My philosophy of gaming: And why it’s different from everyone else’s.


A lot of people think that gaming and role playing in general is about wish fulfillment. This is all well and good in most situations, but the problem is this. What if player A’s wish conflicts with player B’s wish? That’s why I don’t share this philosophy of gaming. I think it’s a dreadful mistake. I was in a situation once where a good friend of mine thought he was doing a character of mine a favor by removing the source of the character’s angst and replacing it with a carefully manipulated happiness. He was totally unprepared for how upset I was. It wasn’t the character’s sudden happy ending that bothered me. It was that I felt cheated by the loss of the ability to overcome that problem in a manner that I saw as more appropriate.

Roleplaying is about characters sharing a world and participating in the vision of the game master. It’s not just up to the GM to create a world that’s fun to play in and allow the players to make whatever they want in his sandbox. It’s also up to the players to ask good questions, and work WITH the GM to create characters that fit the world. All too often, I’ve encountered situations where someone said “That’s not how I thought it worked.” To which my response was “You didn’t ask” or “You didn’t write me a background that made that clear.” Always try to find out what themes and tones the GM is trying to explore before putting your character to paper. Players have a responsibility, too, and it’s not just to create a character that they find interesting. It’s to create a character that everyone else in the group will want to spend some time around.

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  • Upcoming Appearances

    Heroicon, Decatur, Illinois, May 15-17

    Michael will be appearing at Heroicon as a Special Guest, where he will run games and appear on panels. All proceeds from this convention go to benefit troops overseas with games, both donated and purchased, sponsored by a group called Games for Troops. I know it's a trek. Come join me anyway.

    Nexus Game Fair, Milwaukee, WI, June 25-28

    Michael will be appearing at Nexus Game Fair as a Special Guest, where he will run games and appear on Panels.

    Gencon, Indianapolis, IN, July 29-August 2.

    Michael will be attending Gencon and representing Blackwyrm Games, where his latest products will be playtested and he will have at least one signing.