Sunday, January 17, 2016

Impressions Made of Tabletop Gamers

I always laugh when I see the memes about how other people view Tabletop gamers.

Sadly, I get to deal with this kind of stuff in my real life. It's hard for me, because, as with most of life, it's other people judging you. I feel like I need to set the record straight. I'm not a gaming elitist, but I am on a mission to expose people to games outside of the basic Milton-Bradley games of my childhood. I also want to help young people see beyond the basic games that they play at home or games that, seriously... are far below their age level. I want to help them aspire to greater things and expand their minds. I mean, hello. . . I'm a teacher. . . it's in my job description.

I have all of the classic games in my home. I'm raising a child and I intend to bestow on her my love of gaming whether from my childhood or from my adulthood. I have Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Scrabble, Monopoly, Scattegories, Pictionary, Sorry, etc. I am not above these games. Did I play them through most of my youth. . . yes. These were the only options I had available to me. Do I still play them today? Not so much, because I've discovered the world of Tabletop games!

Now, everyone knows the games above. When I mention playing games, most people just think they're the games they have at home for their family. There is nothing wrong with these games at home for family. Granted, if you have 12+ years of age, you might want to move beyond the basic "draw a color, move your piece" kind of game. There's no real strategy to it. No real engagement. It's a learning game. It helps you learn colors and the basic mechanics of game play. Additionally, it teachers young gamers how to play properly; taking turns and the pitfalls of losing.

Never have I disputed the benefits of these games for young and emerging gamers, but that's not my goal for my Tabletop Game Club. I like to share new games with people. I like to expand the knowledge of what games can provide. Within my club, I have had great success. Sadly, thinking outside the box scares people. They only want what they know. And that's a greater problem than just within Tabletop Gaming, but it's something that causes my heart to break.

I get that some people are kidding, but it always feels like a tiny dagger stab at my heart when it's brought up that "you should include normal games." Especially from people who don't even deign to think outside the box or are scared to learn something new. Everyone knows the basic games that are available at every store, everywhere. But my mission is to expand the minds of people. Don't take little jabs at people just because they have a different world view.

Assumptions, as I've learned throughout my life, merely make an ass out of you. I'm not an elitist. I just feel there's more to this world than what's on the shelf at your local Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, etc. Nostalgia is at work for so many of these games when we think of them as adults. As children of the 80's, it's hard not to be nostalgic when everything from our childhood is coming back into modern pop-culture. I get it.

I don't write this because I "can't let it go." I write this to impress upon my readers and others how important it is to keep an open mind to our modern world. I have enough of myself to defend in the circles that I move in, I shouldn't have to defend a passion for advancing the understanding of games outside of the "normal" games every family cupboard possesses.

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