Monday, January 3, 2011

Anyone Need a Motto for 2011?

Some years ago, I worked in a wine & liquor store (two of them, actually, but never mind that). I had to acquaint myself with various vintages of potables to better serve the customer base that would come in looking for the perfect grape to accompany their dinner. In the process, I gained some familiarity with both the Wine Spectator and oenophiles (or as we called them, “grape nuts”). And although my palette never quite developed to that of a connoisseur, I did acquire a working knowledge of the grape.

There is a saying amongst wine aficionados that goes, “Life is too short to drink cheap wine,” and one must admit that there is a certain wisdom in those words regardless of whether you imbibe or not. Our time here is limited and we already spend much of it doing things we’d rather not have to. So why on Earth would we settle for anything less than the best when it comes to the things we do enjoy? It is with this mindset that I present to you a motto for 2011:

“Life is Too Short to Play Bad Games”

I’ve spoken briefly on this subject previously, but I think it bears repeating, especially with a brand new year ahead of us. You should all be out there playing the game you want with the group you want and should never settle for anything but the best in your gaming entertainment. You can be playing the title you want with the players you prefer—provided you’re willing to put the effort into making it happen. Some games might be easier to find groups for than others, and you might get lucky with the first gaming group you build, but it’s much more likely that you’ll eventually find who and what you want to be playing with if you keep up the effort.

Need proof? Look no further than fetish websites and forums (and by “look” I mean that figuratively if you’re at work right now). There are a whole bunch of people in this world whose freak flags flutter in some pretty bizarre winds, yet they’re finding people to play their various games with. By that measure, your desire to play that wonky home-brewed Castle Falkenstein campaign you made up that time you dropped acid isn’t quite so unlikely now, is it? You might have to make a few attempts to get the perfect mix, but nothing comes easy in the world and you’ll find the effort is far outweighed by the reward.

I’ll mention that when I say “bad games” I’m not making any value judgments on what title you enjoy. What gets me going might not do the same for you and vice versa, but all that means is we probably shouldn’t be playing in one another’s groups and be out finding our comrades in dice (or chips or cards or whatever). In any case, I wish you luck and may you find your perfect group of gamers and most excellent campaign in 2011.


brink. said...

"It is with this mindset that I present to you a motto for 2001..."

2001?!? I realize this is probably just a typo, but on the outside chance you have a Wayback Machine, i want in.

and, as usual, great post...

Michael Curtis said...

That's probably the third time I've made that mistake since the start of the new year.

brink. said...

So, no Wayback Machine then?...


Porky said...

Good post. I see the point and I also think it's worth working towards. I'd say only that the less than perfect is probably still better than nothing while the plan goes into action. I think it's also worth compromising to help others make their gaming dreams come true, by playing games we might not really want to or in ways we might prefer to give a miss. The favour might be returned too and save a little of the looking!

On another note, that's a range of interesting potential pastimes - not only the devil's own RPGs, but cheap wine, niche bedroom antics and hallucinogenic drugs!

David Key said...

After reading this, I have to say it hits home for me. As you already know I am currently running a game that has lost a bit of its luster for me. While I have found a way to make it more fun for me and thus for my players, I still plan on ending it soon.

I would say my new years resolution this year is to not run games that suffer rules bloat or broken systems. The current incarnation of the Star Wars RPG, in my humble opionion suffers from both.

I must say playing in our mostly weekly Labyrinth Lord game has reminded me why I got into the hobby to begin with. Fun. While many of my current players in my saturday group love the newer multi rulebook systems, I find myself loathing them. Going forward I won't start a new campaign using one. I may sit and be a player, but I will not sit behind the screen for one.

Once the Star Wars and Pathfinder campaigns end I hope my current players will come along on a journey to rediscover some old gems. If not... then I will have to take the time to find a few who will.