Saturday, 22 October 2011

3 common misconceptions about RPG gamers {Community}

There are few geekier past-times than getting together with some buddies and imagining you're a face-crushing barbarian called Konanz. But the hobby has always had negative connotations in the mainstream, although it's becoming a little easier to be a nerd nowadays. At least we're no longer called devil-worshippers (I worship the great Cthulhu) by a hefty number of nitwits. Misconceptions are still rife though and I want to dive face-first into them.

1. Gamers have no social life

This one is probably the most common and possibly the most absurd. Think of more mainstream hobbies such as crafts and scrapbooking. There are so many hobbies that are solitary but aren't picked on the same way gaming is. Roleplaying games are social games. You get together with a group of friends and spend a good 3-6 hours talking to each other. In fact, RPGs are a great tool to build social skills for the more socially awkward. Besides, we have huge meetings with hundreds and hundreds of like-minded individuals called conventions. Try telling me that's not social.

2. Gamers can't get women/men

This one is ridiculous. I don't know of a single roleplayer who isn't currently in a relationship or hasn't had a bunch in the past. In fact, most gamers who add me to Google Plus are married. This misconception is repeated time and again in TV and film - somehow we can't cope around the opposite (or same) sex and all we can talk about is our level 20 elven druid. Also the typical representation of a geek is usually fat and ugly, and while I don't think of myself as handsome, I definitely wouldn't call myself ugly and I'm certainly not fat.

3. Gaming is their life

How many times have you seen a TV show or film where the token geek is wearing a cape (like all GMs, of course) and relates everything back to Dungeons and Dragons? Yeah, pretty much all the time. Kids, this just doesn't happen. Like all hobbies, we take part in our spare time. Sure, gaming is more absorbing than many other past times - hence why so may of us write about it and get involved more professionally, but we won't just randomly bring it up in conversation.

I think in the past few years us self-certified geeks have gained a little bit more respect, mostly due to mainstream shows like The Big Bang Theory and films like Role Models, which, although they have stereotypes, they also show that being a gamer is pretty cool.