WotC interviews 5 DM's

edited January 2010 in Stuff to Watch
Check it out.

This shit is fascinating. I thought it needed its own thread.

Comments

  • Videos like this are totally the right thing for WotC to be doing. Seeing DMs at work seems to be what really inspires people to take up the game.

    ...which is pretty alarming, actually.




    (I even counted three people who weren't overweight! (Like I should talk))
  • Posted By: misubaVideos like this are totally the right thing for WotC to be doing. Seeing DMs at work seems to be what really inspires people to take up the game.

    ...which is pretty alarming, actually.
    I watched one of the videos and it rapidly degenerated into a giant unsell. But I already didn't like 4e*, so what do I know.


    (*Yes, I did buy it and try it before coming to this conclusion. No I was never a 3e fan.)
  • This is only barely about 4e for me at all.

    It is about celebrating how people get together and game in a way that always makes me smile.
  • I really liked the Meetup organizer guy. The parts where he was talking about getting people together and encouraging people to run games were interesting and fun.

    It's also cool that WOTC left in parts that do not really make D&D look that delicious, but do make it look honest and human - like the part where that same guys shows off the spreadsheet he uses to manage encounters. On one hand, wow, that's a huge buzz-kill. On the other hand, wow, that guys loves this thing so much he made a spreadsheet. The guy talking about spending 6-8 hours making characters made me want to eat a gun, but then then there's a moment when some dude is grinning as the goblins grab his dude's legs.
  • The guy talking about spending 6-8 hours making characters made me want to eat a gun, but then then there's a moment when some dude is grinning as the goblins grab his dude's legs.
    ...what makes delicious may vary by taster. You don't spend 6-8 hours on your D&D4e character because you /need/ to, you do it because you *want* to. It's called lonely fun, and some of us like it. So yeah.
  • While I find many familiar geek culture touchstones in these videos, I find them making me feel so far outside the gaming mainstream that plays D&D that I might as well be on a desert island with my non-WotC, non-mainstream, small press stuff. I can't relate and that kinda bugs me.
  • "Getting your friends to play Dungeons & Dragons, at this age -- if they've never played before -- is almost impossible."

    That bit broke my heart. I want to hug that guy and tell him he's so wrong. And maybe also hand him a copy of Mouse Guard and Dogs in the Vineyard.
  • I liked it. I'm not a big fan of 4e, but it did get me excited about playing games.
  • My favourite part of the vid was spotting the Hero Quest Fimir. It gave me a nostalgic smile... WFRP was always a lot bigger than D&D in gaming circles I travelled through as a kid, and I played Hero Quest at the same time as I was getting info AFF.

    Oh, and just how far away was that GM sitting?
  • Posted By: Mike MontesaWhile I find many familiar geek culture touchstones in these videos, I find them making me feel so far outside the gaming mainstream that plays D&D that I might as well be on a desert island with my non-WotC, non-mainstream, small press stuff. I can't relate and that kinda bugs me.
    Man, that's exactly how I felt as well.
  • Watching... Random comments...

    The comments about how hard it is to get people to DM, and DM Amanda talking about the pressure of "being afraid that you're going to screw it all up" are pretty fascinating.

    Great comment form Amanda: "The more flexible you are, the less work it's going to be."

    James' monster spreadsheet... Why? Hello: DDI.

    James' initiative tent cards with condition markers: pretty cool.
  • I was actually kinda saddened at the number of overweight gamers in that video. Many were not just a little overwieght. They were obese. I'm not making any kind of judgement on their character for this, just kinda amazed about the gamer physique shown in this video. I am a medical student though, so I guess I am just hyper aware of the potential consequences of obesity. Maybe strange thing to fixate on, but there it is. The rest of geekdom shown was predictable and endeering, it was just weird seeing gamers in a light I am not used to. My scrawny geeky med school gamer buddies, my scrawny geeky high school gamer buddies, and forum posters/bloggers are my entire context for gamers.
  • Yeah the fat guy with a beard, while a sterotype, is a derserved and well represented sterotype (I should know I am one)

    As for not making a judgement on their character for this, I roll my eyes at you sir.

    Posted By: John Harper" And maybe also hand him a copy of Mouse Guard and Dogs in the Vineyard.
    YOUR PART OF THE PROBLEM< With your solutions, indie games, and can do attitude.:D
  • I guess it is definitely a stereotype, I was just surprised that you had to look hard to find people who don't look like The Comic Book Guy.



    And my observation holds for physique only. Character remains unjudged. Any rolling of eyes is prompted by the reader's own biases.
  • You keep saying, but I ain't believing it. People are a whole, not convient parts that you can't be criticized for looking down upon.

    I'm watching the videos now, and its interesting. I wonder how much the preponderance of hats, goatees, asians (lol) and slim glasses are a correlation of New York as apposed to gamers.

