Thursday, July 28, 2011

Playing D&D With Strangers

I've always been a fairly reserved person in real life, at least around people I don't know very well.  Generally the first impression I give people is "quiet and serious," and if I meet someone I must interact with regularly, but don't care to get to know (i.e. 99% of my co-workers), this impression usually turns into a lasting one.  The reason for my reservation lies primarily with the fact that I can be pretty obnoxious at times.  The people that I allow to see that side often find me to be quite the opposite of "quiet and serious," and more attune to "loud and hilarious."  Because I have enough self-awareness to realize that my personality could possibly come off as obnoxious and abrasive to some.  I like to joke (often at my own expense and even more often at the expense of others...but in a funny way as opposed to an assholish manner), I like to swear (way more than I should probably), I like to get drunk sometimes (which usually adds to the obnoxiousness), and I love to game.  That is the real me, and a side not often seen by many people.

Now, you're probably reading this, and thinking "why is he telling us this? Who gives a crap?"  I grew up playing D&D, and various other games, with a small group of friends in my high school years.  Not all of us attended the same school, but we all met up on the weekends at our FLGS to game.  As time went on, and we graduated, things began changing, which is natural.  Some went off to college, some were working, I joined the military, etc., and our gaming group fell to the wayside.  We were a close group (often to this day we refer to ourselves in the manner of brothers as opposed to friends), and had gamed together for years.  These are the people with whom I learned to play the game, and with a few exceptions, were the only people I'd ever really played D&D with, or any of our other games for that matter.

When I was away in the military, I was often asked by several of my friends, why I didn't find a FLGS where I was stationed so I could play some D&D.  Perhaps it's just due to the fact that we had such a close and tightly structured group back in the day, but I just couldn't see myself walking into a FLGS and just suddenly popping in with a group of strangers to play D&D.  Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was getting older, and they say it's harder to make friends the older you get.  We tend to get more set in our ways as we age.  I had a perception of how I thought D&D should be played (still do), and I always felt it would just seem strange to start playing the game with people I didn't know at all.  I still feel this way.  This is one of the bigger reasons I've never gone to a Con and would never likely jump in a random game run at a Con with a bunch of people I don't know.  I know a lot of people in the hobby like to socialize and mingle, and D&D is a great means for them to do that, but I'm not really one of those people.

I say all this, because Zak recently posted an article in reference to what he termed "ConstantCon 2011," the idea behind which is that people can share their google+ information, and use the video hangouts to host/play in various D&D games with people in our "community" (my term not his, but I use it loosely.)  While I have expressed my interest in doing this to him, I'm still not sure if I can go through with it.  I read a lot of blogs and often find myself thinking, man, I'd love to play D&D with that guy, but ultimately, it's probably something I'll never actually do.  The idea of using something like google+ to play with other gamers across the world is fascinating to me though.  And this doesn't really stem from any sense of insecurity, or anything.  Rather, it has more to do with the fact that I would simply find it odd to sit and play a game with a bunch of people I've met, literally, just then.  It would just seem strange to me.  Maybe one of these days I'll give it a try...maybe.