Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grinding to Valhalla Interview

If only to provide further evidence of my ceaseless self-aggrandizement, I point you toward an interview I did over at Grinding to Valhalla, a site filled with interviews of all sorts of people involved in gaming (broadly defined). It was a fun interview, because I was asked some questions I don't usually get asked, which gave me new topics on which to pontificate.

Take a look and, while you're at the site, check out the other interviews, some of which might be of interest to regular readers of this blog.


  1. "Rather, I think what we need are more gamers who are willing to share their hobby with interested newcomers."

    I'm so in agreement, here. I have one acquaintance from work, who's never played and is coming over this month to give D&D a whirl. The only other person I've asked at work, so far, requested that I email him some info, though I don't know if he's really open to the idea or just being polite.

    Regardless, one accepted invitation and one maybe isn't bad at all and I have to wonder why more gamers, especially DM's, seem reticent to invite newcomers into the hobby. I suspect it's the whole "gamer shame" thing, which I've never felt.

    I can understand why someone with a full compliment of players might be reluctant to go out of their way to bring someone else into the mix. But a lot of DM's seem to be having trouble finding others to play with.

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  3. Nice interview. I like your reply on the MMORPG question.

  4. Very good interview and a GREAT accompanying photo!

  5. @James M:
    Enjoyed the interview!
    Wow, you played 3.X for SIX years? I don't know anyone that managed past 4½ or so!

    'That’s the great thing about tabletop roleplaying: these games never go out of date. That’s why my friends and I can enjoy ourselves with a game published in 1974':
    I loved this particularly. A very few people don't seem to get this, for some reason.

    'My feeling is that, if they’re interested in what they see me do at the dining room table with my friends, they’ll come and ask me more about it.':
    Words of Wisdom. Worked for some of my friends, I might add!

    'For myself, I see computer gaming generally and MMOs in particular as a totally different, though clearly related, hobby to tabletop gaming. That’s why it baffles me a bit when it’s suggested, as you do, that there’s something odd about a fan of one hobby also enjoying the other. From my perspective, my enjoyment of World of Warcraft is no different than a bibliophile’s enjoyment of movies; there’s no reason I can’t like both.':
    I want the T-shirt! Seriously, this paragraph is pure gold. Anyone who thinks MMOS/Videogames/Boardgames/Cardgames 'stole' the playerbase of RPGs is ill-informed, imo. Observing the number of dedicated players of D&D vs. those who were simply cycling through momentarily 'popular' forms of entertainment in say, the 80's alone, should put the lie to that.

    @the 'other' James:
    'I have to wonder why more gamers, especially DM's, seem reticent to invite newcomers into the hobby. I suspect it's the whole "gamer shame" thing, which I've never felt.':
    Sometimes, I suspect you're right on this one. I've had a few acquaintances(they don't play with our group, happy to say!) immediately stop talking about their games/RPG preferences/past characters/etc... and look wary when 'non-gamers'(especially non-whites and/or 'chix'[that they ASSUME have never played and/or don't know what an RPG is|in more than one case, wrongly!|]) happen by. It astounds me that these very same people will natter on about movies, sports, and even video games in front of everyone! Personally, I've never had a bad experience stemming from 'non-hobby' people discovering that I play RPGs(though one, somewhat humorously[or so I thought, at the time :-)], conflated Magic and D&D). Hell, I've never had anything particularly pejorative about RPGs said in my earshot(and I doubt anyone cares or even give a thought to it anyway).(Also, most of my co-workers are fairly young! The whole 'Satanic panic' eluded them.) On top of this, some of those 'non-gamers' have joined in with our group for a session or two(to give it a try and learn the ropes). This resulted in new players for some local groups. Even people not likely to play(or at least, not my games of choice) have expressed polite interest, ime.

    I guess this explains this one: 'But a lot of DM's seem to be having trouble finding others to play with.'(A 'lot'? Sad.)

    Me, I don't have the 'shame', and honestly, I wouldn't bother to associate with those who did.(The Cons I've been to didn't seem to suffer from this ridiculous self-loathing. Mental strength in numbers? ;-)) Life's too short to beat yourself up over irrelevancies! I'd like to think that's why I'm playing as much as I want to! I mean, really, why should you(or anyone, really) give even ONE shit what other people think about your inoffensive hobby(ies)?

  6. Why does he assume "it's been a while" since you rolled a d20? Didn't he read your previous answers about your current campaign or anything on your blog for that matter? Odd interview.