    I know my wife will be very happy to find a female GM interview. I know she definitely feels underrepresented as a female in the hobby, and has taken a kind of perverse joy in finding other examples of females in the hobby (her (very rarely attended) con lists are now populated by what has a female gm, etc, etc.

    That said she oddly enough, hates games about gender.

    I also find it interesting the kinda preponderance of views, as the entertainer, as the gamer, the view of DM's who kill, The Director, and stuff like that. I know because I fall into a few of these that they are definitely complex (my players all think I'm going to kill them, they want to think that because I don't really, even if I do let the dice fall where they will (which is not some gamism code for gamism, because i'm still composing the encounters, which is how they think I kill them). I wonder if its the combination of the unknowable (luck, results based on chance) and the unknowable (what i'm going to think of next, how i'm going to kill them next) that leads to the almost mythologicization of the killer dm.

    I find it interesting.

    Logos
  • >You keep saying, but I ain't believing it. People are a whole, not convient parts that you can't be criticized for looking down upon.

    It is interesting that you seem so intent upon acusing me of criticizing or looking down upon people. I have said only a couple of things about the subject.

    1) There were a lot of obese people in the videos. This is a fact that was observed by more than me.
    2) I am not surrounded by that many obese gamers. You will just have to trust me on that. So this surprised me.
    3) I am saddened at the fact that our demographic would be so obese. We are relatively young, and for someone to be obese at this age means a lot of bad things down the road. Not necessarily for everyone, but definitely for the majority.

    There was no judgement about them as people. I am saddened because I see them as people who have what is really a medical problem. It is not their fault any more than it is the fault of a child with cystic fibrosis is at fault, despite what the mainstream media would have you believe. They just have consequences to look forward to. That is what saddens me. I do not look down upon them, but to say that they wouldn't be better off, all things being otherwise equal, without the extra weight is a denial of reality. So it saddnes me that this is a burdan that they will have to carry.

    It is also telling of your feelings about the subject that you would assume my feelings about the subject. I hold no ill will toward obese people, even though I would wish that they were not, for their own sake. Obesity is one of the leading causes of death and ill health in the US. To not be saddened by it would be similar to not being saddened by people not using seat belts, or not being vaccinized. It causes problems that would be dramatically decreased otherwise.
  • Its interesting that WotC asks all of them about how and when they decided to "become" a DM. You know, as if they were asking when they decided to become a carpenter or get into marketing. It seems like that want to encourage people to take on the DM role, but then they make it sound like it's this huge life decision.
  • The Video is a bit contrary at places, you have people going on about how they want Dm's but don't want to dm, how the dm needs all the power, but should never use it, how the dm is the entertainer but that comes at the price of not always being entertained. Its also that way to other things (like 4th edition in particular) There were a couple of OMG I can't believe they are giving this the time of day, in regards to complaints of 4th edition, but they just push on and end up with how everyone was pretty okay with it at the end.

    As for nameless, its number 3> that I am critizing you for. I never said you held ill will for these people , just showing a kind of contempt or looking down upon people, its something simular to how you may feel if your demograph contained a larger than normal number of smokers or people who partcipate in group sex (both of which could very well be true) its a kind of condeeming legal activities that have no real moral value(even if they are self harmful, because quite frankly, some degree of self harm is A-okay, see extreme (and often not even that extreme) sports and other things) because you don't like them. Anyway, this is much longer than I should probably go on about it, which is too say, I tried to treat you like someone in real life, and it obviously kinda failed over the internet.
  • edited January 2010
    I'm always astounded by some of the gamer-culture attitudes to DM/GMing.

    I recently met someone who was a gamer, and one of their first questions was, "So, you like roleplaying? OK. Are you a player or a GM?"

    It was very much the same tone of voice you might hear someone use to say, "Oh, you're a college student. So what's your major?" Or maybe, "You're a politician? What party?"

    Didn't know what to say. Is that some kind of lifestyle decision I wasn't aware of?
  • Logos7, no worries about anything. I might come off quite differently than I mean to, and really, my perspectie might be something that many people find less than desirable.

    To give a little context, I am a medical student in the middle of a primary care clerkship. I am eyeball deep in trying to convince people to lose weight, eat better, exercise, stop smoking, cut down on the drinking and drugs, and be generally more careful about what they participate in, especially sex. All of those things can be valuable parts of the human experience, but my job at this point is to convince people to only engage in them to a degree that will not adversely affect their health. Sometimes when I get online I let it all hang out and just vent a little, and sometimes this might not come off well. It's a tough business I am in, selling what is generally a less fun lifestyle for the opportunity of more of it later. Generally much later. I actually can already tell that I am not really cut out for primary care, because frankly, I do not really want to have to work to convince people to do things that they are just not into. Seeing this dicussion, I have learned that even pointing out that there might be a problem could be offensive to people, and that might explain why it rarely works.

