Selasa, 12 Juni 2012

Celebrating the Diversity of Players

Nowadays, to be classified as a gamer is about as specific as identifying them by their nationality. There are so many ways a person can be a gamer, and a good deal of us engage in more than one kind of game. There used to be a stigma associated with someone who games, but thanks to the march of modernity, most of the strange looks and condescending statements have died down significantly. Electronic gamers, in particular, have come to earn the kind of prestige previously reserved for the athletes and celebrities.

Let's narrow it down and focus on our beloved gaming category of choice, the tabletop roleplaying game. No two of us enjoy the hobby in the exact same way, and the extent of passion and dedication to this craft can vary. There are different types of GMs, and certainly different kinds of players.

I'm not here to enumerate the varieties as I'm sure you already have your own categorizations (and Google is your friend). What this little piece of mine is out to say is that having a mixed bag of players and game masters is perfectly alright! Let me make my case by using a previous gaming group I was in as an example.

Two GMs, One Gaming

Before anyone gets any barf-worthy imagery, let me explain. Marc and Marc (yes, they had the same first name) were two GMs running an "original" game world inspired by BattleTech, ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, and a touch of low-fantasy anime mecha-ness.

Marc 1 was the main GM of the campaign, and he was in charge of the narrative and the major NPCs. Mostly unburdened by the combat aspects of the game, he was able to focus on his assigned tasks, and thus was able to do his job, and experience his idea of fun as well.

Marc 2 had the tactical mind, so he reigned when it came to violence and conflict resolution (the bloody kind). Given that this campaign did take place during a full-on intersystem war, there was plenty of combat to be had. He also handled the loot management, as loot in this kind of setting often meant valuable resources and game-changing technology.

In this case, it was a great advantage that these two GMs had different styles, resulting in a great synergy that meant a better, more enjoyable game for the players. A lot of good fun can be experienced when people with different temperaments and specialities work together for a common goal.