"It [role-playing] really is an activity of isolation. The gaming clubs should be encouraging mixers! The conventions should have discussion panels on social interaction! There should be a dialogue, not a dogma!"
It is this sentiment that fires up my anger at entities like the WOTC or against individuals like Gygax and the rest. The opportunity was there in the 1980s to set the tone for what conventions would be about and why people would attend them. We needed a practical solution to the problem of not enough DMs for players who were dependent upon them for playing the game. What we got instead were make-shift 'tournaments' that encouraged mediocrity and the blandest of adventuring models. Instead of voices encouraging a unification between role-playing and other performance arts, we got pompous Jabba the Huts sitting at tables scribing out their signatures for sycophants. We needed imagination - what we got was marketing.
From the moment the game became popular, the only people that mattered were the DMs, whose sole purpose in the social construct surrounding role-playing was as customers for the monopolistic market place. And now that the market place has ceased to be monopolistic, we call this 'progress.'
Heh heh, I'm one to talk. I've officially become one of the enemy.
Well, what the hell. I would have much preferred a TED Talks venue. Instead we get NASCAR. It just fills my heart with pride.
I can't wait for FanExpo. I've got my soul all neatly stuffed in a bottle and I'll be sitting at my table, waiting for Satan to show up.