    I guess I will have to basically change my attitude a little. From now on I will keep my opinions on this matter to my self. I will respect your right to the lifestyle of your choice, even while as a doctor, I will have to advise you should change in an effort to avoid the negative health consequences. I will not avoid the facts, but I will avoid as much as possible making people feel like I look down on them.

    This is even somewhat beside the point, because I know that there is more to it than lifestyle when it comes to weight. I just got distracted when you compared it to strictly lifestyle choices like smoking and risky sexual behavior.
  • You can debate all day if it is offensive or not, but a lot of gamers are overweight (or really overweight, which stands out in people's minds more.) Most hobby shops have at least one guy standing around who's 50+ lbs overweight.

    I personally constantly struggle with my weight. If I'm not exercising, I'm literally gaining 1 lb or more a week. I've been 250 lbs before and I'm 5'11'. I've gained 10 lbs since joining the forum (which was not too long ago.) I need to hit the gym (more regularly) and work it off. If I was in that video and 75 lbs overweight (like I have been) I would find it really weird that you guys would say its offensive to call me overweight. You aren't saying it to my face or behind my back, I don't even 'know' you.

    The truth hurts, but before you can lose weight, you have to come to terms with the fact that you are fat. By carrying around hidden emotional burdens, you let them fester and weigh you down.
  • Wow, what a bunch of cool DM's! I'm a bit sad that being one seems to be such a hard thing to do, as opposed to playing.
  • I watched these again, thinking maybe I could find something more in common with the people featured after maybe putting a few days of distance between when I first watched them and now.

    Nope. The videos still make me feel left out. I have about as much in common with those DMs and their playstyle as a fish has with a bird.
  • edited January 2010
    Posted By: David CYou can debate all day if it is offensive or not, but a lot of gamers are overweight (or really overweight, which stands out in people's minds more.) Most hobby shops have at least one guy standing around who's 50+ lbs overweight.
    I suspect that these demographics probably match up locally to whatever the local health and fitness situation is. At my twice-a-month D&D game I run in the shop, we have 1 guy who you'd look at peg as definitely overweight, but probably not obese... he's big, but still in decent shape, bikes in, etc. The other five people in the game, and me, are median weight or under. BUT... I live in an affluent Northeastern small city where the population as a whole ins wealthier and healthier than in the Midwest or the South.

    And let's face it, it's not like if you go to, say, a football game, or a poker tournament, that you're necessarily going to find a much healthier bunch if you take a random sampling. You'll sure find "at least one guy standing around who's 50+ pounds overweight". ANY sedentary activity performed as a hobby is going to attract less active people, and in turn leave less time for physical activity the more you engage in it. But there's also a little bit of begging the question there, like saying "Wow, the running hobby sure has a lot of people with ankle and other joint problems. What's up with that? Yeesh!"

    That said, the image of 'lifestyle' gamers are likelier than not to be overweight, white, and male tracks with my experience at Cons. I'd be curious to learn HOW WotC found their sample of gaming groups. It's clear they made an effort to find a female GM. Did they go equally out of their way to sample different areas on income/education levels for the rest of their interviewees? As someone pointed out re: hats and goatees, a game table in a loft in Bensonhurst is very likely to look as different to a group in rural Kentucky as any sapling of those populations, or indeed, the places themselves, do.

    On the subject of the impossible, apparently contradictory demands/requirements for 'good DMs', well, that's just people. Ask people what they think of politicians (or bosses, or even clergy) and you could probably just dub in the same answers (up to and INCLUDING the 'I hate it when they try to kill us' reaction, I bet...). Nature of the beast, and all that.

    "I might as well be on a desert island with my non-WotC, non-mainstream, small press stuff. I can't relate and that kinda bugs me."

    Bwahahahahaha! It's like an alcoholic who only gets bombed on high-end scotch saying he 'can't relate' to the guy who has a beer problem. It's all the same disease, pal, just different vectors.

    -Jim C.
  • Posted By: Jim Crocker
    Bwahahahahaha! It's like an alcoholic who only gets bombed on high-end scotch saying he 'can't relate' to the guy who has a beer problem. It's all the same disease, pal, just different vectors.
    Well sure, but I can drink scotch or beer by myself if I want to. I need a group of people to play an RPG (basically) and it does help if you're on the same wavelength as far as playstyle goes. I mean, I have a great group and a wider circle of great gamers to play with, and of course, I have no reason to expect anyone else should play like I do, or that my experience should be the norm, but these videos just remind me how far outside the mainstream my gaming may be, s'all I'm saying.
  • Next thing you know we're gonna need a kind of code word for Mike MOntesa's Roleplaying.

    Not with Mike Montesa, He's into the German Roleplaying
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