So shopping for a present for the wife put me in an ornery frame of mind earlier today. (We're spending the holiday period in different countries, for various unavoidable reasons; this allows me to shop for extra Christmas presents in the January sales and earn totally undeserved brownie points for buying lots of gifts. Fortunately she doesn't read this blog and I can get away with announcing my cheapness like this. But I digress.) And I feel that, since everybody else has been doing similar things, I should do a kind of Top Ten List. So here is the top ten most annoying things about role playing that I've experienced this year.
10. The fact that I don't get enough gaming in. Probably everyone reading this blog can relate to that (at least everybody who has a job/is married/has children/a social life or any of the above).
9. The idiotic rpg.net moderators. Is there anything worse than a role playing nerd given a tiny amount of power over his fellows? That whole damn website is like an extended, free version of Zimbardo's simulated prison experiment, where a random cross section of geek society is elevated above its peers and immediately starts to abuse its position. With the redeeming quality that 90% of the other users are actually pretty nice.
8. 4e D&D. Just because, okay? You like it if you want to. I don't.
7. Online nerdspeak. Awesome involves awe. Sweetness is a taste. "Wicked cool" is not proper English. The abbreviation for "For example" is not "F'rex". Do piss off with your stupid, infantile, depressing, moronic shibboleths.
6. All that guff about the Rule of Cool. "All but the most pedantic of viewers will forgive liberties with reality so long as the result is wicked sweet and/or awesome." No. The Rule of Cool may work with doltish audiences, but stop acting like it's a good thing. Wicked sweetness and awesomeness is not an excuse for lazy writing, planning or execution. Or are we now going to start giving Michael Bay Oscars? See above re: mauling of the English language.
5. The wearing of geekiness as a badge of pride. As Bill Hicks said, it's a judgement call, and I'm making it: You shouldn't be proud to call yourself a geek. It's an insult, and no, using it to label yourself is not "reclaiming the word". Love the things you love, and don't stand for other people calling it geeky. And don't allow yourself the lazy way out of life that geekiness provides. Comic books and role playing games are not a shield to protect you from the world, and they are not really living. Get off your arse and do something with your life, for Christ's sake.
4. GNS Theory. I hadn't heard about it before this year, and I wish I never had. As if pseudo intellectual buffoonery wasn't a problem enough in the real world, it has to pervade an innocent hobby in which fat bearded guys pretend to be elves.
3. Vampire: The Masquerade. Every year since its release until the end of time. Yeah! Let's take Dracula and turn him into an emo goth kid with black makeup who self harms and listens to crap music! And then we'll laugh all the way to the bank!
2. Japanophiles. See Appendix A. Get your own culture and stop ransacking other people's.
1. People Who Want to 'Do' Another Game With Another Game. You know, all those people who post messages on rpg-related forums saying things like, "I want to do a game set in the fourth age of Middle Earth, except using Spirit of the Century rules, but with the combat system from ORE, and the critical hit tables from Rolemaster, and the task resolution from Sorceror, whaddaya reckon? Aren't I just the best?"? Those people will be first against the wall, my friends, come the revolution.
I feel better now that I've got that off my chest.
Normal non-ranty service will resume in the New Year.