Saturday, 22 August 2015
Want to improve your game mastering? Get up off the chair
Posted by Scott Malthouse
When you're GMing a game, you're likely going to be sitting in one place for at least a few hours. This leads to a few things that I'd say weren't great. Sitting down is super bad for your health - it's not the natural position that we as humans are supposed to be in, so whenever we're sitting we're supposedly knocking hours off our life. Secondly, if you're using a screen you're creating a physical barrier between you and the players. Psychologically, I think, this creates a divide and in effect excludes you from the group. You might feel that to different degrees, but I definitely feel like that.
I believe that standing can be a literal game-changer for a GM and for the players. Standing can really enhance a game for everyone taking part, as well as keeping you active for a good few hours.
You're more included in the group
Standing removes the barrier the screen puts between you and the players. You're part of the gang again and they will see that too. You're putting yourself in a more approachable position to the players and vice-versa.
You have more energy
When you're sitting, you don't have as much energy and as a result you can start to get tired, which affects your game. Nobody wants a tired GM at their table. Standing, on the other hand lets the blood flow and keeps you animated. I find that when I stand I'm much more kinetic - I'm more inclined to act things out and gesticulate. What this means is that I'm putting more into my performances, which goes a long way to enhancing my game.
You have freedom of movement
When you're sitting, it takes that extra bit of effort to get out of your chair and move around. But when you stand up, you're free to move around the table, to pass things around, to whisper a secret in a player's ear and just get up in their grills. Talk about improving immersion!
You enhance your creativity
Research has found that standing up in meetings can help improve creativity which can only be a good thing for GMs. As tabletop overlords, we have to keep our brains in gear for when something unexpected happens, often having to improvise on the spot (personally, I love improvising, but that's a story for another post). So to get that creative boost, it could help to get up off the chair.
So next time you're GMing, consider getting off your arse and doing a standing session and see how much of a difference it makes. Plus, you'll be keeping active, which is never a bad thing.