Quote of the Day

Paraphased from Ron Edwards.

The commonly and uncritically repeated phrase [is] that a primary rule [of good gaming] is “Don’t be a dick.” In application, that usually means “don’t disturb the unspoken social dynamic” or “subordinate yourself to the dominant personality.” What I am saying is that we begin with the notion that we are here to have fun, and as such, any notion that someone must make sure that happens is evidence that the primary notion is, for this group [as a whole], not reliably present.


  1. A bit of a reach? Or am I missing some sort of context, here? I’m just not seeing “Don’t be a dick” equating directly to “Sit down, shut up, and don’t bother the host/alpha geek/DM/whatever.”

  2. That part probably requires context — the main point of importance (to me) was the part I emphasized near the end. To further summarize my paraphrase: “if you group says ‘we’re all here to have fun’ but one person is saddled with the job of making sure that is happening, then the other people aren’t doing their share.”

  3. Well, most of the time you summarize social rules down to something pithy, they turn out to be self-evident.
    I’d say that it’s everyone’s responsibility to *allow* everyone to have fun (some folks wouldn’t *have* fun if you wrapped it in bacon and paid them to take a bite). Actually having fun is each person’s personal responsibility, within the bounds of not being a dick (i.e., interfering with others having fun).
    It’s not one person (the GM’s) job, though folks usually look at him/her as to cues.
    Hrm. I’m babbling.

  4. It’s not so cut-and-dried, though, because the methods of communicating the “fun” are so idiosyncratic. Is the person who is showing up every week “having fun because if she isn’t, she’d stop showing?” Where is the line drawn between gamemaster and host, and the rules different? If someone is not having fun, how and when do they share that? What if it’s with someone who helps the rest of the group have more fun? “Fun” is a minefield filled with drama bombs.

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