D&D 5E How many players would use a service like this

I'm not sure if the OP got banned, certainly not from this thread. I suspect though they likely self-deleted because of the push-back they received on this topic. As an outsider to the thread they did seemed to get piled on by almost no one agreeing with them.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I mean, good grief, what's the difference between a paid DM and someone who makes streaming live play videos and tries to monetize their game that way? I really don't understand anyone having an objection to this.
Not everything in this world needs to be monetized; and IMO it would be a better place if many things* that are monetized, weren't.

* - the internet, for one.
 


Ondath

Hero
🤷‍♂️ Personally, I like to get paid when I do some work.
The problem is exactly that what should be "play" - that is, activity that aims to produce nothing other than enjoyment for its own, is transformed into "work", that is, activity that is supposed to create some societal value and merit recompense in return. I do not blame this on the people who do this for a living - the way society is currently structured requires us to earn money however we can to survive, and if your expertise in your hobby helps you earn a decent living, more power to you.

But the larger societal trend of commodifying everything is worrying IMO. Not everything needs to be a source of income, and more often than not turning something from play to work actually causes what made it fun to disappear. I do dislike how e-sports and professional TCG tournaments have created a class of overly negative people who no longer play for fun but chastise others when they play suboptimally, for instance. There's a reason everybody complains about LoL being extremely toxic, and I think the prominence of e-sports pushing negative or perfectionist people to the forefront is partly to blame.
 

The problem is exactly that what should be "play"
You call hardly rule that the whole internet should be only for play. I'm marking exam papers at the moment. Over the internet. That couldn't be construed as play in any way shape or form.
But the larger societal trend of commodifying everything is worrying
It's hardly a trend. Everything has always been commodified. Some people can grow food, some people can make flint axes. The people who grow the food swap it for flint axes.
 

Hussar

Legend
Not everything in this world needs to be monetized; and IMO it would be a better place if many things* that are monetized, weren't.

* - the internet, for one.
Fair enough, but, by the same token, it's not a bad thing for other people either. It's not like there's some moral deficiency monetizing running a D&D game. Realistically, there are all sorts of amateur activities where people get paid to run/organize/referee.

It's not like D&D isn't already heavily monetized as it is. How many kickstarters are there out there? Or people putting stuff up on DM's Guild? Or Patreons coming out the wazoo? Seems a little strange that we have zero problem with any other content provider asking to get paid but, for some reason, the guy that everyone tells me does 90% of the work organizing, running and managing a table asks for a passable wage and that's a bad thing?

Of all the things to get bothered about, this is so, so low down on the list. I mean, heck, everyone SHOULD be tipping their DM once in a while. Chip together with your fellow players and buy the guy a book once in a while as a thank you for the hundreds of hours he's putting in to keeping the game alive seems a rather minor thing.

It almost seems like suggesting that some DM's are getting paid for what they do kinda spotlights the fact that a lot of DM's put in a bunch of work, often for very, very little payoff.

Do everyone a favor (and I address this to everyone reading this, not @Lanefan) and buy your DM something before your next session. It will do wonders for your DM. I still remember the first time a player ever bought a book for me as a thank you for running and it still sticks with me. Fantastic stuff.
 

Hussar

Legend
But the larger societal trend of commodifying everything is worrying IMO
I'm sorry, but, what part of gaming isn't commodified? The only thing that hasn't been commodified since pretty much day 1 is DMing. Everything else about the hobby certainly has been and has been for a very long time.

I'm really not seeing this as a new thing. I could get paid for every part of my hobby except running a game for a very long time. I haven't, fair enough. But, I certainly could. Or at least I could try. :D So, why should running a game be any different?

