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Forget the Game

I struggle with today [1]. I am sure that I am not the only person who does so.

I cannot bring myself to offer any GMing advice to you today. It just seems so trivial to me in comparison to what today means to me. My apologies in advance if you are disappointed by today’s article because of this.

Instead please allow me to be so bold as to share some advice for your life in general today:

If you and your friends are getting upset with each other over some aspect of the game, well then just forget the game.

A friendship is not worth losing over a game.

I have not followed this advice myself in the past. Today I do. The result has been that I now game with less people on a regular basis, but that the people I do game with are truly my friends. Maybe this change in attitude comes with age. I do not know, and to be honest I really do not care what the source is.

What I do care about are my friends. I do not want a game to come between us.

Our lives tend to be more predictable than we give them credit for. I think that is one reason why we sometimes lose sight of what is truly important about our hobby: RPGs bring friends together to play and have fun. Perhaps arguments at the table occur as a way for us to introduce a break into our normal routines. Maybe. I do not know for sure.

But eleven years ago nearly 3,000 people had their predictable daily routines cut short. Their friends and families had their lives thrown into chaos. A nation and the world itself changed because of that day, and not all of those changes have been for the better. All because we as a species can hate each other with such intensity that we will even kill ourselves in order to harm others.

I will not and can not make sense of what happened on this date over a decade ago. I just hope that you follow my advice and forget the game if it comes between you and a friend. Games just are not worth losing friends over.

Today of all days reminds us just how devastating hate can be. Do not let an argument over a game be a catalyst for hate to emerge in your life. Do not let hate replace a friendship. Enjoy the good times with your friends when you game, and forget the game entirely if it preserves the friendships.

In conclusion, I wish you all long futures full of good gaming and rich friendships. Emphasis on the rich friendships.

8 Comments (Open | Close)

8 Comments To "Forget the Game"

#1 Comment By shortymonster On September 11, 2012 @ 2:36 am

Nicely put sir…

#2 Comment By Patrick Benson On September 11, 2012 @ 8:38 am


#3 Comment By jessant On September 11, 2012 @ 8:38 am

I’ve tried my best to follow this. Unfortunately my husband and I recently lost a good friend (the best man in our wedding) because he took something so personally that there was no reasoning with him. Thank you for posting this. It is difficult to lose a “brother” over a stupid misunderstanding in a game.

#4 Comment By Patrick Benson On September 11, 2012 @ 8:43 am

It happens. Sometimes we don’t get the results that we want, but putting forth sincere effort to maintain a relationship is better than putting the game first. I hope that one day you can make amends with your friend.

#5 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On September 11, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

Well said. I don’t game with certain people, simply because we get along well everywhere but the table. Others I’ve had to come to an agreement with at the table. Both are worth doing to keep a friend.

#6 Comment By Patrick Benson On September 12, 2012 @ 7:53 pm

Thanks Kurt!

#7 Comment By MasterSilverback On September 13, 2012 @ 8:03 am

No disappointment here, Patrick. Your advice is on target and completely appropriate. That day should have a profound impact on us all. I have not forgotten. In fact, my wonderful daughter is named for Barbara Olson, the investigative journalist who was aboard the flight that struck the Pentagon. If we had been blessed with a son instead, we would have named him for John Moran, a battalion chief in the FDNY who was last seen leading his men upward.

I don’t know how people forget. I can’t. I won’t. Not ever.

The hate is still there, and today four families mourn good men because of it. We must always remember that whether it’s terrorism or some road accident or act of nature, any day could be our day and we have to do right by those we love, those we live with, those we work with and those we game with. If you have to make a phone call, make a compromise or make amends (or all three!), today is the day.

#8 Comment By Patrick Benson On September 14, 2012 @ 10:00 am

Thank you, and well said.