Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Terrible Admission

This post is going to be an admission, but before I get to that, I have two points to make.

First, I typically don’t get too worked up by what I read in the blogosphere. You occasionally come across vitriol and bitterness in flame-wars and such, and my response is to usually laugh at that stuff. Yes, hurtful things occasionally get said. Yes, some people reveal themselves to be total pricks. But most of it just rolls off—at least for me personally.

Secondly, I know that some people really DO NOT like what he has to say. There is a vocal minority that seems to really resent his opinions and believes that he is a pompous A-hole. I am NOT one of those people. Typically, I am in agreement with James M on what he says; Grognardia is a site that I visit without fail. But his point here is one that I do not agree with.

So here it is:

My Terrible Admission

Currently, I am not playing any rpgs. In fact, I haven’t played any in years.

There, I said it.


I don’t have the time. With a career, three small children, and a wife who has interests of her own, I cannot support the time expenditure required. Does that mean that I should just hang up this blogging thing?

For me, I blog (and try to be involved in this online community) specifically because I don’t have time to play. Of the two, blogging takes up less time than playing would. If I made the decision to play, I certainly couldn’t play and blog at the same time. It would be impossible.

I am envious of those of you who play—more envious of you who write amazing blogs and still have time to play. But that is just not going to be me anytime soon.

Needless to say, I disagree with James’ assertion that people who write about playing should be playing as a prerequisite to writing about it.


  1. You have to ignore the 'those who play know best' philosophy. Every campaign/DM/player/session is so different, it's almost meaningless.

    I don't think the post in question had negative intentions. The 'Joesky Tribute' is one of the best things to come out of the blogosphere in 2010. I think the Grognardia post was meant to support more active play.

    Read Will Mistretta's comment - he almost invariably 'nails it' with great insight. I strongly recommend following his blog.

    Contributions to good gaming come from all over. If you're not currently reading a book, does that mean you shouldn't blog about books?

  2. I'm not much better then you. One saturday nite a month, via a Virtual Table Top - so myself and the other players never even leave their homes.

    Hope I don't stand to have my Blogger's Card revoked ;)

  3. I don't think James was being mean-spirited, I believe he was trying to encourage more 'actual play' posts.

    Personally, if it was a simple choice between playing vs. blogging(I don't, but I read and respond to 'em, which may not count, but...), I'd go for playing, every time. Loads more fun, imo!

    Hope your situation improves; I had that problem until I stopped looking for players in the 'gamer' crowd, and introduced friends to RPGs.(Not by proselytizing, mind you, just found out some people never knew what it was, and from there, bang!)

  4. I broke my back in 2007. I haven't been able to really play since. I've been a GM for almost 18 years now and gaming is always on my mind. Everyday I think about it in some way or another. I don't think lack of actual play makes it any less valid. I recently took up a spot as a blogger on Stargazersworld just so I would have some sort of outlet for what's on my mind.

    I say keep it up, and good on you. I don't take any shame in this and no one else should either.

  5. I dont play because I have 2 small children. When they are older, there will be much more playing. Right now, my time is at a premium and I spend the majority of it on writing game books, and a little on blogging.

  6. Shoot, man. I haven't played in something like a couple of decades, but I'll be rolling dice again as a DM in February, so I figure I'm covered. :)

    But while I haven't played, I've sure given this game a heck of a lot of thought in those two decades. It's been my "go to" topic of choice for things to write and think about during breaks and lunches and whatnot. I'd piled up a lot of material, only to see myself throw pretty much all of it after encountering the OSR and reexamining the stuff.

    Been a heck of a last 12 months, D&D-wise.

  7. Blogging without playing for some five months, for me, was a useful way of getting my priorities and ideas straight, so that when I did open my game I was using a house-system I was almost completely happy with. Sometimes thought does well to precede action. The more reading and writing you do, the more thought. I hope all three kids become gamers and you can someday lead them into a campaign!

  8. Not having the time to play regularly is nothing to feel guilty about. Ongoing experience at the table with your creations is great, but I've also found that sometimes the things that my gaming group likes has no bearing on what the rest of the d&d world is doing (my submissions to RPG superstar can testify to that). There is always somewhat of a disconnect between the creation of gaming material and putting it into play. I don't think that such a small sample as an individual gaming group bridges that gap enough to warrant criticism.
    As they say in Futurama, at the end of the day you gotta do what you gotta do :)

  9. @velaran - Unfortunately, it is not a simple choice, for a variety of reasons. In my case, it will probably remain blogging only...

    It's ncie to see that there are others in my shoes. Thanks for the comments, guys!

  10. As far as time, I am guessing for a lot of us blogging types, we generally equate "DMing" with "playing". Actually just being a player takes zero prep. It's a lot more manageable than running a campaign.