Monday, December 9, 2013

Why Don't It Look Like Fun?

I must apologize for not writing more clearly. Yes, with my last post, what I meant was that the DM's fun should take a backseat to the player's.

Over and over, we keep coming back to this word 'fun' and what it means ... which, Christ-for-crackers, I'm not writing another post about. But I would like to get my licks in on this whole conception that during the game everyone's having a gleeful bouncy Chuckie Cheeze fucking fun fest. It's idiotic. In the first place, it's plainly the opinion of people who are remembering the last moment of playing with a soft focus lens smeared with vaseline, like a grammie remembering the last time her knickers got wet, and in the second place, where the fuck is all this happy-happy chim-chipperio when the game is actually going on?

Last week I was in a whole room full of people, playing at seven tables, about 40 people in all, with either bland, confused looks on their faces or pissed-off glares of determination and bloodymindedness. If there is a moment of humour, it is always some cold, cackling pleasure at someone's misfortune or humiliation, preferably another player's, or the sour rehash of some fucking Star Wars quote. "These are not the silver swords you're looking for" was the bastardization used this past Wednesday.

Fucking hilarious.

It must seem very ridiculous to these people, having such a gobsmacking good time as they pitch bad rolling dice at the table and swear, or look insulted and miserable because they're characters have dipped into the negatives, that my image of "FUN" is a little girl going around the merry-go-round actually smiling and looking, well, PLEASED. I haven't seen a roleplayer looked pleased since ever. They're either smugly triumphant or sordidly humping the air like an Californian prat on the fucking Tunisian tour of Star Wars film locations. BOO-YAH, motherfuckers!

The only association I make between a typical roleplayer and 'fun' is the three-days-later petulant snarl they produce on the bulletin boards when they screech about someone else daring to suggest the game isn't the best freaking thrill ride since the thigh-shoot at Mother's House. Taking them at their word, the game must be a really great time ... it's a pity it couldn't show on their faces.

For me, I'm damn busy running a game, I haven't got time for 'fun.' The emotional state I most identify with is frenzied ... and occasionally, wallowing in the crapulence of "What the fuck do I do now?" This latter seems to come up mostly when the party takes ten minutes to blast through an encounter I expected to take the next four hours. Luckily for me, there are ways to get the party arguing about something meaningless and time-wasting while I throw fuel on the fire of my brain, to think of something before the party has time to notice I'm blank.

But then, parties are having so much damn fun they rarely do.

When do we get to talk about how the game is a serious game, that it is taken seriously by the players while the game is going on, that it is reacted to with serious emotions that cause serious disagreements and serious resentment between players? When do we admit the fucking game isn't kindergarten, or at least admit that if there was no kindergarten teacher we would have spend our fifth year of life gouging out the eyes of our childhood peers like bloodthirsty animals?

See, to talk about this game, I'm really going to need some of the rose-coloured paint scoured off every damn element and object ... even if that means the nostalgia nocturne needs a good push into the river, where it can drown a malignant, freezing, unpitied death.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Here's another emotion/emotional state that I think D&D (of the sort that I like to play) is better at than the generic "fun": http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/12/05/electric-brain-stimulation-triggers-eye-of-the-tiger-effect/