Re: BU, Gaming, Age, etc.
- From: Jacob E. Boucher
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 6:25 PM
Subject: Re: [BG] Digest Number 1585
On Mon, 31 Mar 2003, Joseph Teller (www.fantasylibrary.com) wrote:
> I'm talking about actual gaming events, either in stores, cafes,
> clubs, homes etc. In general the BU people snub those of us who are
> not on campus or near campus. They often talk a good game, but are
> not great on organizational skills or keeping games going when they
> do have RPGs at the Strat or elsewhere near campus. They often feel
> like they have a lack of conviction or a fear of commitment to
> regular weekly gaming events etc.
>Considering that, on the average, BU has about 30,000 students
>(undergraduate and graduate) and several thousand faculty and staff, I'm
>fairly certain that you, Joe, in spite of your decades of gaming, have not
>encountered even one percent of the people who have and do game at BU.
>Keep in mind that BU has had one of the largest college LARP clubs you can
>shake a stick at (at it's height, VHS had 70-80 members, IIRC), and it's
>been around for six or seven years, maybe longer. During that time, it's
>not had a BU "RPG Club" until now, when one started up this semester.
You're right, I probably haven't met that many. If they don't go to local
game conventions, and won't cross the bridge into
the rest of Cambridge I haven't met them. I also generally are talking about
the last 5 years or so of experience with them, since I was
further away from the area before then and not local to their area. I'm also
not a LARPer and put them in a very different category
(LARPing to me is as different from the gaming I do as Baseball, Bowling, or
>I, personally, could not be dragged to one of your games, or any game you
>attended, by means of a four-oxen team. Your above comment is evidence of
>my reasoning. BU is a BIG school. We can find games here if we want. I
>found several groups of gamers that I was happy with over the years. Why
>would some eighteen year old go all the way out to Western Ave to hang
>out with people who, lets face it, have just about zero in common with
>them, when they can find games on campus?
I didn't say events at Western Ave (although it is WALKING DISTANCE from the
BU bridge and I have made
the trip myself to BU, the Strat etc on foot numerous times). They also have
shunned cafe game events (tabletop board gaming, roleplaying etc), local
game related conventions (Arisia, Vericon, etc.) In other words they want to
pretend they are not part of the local community but are 'just passing
I'm a firm believer in local community ties, neighborhood ties etc. I'm a
volunteer with several local community projects (non-gaming related),
ran some public outreach events for gaming in the area, helped out some with
this past Vericon, appear as a panelist at Arisia, etc. In other words, I
get involved (as does the rest of my household).
>I'm 26, and at the point where the gap between me and the freshmen I see
>every day at work is really beginning to show, and that's just eight
>years' difference. I would imagine going halfway across a city one
>doesn't know very well to game with a group of strangers twice one's age.
I've always gamed with folks in a wide range of ages, anywhere from 20 to 70
years of age. In my current gaming groups I
am, I believe, the senior gamer these days, with the next closest being 5
years younger than me. I've also had games in the past where
I had players and GMs that had a good 30-35 years of age over me. I don't
consider gaming something that should be ageist, except
the problem of dealing with minors (I draw the line at that, as I no longer
have the patience for it). Its not like we're talking baseball here where
physical ability would impact on performance.
>And, since I'm going on vacation in 24 hours and won't be able to read the
>rest of this thread, let me be blunt. Sounds to me, Joe, like you're
>whining that BU college kids don't want to game with you. When the
>forty-somethings start to wonder why the teenagers don't want to "hang
>out" with them anymore, they need to do some serious self-reflection.
>And yes, that's a little personal. Kick my school, I'll kick you back.
Sorry but its not personal on my part - I have no problem getting MIT,
Harvard, and other students and alum in my games. The BU folks have
presented themselves very differently than those folks do, and have a very
different set of problems. Me, I went to school a bit further out (Bentley &
BC) and more years ago then I like to think about.
Being a bit older doesn't mean you are incapable of interacting with people
who are younger than you or older than you. Or that you have to be
so far from the counter culture and youth culture that you don't know whats
going on and have no points to relate on.
- I find it absolutely amazing, in a way, that you can pidgeonhole every
gamer at BU so quickly.
Let's look at it this way. Of the gamers I know of on this 400+ person
list, I only know of a handful that go/have gone to BU. These are the
only people who would probably even know that your cafe gaming nights,
other gaming "functions" and other gatherings are even going on.
Of those of us on this list, I can speak for myself as I have a large and
active gaming group that takes up all of my gaming time. I believe you do
game with a former BU student, and I'm sure he'll have a talk with you
about this sometime soon. As for the others, I know at least one of them
(Emily Burton) has attended a regular off-campus game, and is making
progress towards building the BU Role Playing Society's population this
semester. Steve is new, so it's not his fault. I believe there are one
or two others out there (someone with the e-mail addy toro@... whose
name escapes me), but that's about it.
