts listed here: https://osricwiki.presgas.name/doku.php?id=index

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  3. I think it's the sign of reflection that you're feeling this way about the hobby, and common problems within it. You're definitely not alone.

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