A person I know wrote an article online (check article here http://atgn.com.au/need-a-game-want-a-game-get-yourself-a-gaming-buddy/). Here are my thoughts...
The first two points are “Hang around your local hobby store from time to time...” and “Or hang around your local games club”. These two are almost the same when it comes to applying the principles advocated. The comment that weirdos who hang out at games club aren’t present in local hobby stores is not mutually exclusive to one over the other. If you a looking for a new person to include in home games it’s going to be hit and miss with who you will find acceptable. One or two visits at a venue I believe will not attain a suitable sounding of the community to find a gaming buddy (unless you aren’t picky or just desperate.) It has taken me, personally, months to ascertain who I would be comfortable with gaming at my residence. Whether that person feels likewise is often the problem. Over my long life I have found that humans are fickle and hypocrites. People I know and game with (current and past) will literally walk to the other side to avoid having a conversation with me, when all I’d like to do was just say hello and move on. (Having done more CBT – cognitive behaviour therapy - than the average person, I’m aware of the many implications of that statement, so please do not think that I’m not aware of them if you choose to take offense or point out the exceptions.) Such is the same with gaming, there appears to me to be a “happy to know or play games in a club/store environment with you”, but don’t ask for anymore interaction. Prepare to invest some time searching stores or clubs for the prerequisite gaming buddy of choice.
The other tenants are closely linked together, but the thinking that follows is debatable. I again make reference to the human condition – people are (most of the time) looking for “what am I going to get out of any relationship.” For example in my youth I had a group of people who first gamed at my parents house and then at my own home. The benefits to the group at that time were, my parents tolerated the games at their residence (it also made them feel safe knowing their son was home and not out doing naughty things on a Friday and Saturday night), and my mother also fed them. When I married and moved out of my parent’s residence, having my own home, the group who attended had the opportunity of no parental/adult supervision and more freedom. In those early days there were very few alternative sources for enjoying a game on a regular basis. Shops did not having gaming facilities and the clubs (really good ones in the day) only met on fortnightly or monthly basis (not too sure on the frequency, memories a little hazy) mostly on Sundays. Younger readers may not remember that Queensland operated with a half day trade on Saturday with Sunday finding almost everything shut. There was no internet, no mobile phones, no modern conveniences that people take for granted today. Groups were formed, in my case, through friends and people knowing people (and inviting them along) to University and eventually finding the clubs operating at the time. From my perspective looking back I found that people were easier to communicate and bond with than today. Of course it may have just been the age syndrome of youth versus older mindsets and the flexibility it entails.
Where am I going with this (yes I do meander?) Times may have changed but the human condition has not. If you feel that you have to entice people to game at your residence with “benefits”, then all you may attract are leeches. They only hang around because you are providing something which costs them little or nothing to do what they like doing. I have been blessed with the fact my wife worked in a games store and knew the man she was marrying. She had no difficulty with associating with my group or with the disruption to home life, not everyone has that understanding partner. The number of people I’ve known who’ve dropped their interests because of partners or children is not uncommon, as it was in the past so it is today. When it comes to children I have even known of circumstances where persons would not come over for games because of them - the same applies for pets, cats and dogs, it’s amazing what people won’t tolerate. In the mid 80’s I had my first break down and the group did not accept this or prepare to accommodate me back into the group even with my apologies. While society politely lies to itself that it is non-discriminatory, it is not, especially when it comes to mental illness. In the 80’s it was almost unheard of for compassion or understanding from the community, you were ostracised and made to feel humiliated.
I have written previously on my blog that the people you associate with and in this case game with will most likely not be the same as time progresses. In my case the original group that I knew 30 years ago, only one is still gaming with me. Of the groups I have known since then (with the exclusion of the present), less so, I’d say zero. As I get older I find that I’m either outliving my associates and friends, they move away, or they no longer wish to associate with me. My circle of opportunity grows smaller each year; my greatest bugbear is the age gap now. It has been refreshing to see an influx of youth into my hobby, but with that comes the peculiar discrimination of age.
Right I’m back looking at the article and relating it to an old man. For example - I go to a local hobby store or club and hang around looking for a gaming buddy... I think I can almost hear your minds taking the wrong track. Everyone is younger than you; you are trying to find someone who wants to be your gaming buddy, you can offer them “benefits” with a home based venue. So I can almost guess people are going to cry “paedophile/deviant”, if you go to venues where there are young children ( up to 17) then you can feel even more threatened by public perception. It’s difficult to find people who are prepared to accept you on age, just like people’s inability to deal with those suffering from illnesses. The article only applies where you fall within acceptable parameters of social acceptance.
My personal rant or call it what you will...
As I have mentioned in the past I have a magnificent collection of games built up over 30 plus years, with more than sufficient space for games and entertainment. I am with my age and the vagaries of personal circumstances restricted to home or close venues for my gaming enjoyment. I am particular about who I want to game with and who I invite into my residence. I learnt that offering enticements through generosity have amounted to zero improvement of chances to game (without attracting leeches) so I no longer offer them. Though I am still prone to be generous, it’s my nature – pity some take advantage of it. If people cannot see the opportunity they are missing that I can offer then I’m not going to “prostitute” myself to obtain a gaming buddy or new group of home based gamers. Of course suffering from my personal daemons makes life extremely hard and I don’t expect people to understand nevertheless feel sympathy for.
Till next time.
The Hon. John