So, since BU hasn't had a Gaming Club during the 5 or so years that you
are making mention of, and since I don't see a large number of BU people
on this list (which seems to be the main method of communication for
"Boston Gaming"), it seems that you are pointing fingers at a demographic
that simply doesn't exist - organized BU gamers who are tied into the "Big
Boston Gaming Picture".
Unless, of course, you are faulting those people who attend Boston
University, play D&D, GURPS, White Wolf, and other games, who are not on
this mailing list, who don't feel the need to go to cons (which, by the
way, aren't all that cheap when you're a college student buying toothpaste
with your dining points), and who haven't heard of Joe Teller's Boston
Gamer Community. If that is the case, then you are blaming gamers for not
attending events that these same gamers don't even know existed. What a
stinking pile of crap.
As for the subject of Ageism, I think that's a complete joke. While you
might consider gaming to be a hobby that somehow wipes away all social
barriers, others do not. A College Student has, believe me, better things
to do with their time than trek all over Boston to go to role-playing
games hosted by people their parent's age. Again, I wonder on what
reasoning you are faulting teenagers who would rather associate with their
peers in a familiar environment than with middle-aged strangers half the
city away. My Dad's friends were nice enough people, but I don't think
I'd pick hanging out with them over spending time with my peers, and I was
one of those children who could actually sit still, be quiet, and be
polite and active amongst my parent's friends at an early age.
So, in conclusion, I find your sweeping generalization of a demographic
you know little to nothing about offensive, elitist, and positively rude.
You consistently display an apparent belief that your own personal
experience constitutes fact rather than opinion. You feel that because
you do not see "BU" tattooed across the foreheads of Arisia attendees, BU
students aren't there. What, pray tell, should these BU attendees do to
alert you to their presense? Are you holding court, waiting for them to
approach and introduce themselves to you?
As the Advisor to the BU Role Playing Society, I'm going to "advise" them
to keep the hell away from you, and anything you're involved in. I hope
it was your intent to drive anyone from BU away from you, because were I,
say, a BU freshman gamer reading your e-mails, I wouldn't go anywhere near
you, your games, games you attended, or events that you are participating
in, since you feel such distain for the BU community.
Jacob E. Boucher
Home Page: http://people.bu.edu/jbuchr
- Jacob, Joe, both of you are familiar enough with each others firmly held opinions expressed in the past to know that this argument isn't going to be productive. I suggest you either drop it or take it off of the list. In any case, ad hominem attacks don't have a place on the board and only serve to give newcomers the impression that flaming is tolerated. It is not.
- --- In email@example.com, "balsamicdragon"
> Jacob, Joe, both of you are familiar enough with each others firmlyheld opinions expressed in the past to know that this argument isn't
going to be productive. I suggest you either drop it or take it off
of the list. In any case, ad hominem attacks don't have a place on
the board and only serve to give newcomers the impression that
flaming is tolerated. It is not.
Are they at it again?
Geesh. Now I have to go back and read all the other email.
- Folks tend to aggregate in groups that are sort of age related, but
People in high school
People in college
People out of college but no kids (can be anywhere from 22 on up)
People with kids (and then you tend to hang around with people around
your kdis age)
People who are retired
I find that most folks are most comofrtable in their bracket. Shared
interest and all. I personally don't hanga round many college
students (I except most grad stduents because they tend to be more
like folks out of college who are working, mostly). I enjoy the
company of folks who are in a similar place lifewise to myself. Which
means working. Diversity is nice, but lets be honest my life
priorities are just utterly different from your average college
student. I also fidn that folks out of college view gaming mroe as a
social event and are less task driven (maybe its my inability to cope
with all these 'organization kids')
Ideally I'd like to game with more folks that have kids (okay anyone
who has kids, I'm a little desperate). But they don't seem to thick
on the ground.
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Jacob E. Boucher" <jbuchr@b...>
> As for the subject of Ageism, I think that's a complete joke.While you
> might consider gaming to be a hobby that somehow wipes away allsocial
> barriers, others do not. A College Student has, believe me, betterthings
> to do with their time than trek all over Boston to go to role-playing
> games hosted by people their parent's age. Again, I wonder on whatwith their
> reasoning you are faulting teenagers who would rather associate
> peers in a familiar environment than with middle-aged strangershalf the
> city away. My Dad's friends were nice enough people, but I don'tthink
> I'd pick hanging out with them over spending time with my peers,and I was
> one of those children who could actually sit still, be quiet, and be
> polite and active amongst my parent's friends at an early age.
