It's Only a Game - Musings by a Member
It's only a game.
That gets said a lot. It gets used a lot to defend peoples actions when they do something that upsets someone. Sometimes it's close cousin gets used: it's only an internet forum.
To a great extent, it's very true. Nothing in a game should cause grief, games should be entertaining, enjoyable, relaxing, challenging. They shouldn't be mean spirited and they shouldn't make you angry. If it stops being fun, stop doing it.
HOWEVER, we play games together for a reason. This is a safe haven for us. A place to shield ourselves from the jerks, the dicks, the people who get enjoyment from disappointing others, the folks who feed off of anger and pain. You know who they are, each game type has them, and each forum seems to attract its share. We're all here because we believe we're NOT those people. We're here because we believe we're better than that, and we believe we have surrounded ourselves with likeminded folks.
Sometimes, however, we make mistakes. Sometimes people aren't likeminded, and that causes tension. This is our haven though, our sanctuary, our home, in a philosophical way. I don't know about you, but when people come into my home and start yelling, upsetting my guests and my friends, I get a little angry.
This, this place, is not "just a forum" and the games we play may just be games, but we play them together to avoid the trolls and the fools. So, while it may "just" be a game in any one instance, the way we have chosen to play that game means we take our relationships seriously. We take THIS seriously. It's our haven, our sanctuary, our home.
Words of advice, though, try not to take individual games, game mechanics, or game happenings too seriously, remember we are all here for the same reasons (or should be) and cut each other a lot of slack. Don't let any ONE game, any ONE act, any ONE mechanic, destroy the good will and friendship we have (or are trying to) build here. If it stops being fun, stop doing it, even if for only a short while.
If anyone actually has a problem, for goodness sake, tell someone, don't let it fester and then leave in some kind of fury after months of buildup. We may not be able to fix it, but at least we will try. Give us a chance, it's a good bet you are here because we do share that vision of playing games to have fun, and if your fun is being ruined by someone or something, I'd rather try to fix that than lose a comrade. The internet is full of jerks, the good people are few and far enough between. Again, we may not be able to fix it, but you can be sure we'll make some kind of attempt. It is "only a game."
Anyway, that may not make any sense, and it may seem contradictory, maybe it is, this is all a very fragile balancing act. Remember that people take it seriously beyond the simple game mechanics, and remember that we are all here to have fun.