#RPGaDay2022 – Day 13: How 2?

It is Saturday and we are at the end of the second week of #RPGaDay2022. Today’s question asks us to consider, in conjunction with all of these explorations of an introduction to RPGs, how we might like to change our own introduction to the hobby. I imagine that for most of the people who have stuck with the hobby for years, their introduction was successfuI. It may have been instant, or it might have been a gradual realization across many introductory games with different people. Wherever we fall on the spectrum, this question is asking us to consider how that process could have been improved. Even great experiences can teach us something about what we can change for the better next time.

For me, I did have a great introduction, but there was a significant downside – not to the games or fellow gamers – but to the environment in which the context of being a gamer mattered.

Can you detect the insidious seeds of the infernal between the lines?

If I could change something about my introduction to gaming it would be to calm the hysteria and hypocrisy of the Satanic Panic.

The effect of the Satanic Panic on me was simple. I was forbidden to play. My parents, normally logical and communicative, refused to even discuss it. For context, they were open and caring people who talked with (not just to) me about dating, sex, drugs and alcohol, smoking, music and all the other pressures of teen life. They refused to talk about this. No D&D. Period. The backlash on the occasions where I failed to keep my gaming actvities from their detection were epic. Again, this was a complete break from form.

I could not grasp why they banned it and they would not explain.

The result was that to keep playing, a thing that even then I knew was really important to me to keep doing, I had to lie, sneak around, and have my friends lie about. There is a saying that evil begets evil, and I see it in this. The power of fear, not of actual infernal power but of loss of standing,  reputation, and control, twisted how many parents reacted to the game. That in turn limited the options of kids drawn to it.

Later on, in university, I confronted them on it and they quickly apologized. We cleared the air and they have, over the years, become proponents of such play. They have also been happy that all three of their kids wound up being drawn to them, though my siblings seem to prefer boardgames. The fear was real, again not of Satan, but of public opinion. That, it turned out, was not the sole factor however. They also feared the glorification of violence and lawlessness coupled with a medium lacking any sort of boundary. They worried it might be a gateway to peril in the real world.

They had no way to know that it was more of a portal to safety, friendship, and self-awareness all wrapped up in fun and laughter, with a side order of useful life skills. They would not talk and I could not tell them.

I think such an evil is worth undoing, don’t you?

Tomorrow: Suggestion Sunday arrives for tags and recommendations!

Comments
One Response to “#RPGaDay2022 – Day 13: How 2?”
  1. Absolutely no change… but maybe not taking a 30 year break would have been nice lol

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