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The Role Playing Game Stack Exchange

edited December 2010 in Role Playing Games
In perusing the Role Playing Game Stack Exchange (and the other gaming-related ones), I've come to a particular conclusion.

The majority of people who play games, even those who self-identify as "gamers" or even those who consider themselves to be "serious" or "hardcore," know jack shit about gaming. They have no understanding of the games they play, even the games they love and obsess over. They are oblivious to obvious strategy, suggest ludicrous game-breaking "house rules," and seem trapped in minor minutia of irrelevant mechanics of role playing games.

They also seem unable to parse instruction manuals and appear unaware that errata exist.

To analogize, the questions they ask and the answers they give are akin to if a baseball fanatic (who attends every home game every season and has the roster and stats memorized) wondered aloud why runners don't always try to steal home plate, and couldn't for the life of him figure it out. This same baseball fanatic then suggests that baseball would be better if they added a fifth base between first and second and allowed ten extra fielders.

It's amazing to behold. The questions are painful, the answers uninformed, and the discourse disheartening.


  • Took me a second to work out you were talking about role playing games and not RPGs.
  • I joined the board game stack exchange about two weeks ago, answered a few questions, and try to visit once per day. There was a question yesterday that made me cringe. It was about what "contracts" people sell to each other in Settlers of Catan such as "promise not to put the robber here next time" or "I'll give you this wood if you give me an ore next time you get one". This just turns the game into "convince as many people I can that I will make honest delayed deals with them, then reneg on all of them for the win". I can't believe such house-ruling exists.

    In other news, the video game stack exchange actually helped me identify the differences between the basic drums for Rock Band 2 and 3 (I know the cymbals are vastly different, but the main kits look the same). Even my best google searches turned up nothing, so I really just needed to find someone who had used them both. Funny enough, Jeff Atwood himself was the one who responded which probably explains why I got an intelligent response.
  • Hah, here's another classic. "How can I play Pandemic with 6 players?" Don't. If you really need to play it that bad, my answer is to go buy a second copy of Pandemic and play separate 3-player games.
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