Day 22: Toronto Gaming Bullshit #1

August 18, 2009

I’ll be doing these pieces of off-the-cuff analysis of the Toronto scene mixed in with the regular diary. You can take this to mean that the gamer stuff I’m doing is stuff I can’t talk about (like session prep).  Toronto Gaming Bullshit is pretty insidious – in fact, it might even be inside you right now.

Today’s Toronto Gaming Bullshit can be summed up in one phrase:

“I don’t know any gamers.”

Toronto has lots of roleplayers, boardgamers, videogamers, LARPers, and lots of other creative types.

“I know that,” you say, “but how do I meet them?”

Toronto also has some very excellent gamer organizations: TAG (Toronto Area Gamers) and the TRPA (Toronto RolePlayers Association), not to mention whatever hobby clubs are there at the universities and colleges.

Go there. Gamers are there.

Now, you might say: “But Ryan, I joined TAG and I still don’t know any gamers!”

Well, I bet I know why. How many TAG events have you gone to?

“Well, there was that one I RSVP’d for, but it was like, ten subway stations away and I didn’t end up going.”

You see, filling out the online form to join a gaming club doesn’t do a thing. Nothing. Nada. Not a damn thing.

Want to know why? Take a look through people’s gamer profiles. Think to yourself: Do I want to game with this person?

The answer, 95% of the time, is “I don’t know.”

That’s completely natural. Why? Because it’s just text on the internet. Even when you add a picture, it’s impossible to distinguish these two groups:

1) Awesome, smart gamers who are good at playing with others.
2) Vinegar-smelling rejects who are intolerable to be around.

That’s why no one who just joins a gaming meetup online ends up “breaking through” into a regular game. Think of it this way: Do you want to invite a random sample of gamers into your house?

“Well, no” you say, “but Ryan, what’s the point?”

The point is that getting to game in Toronto is like getting to game anywhere else. You have to meet people first. You have to go out to the low-key oneshots, the boardgame nights, and the social get togethers.

Honestly, if you haven’t been out to about five social gatherings, you don’t have a prayer. But I’d recommend 10 if you really want a fighting chance.

So you too can be one of the shining happy people playing games, but you have to be willing to get out there and meet people in person.

//Rant over.

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2 Responses to “Day 22: Toronto Gaming Bullshit #1”

  1. Mike R. Says:

    Mike R. likes this.

  2. Sandy Says:

    Agreed. 100%. Ryan has hit the nail on the head. Being an active AO in TAG, I can’t tell you how many people complain that we don’t arrange groups for them to join. The perfidy!


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