So here I am, back to my blog after a long silence while I was getting well. What brings me out of blog retirement early? The D&D Next playtest of course.
Like everyone else here I eagerly anticipate the playtest packet. My link doesn't work, the community servers seem to be performing inconsistently and all does not seem wwell with the tech at WotC tonight.
Still, I wait. Unfortunately my patience is tested by my fellow gamers rather than with WotC themselves. In fact, I'm downright disgusted by some of the reactions I have seen so far.
A DIRE WARNING
The reactions on the community forums and around the RPG sites on the internet has been a mixture of the excited, the calm and the furious. Unfortunately the furious are the voices making themselves heard the loudest right now and this reinforces a dangerous assumptive observation that is made about all of us. That observation is:
Gamers are petulant whiners that have an unreasonable sense of entitlement.
We know this isn't true. The vast majority of us are reasonable, calm, thoughtful and intelligent. We understand and appreciate the work others in our community do for our hobby. We get how much effort producing a game or a suppliment can be. We buy our gaming materials. We support our shops and sites. But still, the vocal minority manage to bring the community low and give us all a tarnished image.
So here's the warning: If those of us who love to be keyboard warriors don't grow up a little and start being a little more reasonable we will find less and less players joining our ranks, less producers making stuff for us to play with and we'll become the laughing stock of the hobby world. Think what happened in the 80's with all that D&D = satanism rubbish. Mud still sticks, and these days it's much easier to sling it.
TRUTH AND CONSEQUENCE
The ubiquity of the internet has spawned a generation of players who are predisposed to instant gratification, instant feedback, and faceless interactions where consequences do not appear to exist. The computer gaming world suffers terribly for these people and our own hobby is far from immune to their poison.
The truth is, the only cure for this is consequence.....before the consequences to all of us become irreversible. The time of the troll among our community must end if we are to truly stave off oblivion from the more immediate electronic interactions of the computer gaming arena. Problem is, a few flaming globes and a fireball or two won't help us win this one.
Together we must stand against the trolls, the furious entitled, the keyboard warriors and the internet munchkins. We must shield one another somehow and bring calm and reasonableness to our online arenas. Sure, it's OK to disagree and to argue your point. Hell, it's even OK to be upset about something and to have an opinion. Just don't belittle the effort of others or bring your fellow gamers into disrepute just so you can throw a tantrum or make yourself feel beeter by abusing other gamers with different opinions.
I hope I'm simply dabbling in the Doomsayer theme here but these days I feel that if trollish keyboard warriors don't think twice, they could be the failed saving throw of us all. I sometimes with I could cast 'Calm other' over our forums and help people just get on with enjoying the debate and discussion rather than engaging in fury and bile.
I'm sure this post will leave me in need of a 'protection from fire' spell so I'm off to find my old spell scrolls while waiting for the Next playtest package. I hope you all enjoy it once you've got it and urge you all to be patient and not add to WotC's problems - that way we'll all see it faster.