Gamers! (a bit of a rant)




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    Gamers! (a bit of a rant)

    I'm getting a bit frustrated lately, so forgive me if this sounds a little whiny. I've been gaming (mostly D&D) since the late 70s. As most people on here will attest, gamers can sometimes be a bit awkward socially outside of their gaming groups (and sometimes within...)

    But, outside of RPGs and maybe middle school, do people suddenly just stop responding and disappear in real life? I can't imagine that in the professional world where I work, but I guess since I've been out of college since the late 80s, maybe it's a different world.

    As a few people here know, I recently moved across Connecticut and have been trying to find either a gaming group that needs an extra player, or else start my own gaming group. My old gaming group is now 60-90 minutes away from my new home, so that's not really an option for them to drive.

    So, I put out ads in various places seeking gaming groups or gamers (here, RPGnet, WotC forums, rpg game find, pen & paper games, etc)

    I received several responses from people that seemed interested.

    One guy seemed really interested, and would respond within minutes of me sending him emails about his D&D experience. He even contacted a friend of his that lives close to my house and the friend was also interested. Over the next week or so, we exchanged some humorous gaming stories and seemed to be on the same page in terms of gaming. Then, suddenly, the guy stopped responding to my emails. Not even, "sorry, I'm not interested anymore" or "sorry, I found another group" - nothing. It was like the guy dropped off the face of the earth. This was a guy that had responded to one of my ads, not me contacting him.

    Similarly, another guy responded to a post of mine on another message board. We exchanged a few emails and agreed to meet at a local book store. We chatted for a while at the book store and seemed to get along well. He was even excited and mentioned a friend of his that lived west of my new home that would love to get back into gaming with him (this guy lived east of my home, and my home was in between). He contacted the friend and the friend was interested. This guy was married, with kids and in the military, so I figured he was probably a responsible guy. I guess I was wrong - he suddenly stopped responding, and I never heard back from him again. Not even a "sorry, I got shipped out" or anything like that. No explanation. Though, I know he's been online, as you can sort this msg board by last visit date.

    I could go on here, but this has happened to me with five different gamers now since I moved. Only one of them (a couple that wasn't available on weekends) had the courtesy to respond to say they couldn't play on weekends. Is it too much to ask people to say, "Sorry, I can't make it" or similar? It seems like middle school maturity to not even respond & be man enough to say "no" - only the two gamers where one was a woman had the decency to give me closure.

    I'm getting pretty frustrated overall, though. I'd rather have just gotten a flat out "no" from people than have been led along to think they were interested only to just suddenly disappear. Heck, I'd rather they have said, "your game sounds like it sucks" than what I got.

    sorry - just venting here.

    back to your regularly scheduled gaming.
    Valar Morghulis

 

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    These kinds of responses are 100% par for the course when it comes to finding others for activities in a setting that doesn't have any actual friendship status to begin with. People will drop you like a bad habit for almost anything and that isn't even just for role-playing.

    It sucks. You bet. But sadly you have to expect a good deal of dropout. I mean...even real friends do that so people who don't know you will do it even easier.

    I know how you feel. But keep it up. You WILL find a group it just may take longer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karak View Post
    These kinds of responses are 100% par for the course when it comes to finding others for activities in a setting that doesn't have any actual friendship status to begin with. People will drop you like a bad habit for almost anything and that isn't even just for role-playing.

    It sucks. You bet. But sadly you have to expect a good deal of dropout. I mean...even real friends do that so people who don't know you will do it even easier.

    I know how you feel. But keep it up. You WILL find a group it just may take longer.
    well, with my old gaming group, I did the same thing (advertise on msg boards) to find local people and it worked out great. And, even on the first day when we gamed in Sept of 2007, one guy decided not to show at the last minute, but at least he had the courtesy to drop me an email (I still remember it, too, he got laid off from his job as an engineer & his wife was forcing him to deliver pizza on our gaming night to bring in money... maybe a BS excuse, but at least he let me know he wasn't coming)

    The only "drop out" from that group over 5 years was a guy whose now ex-wife sprung a surprise divorce on him. And, he later came back to be my "monster wrangler" for the campaign finale. And, I had a group of 8 players for a while there, including 2 women. (Heck, I ended up turning people away because even 8 was too much for me much of the time...)

