Let's talk about xenophobia, because that's a fun topic. I'm talking about gamer xenophobia in general.
As J-to the Mizzal once said, "there are some really crazy people in this hobby." Frankly, I think he was being quite diplomatic in his assessment.
I have met my share of unhygienic gamers. I have met crazy muthafuckas who sit down at the convention table and immediately want to start talking about how much they love knives, or how their next Deadlands character will be a guy "like, but not exactly like, The Guyver." One of them showed me a video of him mutilating stuffed animals with a firearm. One of them offered to translate what my cat was saying, and changed subjects in conversation approximately every two and a half seconds. You get the idea. It seems that the past few years, for every interesting or intelligent gamer I meet, I have to wade through five knife-tards and a guy with wet palms who stalks my wife by email.
I get kind of xenophobic about new gamers.
I consider my current Sunday group an enormous Karmic payback. As you may recall, the group actually didn't start out very well for me; I was ready to bail on our doucheboat of a GM until we had La Revolucion and booted his ass. Since then, the group has attracted some very fun gamers to play with. I look forward to playing with this crowd every Sunday. Shit, even the guy who makes generally problematic characters is just plain awesome to share table space with.
Then, out of the blue, a new guy contacts our host by email and requests to join the group.
My immediate response is to run silent, run deep. Seal the borders. Raise the drawbridge. No hablo ingles.
Ah, but what about the other guys? They were all new at one point or another... and so was I.
Yes, but it was our second GM, the one who spearheaded La Revolucion, that gave them a chance.
...but now, we rotate who the GM is. The decision-making in this group is a lot more democratic now.
If US political discourse has taught me anything in the last ten years, it means I need to demonize anyone who agrees with me and prey upon the latent fears of my Sunday group. (At least four of whom are likely to read this blog entry- zing!)
I do realize that this entry probably makes me come off as a raging asshole, and perhaps I am. At the very least, this is a private group and inclusion is entirely at our discretion, as opposed to being stuck next to knife-tard at a convention game. (Or having him show up at the table for the convention game you're running!)
Gentle readers, what say you about the subject? Is gamer xenophobia at all justified? Am I just being a snob?
**word for word quote... guy ambushed me at the place I was working back then, so there was no escape....no escape...