> --- In email@example.com, "Jacob E. Boucher"<jbuchr@b...>
> While you
> > might consider gaming to be a hobby that somehow wipes away all
> > barriers, others do not. A College Student has, believe me,
> thingsJacob and I had a similar discussion to this one, via email, during
> > to do with their time than trek all over Boston to go to role-
> > games hosted by people their parent's age.
Christmas of last year.
This comment makes a lot of his POV from our discussion a lot clearer
to me now.
Jacob -- I think you and I are in the same age group. I'm 25, I'm
going to school at Harvard (and working there), I enjoy role playing
games, computer games especially.
Can I please ask that you stop appointing yourself the spokesperson
of all college-age gamers? My experience has been that the BEST
gamers (and DMs) I've ever played under were people of my age or up
to three decades older than I am. I would GLADLY trek across entire
states, much less a geographically small city like Boston, to play
with the people in my old group. I was doing practically that,
anyway, since they were a 2.5 hour drive away for me, one way. Oh,
yeah, and they were all in their mid 30s to early 50s, except for the
DM's son, who was 13.
In fact, some of the WORST gamers I've ever met were people my age.
And some of the most narrow-minded people, too. Thankfully, they (the
worst gamers I've met) all live in Alabama, and not in/near Boston.
Not to say I haven't met some weird old people too (again, in
Alabama), but not all the "cool people" are still in school.
Limiting yourself to a few square blocks of Boston is pretty foolish
in my opinion. You miss out on some truly spectacular people that
way. I'll thank you to stop painting with quite so broad a brush,
and to limit your declarations to yourself only. As one of those
college students you mentioned in the text I quoted, I'm quite
capable of determining for myself what I want to do with my time.
Sheesh, kids these days! /tongue-in-cheek
- On Tue, 1 Apr 2003, sunraven02 wrote:
> Can I please ask that you stop appointing yourself the spokespersonIf I was appointing myself as any sort of college-age spokesperson, I
> of all college-age gamers? My experience has been that the BEST
> gamers (and DMs) I've ever played under were people of my age or up
> to three decades older than I am. I would GLADLY trek across entire
> states, much less a geographically small city like Boston, to play
> with the people in my old group. I was doing practically that,
> anyway, since they were a 2.5 hour drive away for me, one way. Oh,
> yeah, and they were all in their mid 30s to early 50s, except for the
> DM's son, who was 13.
completely apologize. I was not intending to speak for you or anyone else
in the under-30ish age bracket. Go free speach, yay personal opinions,
and so forth. Boo me, in the corner, there I go.
I *was* however, trying to point out that people, by and large, associate
within their own peer groups. To *expect* college-aged people to freely
associate with people a decade or more out of their age group, and to
*fault* them for it as well, is, *I FEEL*, wrong.
*I BELIEVE* that there is a theory that gaming is some sort of utopic
social cure-all. That gamers rise above age, race, gender, social status,
and all other forms of stigma. A group-hug love-in one-big-happy-family
jazz festival of togetherness.
Not suprisingly, I think it's untrue. And I have no doubt that the
majority of subscribers on this list find my opinions to be wrong. Not
suprisingly, these list members are the same people who *are* able to
bridge all boundaries of society and whatnot in the name of gaming. It's
probably one of the reasons they're on this list to begin with ("Boston
Gaming Community" and all that).
I'd also point out that the 400 or so list members here most likely make
up only a fraction of the people in Boston, and Massachusetts in general,
who regularly crack open a Player's Handbook or roll funny dice and look
at attack charts. As all surveys are biased by who is willing to take
them in the first place, so too is a discussion on gaming by people who
are so into it that they'll spend all day e-mailing each other about it.
This is, of course, not to mention that, of the 400 or so people on this
list, I doubt that even 25% of them post with anything even remotely
approaching regularity, making the "real" attendence here a group of 100
or so folks in a state of 6,380,000 or so people.
So I hope for forgiveness when my statements don't seem to reflect the
opinions of a portion of 400 people out of a gamer population of, to be
fair, several thousand gamers in this state alone. Whether or not my
opinion or yours best fits the bill...please, someone prove me wrong. I'd
like to think my caustic attitude wasn't par for the course.
Jacob E. Boucher
Home Page: http://people.bu.edu/jbuchr
- Jeremiah wrote:
> student. I also fidn that folks out of college view gaming mroe as a'organization kids'?
> social event and are less task driven (maybe its my inability to cope
> with all these 'organization kids')
What do you mean by task-driven?
I have to say, personally, when I go to a gaming group, I want to game.
Sure, socialization is part of it, but I've got a lot going on in my life,
and if I just want to kibbitz and hang out, then I make time for that. But
not having the sheer amount of time I devoted to gaming when I was younger
(and not working), the time I do set aside for gaming, I prize highly. So I
tend not to tolerate games that are 80% kibbitz and 20% game. Just my two