Forum > Pen and Paper Roleplaying Games (RPGs) Discussion

Gamer as underground subculture

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(not quite industry, more gamer culture)

I read this  bit where Roger Ebert waxes about his SF fandom days.

He describes fans  of the 50's and 60's as part of an underground culture with their own publications, lingo, and big names in the little pond.  The culture was secret not in the sense of a subversive conspiracy, but more like most other people wouldn't understand enough to care and a secret kept to avoid getting beat up or mocked.

Are gamers a subculture in a similar sense?  We have our own humor, lingo, gatherings, and publications.  We even have self appointed marshals who try to police who is allowed in the group.  OOTS is funny only to gamers, and only a subportion at that (i.e. D20 players).  Membership is sometimes secret.  It's not like gamers have some big agenda, but how many of you are reluctant to admit that you're a gamer to coworkers and casual acquantances?

I'm not trying to make a big deal or apply for a grant to study it or anything, just making an observation.  I think geekdom is now full of pocket cultures, each based around a particular activity or fandom:  webcomics, fanficcers, Star Wars, etc.  

Some of the most vicious attacks on a given group come from rival groups.  References from the outside world are generally very clumsy and brief, like scenes of playing D&D in munchkin outfits.  I don't know why this is, some sort of competition for members maybe, or maybe it's worse to have seen the light but then be a bit wrong than to have never seen the light.  But the same sort of behavior is common in other parts of society; during the Reformation, protestant groups attacked each other at least at viciously as they were attacked by Catholics.

I dunno, just interesting how humanity continually forms little pockets that enforce their own conformity.

There are a group of people, the would-be "elitists" who would very much like to consider RPG gaming a "subculture" and intentionally try to push it in that direction, to claim their title of "elite".  So the talk about the "gaming community" as if it was a brotherhood of like-minded people who are united in their difference and opposition from the mainstream, they try to create jargon and lingo that makes it harder for new people to get into gaming (gaming theory amounts to that, basically), and generally try their fucking hardest to force gaming away from the mainstream.  Justifying this with bullshit, incidentally, about how gamers are "special", "smarter than normal people", "artists", what-have-you.

Making a "Subculture" out of a hobby does that hobby no good.  In fact, more often then not it KILLS that hobby as the people who do not want to be part of the "different elite" either leave or are FORCED OUT by the "elite", and those who join from then on are people who don't join out of interest in the hobby but rather out of interest in the incestuous little monstrosity of a society that has formed around the "subculture" of the hobby.

That's why I oppose that sort of bullshit at every turn.


Where's a "Not this crap again" macro when I need one?

Go grind your axe somewhere else.  I was merely curious how analogous gamers of today are to SF fans of 40 years ago.

There's nothing elitist about the concept of subcultures, and I specifically stated that it was a subculture without an agenda.   If a group behaves differently than the mainstream and preferentially interacts within that group, it's a subculture.  

But I did mention you indirectly when I mentioned self appointed marshals.  You bitch more about bad gamers than anyone else around here.

There is a gamer subculture whether we like it or not, although the prevalence of video gaming has made roleplaying in general seem more mainstream.


--- Quote from: Nicephorus ---Where's a "Not this crap again" macro when I need one?

--- End quote ---

You need but ask...


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