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The Six Cultures of Gaming

I want to highlight this point. It’s almost a truism that a fundamental of a good game is that you trust the GM, and the GM is trustworthy, but so many threads are based on problems that boil down to lack of trust that it seems we need to keep saying it.

Just as a side comment, I frequently note there's a fairly big gap between trusting a GMs intentions and trusting their judgment. I'd pretty quickly disengage with a GM who I distrusted the former, but I'm liable to be more forgiving of lapses in the latter, because in my observation, they're relatively common even in otherwise decent GMs and the number of GMs I've seen over my career who are really reliably trustworthy in both senses have been rare.
 

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They don't build trust for me; in fact, the opposite.

As a player if I see an X-card or similar my first thought is that now I a) have to wonder just where the GM is planning to take this game and b) have to now trust the other players (or even the GM!) not to use i; 'cause I know I sure as hell won't be using it.
if someone asks you to put a seatbelt on, do you wonder exactly how fast they are going to drive, and then worry about trusting the other passengers not to use it to leave you trapped in the car? I wonder if it’s just the novelty of the X-card that surprises you; I believe that when seatbelts were first introduced a lot of people were suspicious or skeptical, but now — not so much. If it helps, I’ve never seen the x-card abused in a decade of play, and I have seen it be helpful several times. I’d suspect that, like a seatbelt, although it does occasionally cause problems, it stops them becoming nasty way more often.

Even if that doesn’t help, knowing that other people are happier with it, despite you being suspicious might at least make the game overall more fun!
 

lol, they'd be out the door so fast for abusing the rest of the group's sensitivity that way at my table.
Given that the offender was also the host... we did walk.
They don't build trust for me; in fact, the opposite.

As a player if I see an X-card or similar my first thought is that now I a) have to wonder just where the GM is planning to take this game and b) have to now trust the other players (or even the GM!) not to use i; 'cause I know I sure as hell won't be using it.
I feel much the same way. Then again, I don't like running games where the rules encourage the kinds of themes that an X-Card is a reasonable precaution for.

if someone asks you to put a seatbelt on, do you wonder exactly how fast they are going to drive, and then worry about trusting the other passengers not to use it to leave you trapped in the car?
If they're driving a golf cart, public transit bus, or an indoor transport (such as at Chigaco's O'Hare airport (ORD)), hell yes I wonder
If it's a standard road car, no. But that is where your metaphor fails.

See, with RPGs, the issue of safety shouldn't require an X-card in mainstream RPGs. But a huge number of low-fanbase RPGs are filled with various "edgy" and/or offensive and/or narrowly targeted audiences. In those, the X-card or an equivalent is useful. But I generally don't want to play games where it's going to even come close to useful with people I don't trust to be useful.

I've had three players abuse fade to black options in the last 10 years. In all three cases, munchkins prone to rules-lawyering. In two of the cases, it wasn't the only toxic behavior. In the third, it was explicitly to prevent an encounter that the player knew was going to benefit others but not his character. 2 of the three were in public space games.

If you've never had someone abuse it, consider yourself lucky. Hell, if it had beena thing in the 80's, I'd have used it to avoid certain boring-to-me-but-not-to-others scenes as a player.
 
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