Gamer Floaters Thoughts

by Victoria Jesswein published 2022/11/12 08:28:32 GMT-8, last modified 2022-11-12T08:28:33-08:00
Date: 20150731

This might be getting to be too lengthy a response, but here goes: I will also note that some of the participants observed included a few Game Masters, with one or more significant aspects of the aforementioned issues unfortunately.

It is interesting to observe just how much players (and GMs) will tolerate in order to get their "gaming fix", though I suspect the majority do not.

I have spoken with at least a few dozen players in Spokane that won't return to certain locations (game store, convention, house, etc.) or will not join (or will leave) a game if they see some of the more well known ("notorious"?) players or GMs are going to be at the table. Obviously some of this is just personality conflicts, different gaming styles, age/maturity differences, etc.

As I try to recall every RPGer I have met in Spokane, I think I have met (more than just in passing) a little over 100 players/GMs in this area since 2004 in total. There are around 450 in the local RPG group. This list is being adding weekly, there were under 300 when I was nominated to take over the group last Fall.

I believe I have met many more in passing, and through my surveys at Spocon, around 250-300 in the area so far, most of those in the last 3-5 years. In Seattle I have gamed with maybe 2-3 dozen so far, and met face-to-face in passing (not counting my presentations/speeches/panels), around 100 or so there. I have al
so spent some time at AFK Tavern, eating, but also observing and taking notes of the participants there.

None of this is really formal, and can't be considered scientific, and I can't think of any effective way to research the "Gamer Floater" idea, because if it
is true, the majority of gamers are _not_ seen in public.

So it is really only just musings, observations, and something I am concerned about, but do not think I can ever prove in a scientific way.

All that being said, for those that are struggling, when I have been able to have them migrate to my office or some other non-public venue, and integrate as part of a regular stable group, I have had some limited success in helping them modify their behaviours so that they are no longer disruptive, and have been able to participate for a prolonged period of time.

There have been a few that I have been unable to do so unfortunately. I would say those that I "failed" to be able to help them modify their behaviour(s) for participation in games, would be about 9 or 10 players in the Spokane area, and I frequently see them at PUGs around town.

These modifications were typically through private dialogue, and coming up with methods (passing notes, waiting until after game session to debate, getting them to bathe before attending, etc.), through a compassionate approach of being straight forward without being insensitively blunt, being considerate of their feelings, and not trying to publicly shame them.

There have been some times where I have had to publicly (in front of the group) reprimand a player for their actions, but I try to avoid that as much as possible (outside of the normal disciplinary reminders all GMs have to do from time to time for all players), and usually shaming approaches for those with significant dysfunctions just lead in the long run to counter-productive cognitions/behaviours, personal animosity, and other drama in the long run. At that point they tend to make it more about the GM or the other players "have it in for me", rather than focusing on their own behaviours.

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