Friday, August 14, 2015

On Trying Not To Live In An RPG Echo Chamber

I really do get the dangers of living in a echo chamber.  You don't want to cultivate things so much to where you only hear opinions, advice, and conclusions that are already 100% what the voices in your head already whisper to you.  If you are right, you need to challenge your perspective about why you are right, and learn how to articulate why you think you are right.  If you are wrong, you are never going to know it if you are never exposed to anyone that thinks differently than you do.

But, that doesn't mean you have to have a wide open network of everything diametrically opposed to you constantly bombarding your social media outlets.

I'm not sure I can specifically outline what my tastes are in RPGs these days.  They vary wildly.  10 years ago, I loved 3rd edition D&D and the Forgotten Realms, and outside of some d20 Star Wars, I didn't wander very far afield.

Ten years before that, I had largely left the RPG hobby behind, and was trying to be a "serious adult" with "serious interests," and was still desperately clinging to the last vestiges of my geekiness by reading Star Wars novels, watching Deep Space 9, and reading comics, because why quit cold turkey?

Ten years before that, I was just branching out from BECMI D&D, getting into AD&D and the Forgotten Realms, getting into Marvel Super Heroes, Star Frontiers, and eventually WEG's Ghostbusters.

Today, I love some big budget, more traditional RPGs.  I love some indie style RPGs.  I like some "old school" feeling products, and I like stuff that pushes boundaries and does stuff that no RPG really did when I first got into the hobby.  I still like the granddaddy of RPGs, D&D, but it's several spots down the list when it comes to "go to" gaming.

In an effort to actually see other RPG fans, I've got people who's primary interest is old school gaming and retroclones.  I've got people that are full bore into Apocalypse World Engine games.  I've got hard core Fate gamers and Savage World gamers.  I've got a fair number of D&D gamers, fewer devoted Pathfinder folks.  I've got Fantasy Flight Star Wars and 40K gamers.  I've got Mutants and Masterminds, Marvel Heroic, and Supers! advocates.

I've got a lot of gamers who's rankings of various games would vary greatly from my own.  By mainly, I like, and hope to continue to find, people who are passionate about what they love.  When I read about someone running an OSR game, I want to hear about how it went and why they love it and what they want to do next.  I want someone to post how excited they are over an AWE hack that they wrote, or how great a Star Wars game went and what the dice caused to happen that nobody could have predicted.

What I don't want to hear is about how some gamers label and dismiss whole other sections of the gaming community.   I don't want to hear how X personality is what's wrong with gaming and should be tarred and feathered.  I don't want to see people fighting proxy wars on social media by snarking at folks that used to work for someone or is working with someone else on some project, so by association they "clearly" should be taken down a few pegs.

I don't think that trying to cull abject dismissive or destructive negativity is creating an echo chamber, but I'm willing to entertain the notion that it is.  I just hope it isn't.  Because despite wanting to have an open mind, I primarily want to enjoy my hobby and not get riled up and stressed out by whatever daily drama is developing.

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