Having been involved in the #WritingCommunity on Twitter, and lurker around various sub-communities of RPG Twitter, I wonder why the latter isn’t more like the former. The writing community has both seasoned pros and aspiring newbees. There are people from every genre and niche. All of them share a love of writing. There may be occasional drama, but it gets put down quickly. Everyone looks out for one another, helps each other. They keep each other from being taken for a ride by bad agents, publishers, and workshops. Everyone behaves like an adult.
Then there are roleplayers, who are the most cliquish people I’ve ever encountered in my life.
I think the difference is that fiction writers have been around a lot longer than game designers. They all know the struggle. The market is a lot larger, and there’s room for everyone. Clearly my litfic isn’t going to be competition for your scifi, but my the success of your romance isn’t going to unhibit the success of my romance. There’s a recognition that, at least on the author level, this isn’t a zero-sum game.
Fiction isn’t entirely dominated by one publisher and one genre, either. There are many monoliths, not just one Dungeons & Dragons. I think there are more paths to success, and greater understanding that you can define your own. Not everyone wants to be a New York Times bestseller. Some people are over the moon to win an award at a workshop, or to get a piece accepted in a magazine or anthology. And people are happy for them.
I wish people in roleplaying could be more broadly supportive of one another. Allow diversity to exist, and stop trying to force the culture into one direction with bad takes and wrong information. It’s sad, and it’s exhausting.
Don’t Be Taken for a Ride
RPGaDay is an annual event held each August. It asks tabletop gamers to use provided daily prompts to express something fun, interesting, and positive about the hobby. David F. Chapman (Autocratik), the award-winning game designer, created it.
About Dancing Lights Press
Dancing Lights Press is a lo-fi publisher of tabletop roleplaying systems and system-agnostic creative aids, including the best selling Building series, the DoubleZero action thriller system, and Hippogryph, a fantasy story game system with traditional roots. Our products embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation because roleplaying is an activity, not a collection of expensive rulebooks.