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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Interacting with RPG People Online: the Tim Way

I wrote this over on Google+.  Figured I would share it here too.


I don't like conflict, never have.  I also suck at standing up for myself, but I'm trying to work on that front.  Seeing friends of mine attacking each other is always disheartening.  I also avoid choosing sides and try to stay as far away from internet drama as possible.  I do prefer those that stick more to gaming chatter by in large.  

It seems that I have way more patience for dealing with problematic personalities that others find super annoying.  Some of us have undiagnosed personality disorders I think.  I have anxiety and depression issues, so I'm not above anyone.  I often find myself in the predicament of having two or more friends that despise each other, and yet, I still consider them all my friends.  I'll give you an example.

A younger much more naive version of myself got married when I was 20 (and somehow I'm still married at 38).  At that time I had a pretty decent sized pool of friends from various backgrounds, cliques, groups, etc.  I invited them all to my bachelor party in the mountains (we made dams in the creek, slid down a natural water/rock slide, ate lots of food, and drank generic soda pop).  Yes, I know, I had a boring party by many standards but for me it was mostly just what the doctor ordered.  That park is still my favorite place on Earth.  

Roughly one third of my friends left almost as soon as they arrived to this party.  Why did they do that?  They did that because they couldn't stand some of my other friends, and could not bear to hang out with me while they were there.  So their distaste for some of the guests was greater than wanting to hang out with me for one last night before I got married.  It pissed me off then, but I understand their reaction too to a certain degree.  That reaction just isn't one that I use much in my life.

How does this all apply to people that are into RPGs and interacting with them?

*Even if Friend X says Friend Y is awful, that doesn't mean you need to ditch Friend Y.  If Friend X can't handle that you are still friends with Friend Y that is their problem not yours.  This doesn't mean that you approve 100% with Friend Y's behavior either.

*I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe they are acting like an asshat today.  There are probably reasons for that, and maybe they should have just stayed away from the keyboard while they were upset or felt like crap, etc.  I don't throw a friendship (or online interaction type person) away for a bad day.  People are people, and we all suck sometimes.  I think people need a bit of forgiveness and leeway.

*If a friend or acquaintance sucks donkey balls all the time, and they are a leech and the relationship with them is nothing but a one way street, sure, now it's time to dump their ass on the curb and move on.  Life is just too short for that kind of draining negativity.

*People have commented that I do respond to trolls and that I shouldn't feed them, yada yada.  Well, trolls are people too (albeit misguided ones that come in several varieties).  I think I've surprised some of them by being nice in response to some asinine nasty comment they made on a blog post or RPG video, or Facebook post or Google+ post.  I've even got a few to apologize (I know, a miracle right)?  Sometimes I'll even agree with them, but spin their comment a bit.  I also like self-deprecating humor, so there is that.

*I don't think I need to win every argument, and to me a friendship or relationship with a person online means more to me than winning.

*Maybe I'm just a dreamer (cue the Beatles) but I do kind of expect people to be nice to each other as a general rule.  My expectations are often not met however, haha.  Still, for myself I do aim to be nice to everyone if possible.  If not, there are blocking features, removing them from circles or friends' lists, etc.

*I know that my personality type / way of dealing with people can piss some people off too.  "Dammit man, get angry or something."  I'm sure it might be healthier to unleash on someone from time to time, but that just isn't my M.O.

If you want to stick around to hear my random thoughts, campaign ideas, opinions about games, etc.  I'll be bere.  If not, good luck to ya and have a good one.


P.S. This was surprisingly hard to write, and I have a sneaking suspicion it is as clear as mud.  I hope you got something out of it.


  1. Clear as day, man, and Amen to 95% of it.

    1. I'm a trained monkey that I am is glad of that. :) hehe.

  2. My personal opinion is that conflict is so common when discussing RPGs in particular BECAUSE we have a higher proportion of people with some sort of personality disorder. I know when I began gaming in the 80s, I was an immature teen with undiagnosed ADHD, I lacked self-confidence and self control, but I was imaginative and enthusiastic, and that's why gaming appealed. When I look back at the guys I played with, we were not the 'normal' kids, but that was why we banded together with a common interest. I suspect many of the old-time gamers who now frequently online groups are very similar. Thus, and I know I'm generalising, a lot of us have strong personal views, are unlikely to waver in them, and don't always possess the tools to get them across in the most empathetic of ways.

    1. That makes a lot of sense. As I stated, I know I have my own issues too. Let's hope therapy helps a little in that regard for me. ;) hehe. Here's to more empathy out there in the various nooks and crannies of the online gaming discussion community type thing.

  3. I agree with you Tim. I myself don't like conflict, and more often than not I have the attitude of "why can't we all just get along". Side note it's clear as day to me as well. And I agree I'd rather have friends than winning. I've made a lot of friends so far and have enjoyed the conversations. If something comes up that bothers me, I try not to get into it. Good post.

    1. Thanks Shane. Yeah, wish we could get along because... well... these are just games after all. :)