    Maybe I just had great timing in 2007? Or, bad timing in 2012? It can't just be the economy, because it was already starting to get bad in 2007.
    Valar Morghulis

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    That's not gamers, that's "people you don't know". You'd have a similar dropoff rate trying to set up a bowling team of strangers.

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    I agree with the others. My gaming crew has often told me they're bringing someone by for the game, only to have that newcomer never show and no reason given. Same has happened to people who I've randomly met and found out about my game and asked to drop by. I'll welcome them if they do show, but for the most part, I don't think any of them ever actually have. I try to not let it bother me anymore, but I've got a steady crew anyways - I can see where its more frustrating when you don't have other gamers to fall back on.

    Out of curiosity, are you trying to start the game(s) up in a public play place or at someone's home? You might have more luck if you can garner a public area where people can come and go somewhat freely. Sometimes being invited to play at a stranger's house can be a little intimidating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
    That's not gamers, that's "people you don't know". You'd have a similar dropoff rate trying to set up a bowling team of strangers.
    maybe part of my frustration is that I had great success with the same method before and put together a great gaming group in a few weeks that lasted for 5 years.

    (And, in the late 90s, I found a gaming group with a hall-of-fame level DM using this same method as well...)

    And, I've used online forums to meet people for other things as well - strangers as well - and haven't really had problems like this. (sports fans for sporting events, political people for political meetups, etc)
    Valar Morghulis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormonu View Post
    I agree with the others. My gaming crew has often told me they're bringing someone by for the game, only to have that newcomer never show and no reason given. Same has happened to people who I've randomly met and found out about my game and asked to drop by. I'll welcome them if they do show, but for the most part, I don't think any of them ever actually have. I try to not let it bother me anymore, but I've got a steady crew anyways - I can see where its more frustrating when you don't have other gamers to fall back on.

    Out of curiosity, are you trying to start the game(s) up in a public play place or at someone's home? You might have more luck if you can garner a public area where people can come and go somewhat freely. Sometimes being invited to play at a stranger's house can be a little intimidating.
    I've said I'm willing to host, but never that it must be at my place.
    Valar Morghulis

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    Ya, not just gamers. I've seen similar things happen with book clubs.

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    @NewJeffCT
    Think of it like dating. On average, men asking a woman out will succeed one out of every ten times (I'm sure I read that from a heavily footnoted scientific journal like Men's Health ). So, every "no" is one step closer to a "yes".

    EDIT: My buddy Greg is out in CT, can't remember which town, but I don't think he's a gamer. He is the type who might get into it once invited by the right group of people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NewJeffCT View Post
    But, outside of RPGs and maybe middle school, do people suddenly just stop responding and disappear in real life?
    Yes, people are jerks. (Okay, okay, some people.)

    I can't imagine that in the professional world where I work, but I guess since I've been out of college since the late 80s, maybe it's a different world.
    Ah, the world of work is somewhat different. If you show that behaviour to your employer, you very quickly don't have a job. Nor do you have a reference to get you your next job, either. But when it comes to leisure pursuits...

    I'm played in pipe bands for decades, and pipe bands need to raise lots of money to keep going. That, of course, means taking on paid performances, and those invariably require that you field a band of a given size. And if you don't deliver what you promise you may well not get paid (at all), and you certainly don't get any work from that customer in future. Basically, it's a massive problem.

    And yet, despite this point having been made to the members many times, and its seriousness made very clear, we still have massive problems, with people who never seem to be available for the 'work' part of the equation (when all of that work is directed at keeping the band going for them) or, worse, who promise that they will be available for events and then simply fail to show up.

    There is one upside to this: it's quite easy to quickly identify the people who can be relied on to show up when they've promised (and, in the case of bands, when required), and those who cannot be relied on. Having done that, my recommendation is simple: don't game with jerks.

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