Do I want to? No, I don't. Not really my bag. Then again, there's lots of jobs I don't want to do. OTOH, maybe a lot of the really, really garbage gaming that I've experienced over the years, players who can't be bothered showing up, can't be bothered engaging when they do show up, can be bothered learning the rules or even the basic outline of their character rules, so on and so forth, would have been nipped in the bud if I was charging 25 bucks a session per player.
 

delericho

Legend
The problem is exactly that what should be "play" - that is, activity that aims to produce nothing other than enjoyment for its own, is transformed into "work", that is, activity that is supposed to create some societal value and merit recompense in return.
The problem there is who gets to decide what should be 'work' and what should be 'play'? If I've spent tens of thousands of hours developing a skill, why should I not be able to parlay that into an income if someone else is willing to pay for it - especially if that someone has a desire to access that skill and doesn't currently have any other access to it?

And, yes, who decides where the boundary between game-adjacent 'work' tasks and 'play' tasks? Why is it acceptable to charge for a pregen adventure/setting/whatever that I have written, but not acceptable to charge for running the game?
But the larger societal trend of commodifying everything is worrying IMO. Not everything needs to be a source of income, and more often than not turning something from play to work actually causes what made it fun to disappear.
That is why I wouldn't personally go down the pro-DM route (one of a few reasons). But that's my choice. Others choose differently, and that's their right.

Do everyone a favor (and I address this to everyone reading this, not @Lanefan) and buy your DM something before your next session. It will do wonders for your DM. I still remember the first time a player ever bought a book for me as a thank you for running and it still sticks with me. Fantastic stuff.
This I disagree with. Speaking for myself only, I DM because I enjoy it. If I didn't, I wouldn't. So I wouldn't feel right accepting a gift for something I'd want to be doing regardless.
 

Ondath

Hero
You call hardly rule that the whole internet should be only for play. I'm marking exam papers at the moment. Over the internet. That couldn't be construed as play in any way shape or form.
That's fair, though I think @Lanefan's point about the Internet being better off not monetised was more concerned with how the majority of the Internet is in the hands of a few conglomerates whose growth strategy relies on attention economy through ad revenue. Old Internet was much more of a sprinkling of small communities that were created for the sake of the thing discussed (and I'd say forums like ENWorld are a relic of that past), but now communities and people on Facebook, Twitter or Youtube care more about getting more attention so that either they or the platform that hosts them can earn money. This leads to a misalignment of goals because you might start doing things that you normally wouldn't just to attract more attention. You might start producing clickbait content if you're a D&D youtuber, for instance, or you might restrict certain kinds of (perfectly legal) speech because it's not advertiser-friendly. I think these kinds of considerations weighing heavier in the minds of communities and content creators is unhelpful for hobbies in the longer run.

As for @Hussar's comment (sorry I can't quote it properly! It popped up while I was typing and I just wanted to address it in its larger point without going down into specifics), I definitely don't think that monetising your hobby is a moral failing in any way. Like I said, as individuals in a capitalistic society, we have to make a living somehow and if your hobby is marketable, it's only rational to do that (it might even be moral if your choices are monetising your hobby or working in an overtly harmful sector like an oil or tobacco company, for instance). I myself run a geek culture podcast and if we got some sponsorships offered, I'd accept them in a heartbeat (provided it was a company I was okay with ethically, of course).

As for gaming being commodified from the start, certain parts of it were, for sure! Production of rules and content as well as gaming aids, for one. But I think the commodification of the experience at the table itself is new. And I think it's understandable that the line we're crossing is met with some trepidation.

(Also, if it were down to me I'd say any and all hobbies should be completely decommodified and everyone should be able to live decently without needing to sell your labour for wages, but that's obviously not the society we live in. It should be helpful in showing the kind of ideal scenario I'm working from, though.)
 

Ondath

Hero
It's hardly a trend. Everything has always been commodified. Some people can grow food, some people can make flint axes. The people who grow the food swap it for flint axes.
I think this part of the comment was edited in after I typed my response, but I disagree. Pre-capitalist societies did not commodify everything. I don't think the creator of chess or any other pre-modern board game designed those games with monetisation in mind. The "games" were not licensed as intellectual property, and people played them in their spare time. Sure, the material things you need to play those games could be commodified (the chess boards, the playing cards etc.), but the concept of designing or playing a game in itself being a business venture is eminently modern.
 

Voidrunner's Codex

Remove ads

Top