April 30, 2010

Hate, Vitriol and Melodrama

Filed under: General — Tags: , — bilbo @ 8:53 pm

Well, if it has not been obvious I have been taking a break from the online community for a bit and I cannot tell you how it has given me perspective. On a personal level, I am just more happy (even though I am working harder than I ever have) and have a much better view on things. It has been a breath of fresh air.

On another level, I have reflected on the online RPG community. First, to call it a “community” is a misnomer. It is a diverse group of people across all manner of communities, countries and cultures tied together by interest in role-playing games. Second, it is a “community” drenched and reveling in vitriol and melodrama. It is a really negative place that it is difficult to see from within. I believe far too many people do not realize just how subtly draining and heartbreaking it is. From forum posts where people belittle others not based on what they have said but what broad type of game they play, making absurd claims that in any other area of interest would be laughed at or scorned as simplistic and inaccurate. Instead, you hear refrains of “You have to listen to WHAT he says, not how he says it” or merely the ba-ba of sheeple overwhelmed with their need to belong to yet another, different hate group. Now, I will most heartily agree that there are positive folks out there. Clash, Alan, Scott, Mike and several others you could possibly name. However, most often, it is like you are four guys at a KKK rally talking about racial tolerance while the several hundred white robed looks burn a cross and beat up a black guy. The RPG “community” is like that clan meeting. Tolerance, true tolerance of different games from what you play (note: if you don’t like it don’t talk about it) is just not the common ground of any forum, blog or community for RPGS.

Finally, I have to stress it again, if you are in it, you probably don’t even know it. You think that all is fine, all is great because you had a thread last month that did not devolve into an endless back and forth about the “right way to play”…well, except for that one guy and he was playing the game wrong.

Now, as far as this goes, it is something of a rant in that it should not be taken too seriously. If you are happy, then great. I have just found a few common threads and practices that leave me wondering, thinking that maybe, in a roundabout way, I might be onto something. It is backed up with having some great gaming over the past couple of weeks, meeting great folks who never logged onto RPG.FORUM.HATE.YOUR.GAME.com. Inevitably, the ones who were bitter, the few, were the ones who were avid members of one online community or several. Give yourself a break, play a game.

Good gaming everyone.


  1. Got your back, Bill!


    Comment by clash bowley — May 2, 2010 @ 3:02 pm

  2. There’s a reason that this is the only RPG site that I visit. It’s real simple. The reason is that it’s hosted by my friend. I’ve briefly looked at other sites and quickly decided they were not for me. Most of them have a couple people talking sensibly, and a bunch of idiots. I have better things to do than weed through a bunch of idiotic trash talking to get one sane thought from a thread. I’ve been taking your advice for years, Bill. I just go to the game shop and play every Saturday. It helps keep me happy.

    Comment by scott — May 3, 2010 @ 11:42 pm

  3. I just played ‘Beltstrike’ last nite, first session in the new campaign, lots of fun:.)

    Comment by Alan Hume — May 5, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

  4. Thanks guys. It just really gets to me sometimes. It seems worse when you have posters who really seem to believe that the internet is a license for rude behavior. Meh. I will shake it off.

    Comment by bilbo — May 6, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

  5. A common misperception, Bill! Due, I think, to a misreading. The internet is actually a license for *nude* behavior. No one can see what your wearing, if anything…


    Comment by clash bowley — May 10, 2010 @ 8:42 am

  6. That is how I post.

    Comment by bilbo — May 10, 2010 @ 8:50 pm

  7. I normally play nude. . . players are less concerned with system that way. . . that reminds me, I need to call my probation officer.

    Comment by Mike Noorman — May 24, 2010 @ 5:25 pm

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