Posts tagged “gamers

The Care and Feeding of Your Gaming Group

I like to cook.

Scratch that. I like to cook a lot. I like to cook big meals to boot. I like to cook all sorts of things. I love Asian flavors specifically but I branch out whenever possible. I own several cookbooks, and I recently upgraded my kitchen appliances with the same passion I applied to choosing the new video card and monitor for my computer.

This becomes a problem. When we used to run a different game at my place, I cooked before every game. Apparently this didn’t fly with my gaming group. They actively resented my good-deeds (that I did without being asked, happily and without complaint) and when that game closed, these players said straight out said to my then-boyfriend-later-husband that they would no longer game at my house because I ‘forced’ them to eat.

Note that they couldn’t tell this to me. I was intensely offended when I was told about this exchange months later, but nobody apologized or even acknowledged that I was aware of this rudeness. Life goes on, though. My husband and I married, and his house and my house became the same house. He was running his Shadowrun game, and by God, he was running it in his own home. When he moved, the game moved. Nobody could argue with that logic — he wasn’t carting his books across the valley just because they didn’t want to be inconvenienced with my hostessing.

So the snubbing began. I’d let them know that I was preparing a large meal and they were welcome to join. They’d arrive, maybe one would partake but the rest would feed themselves before or after the game rather then take my freely offered, no strings attached food. No money or supplies were requested. They brought drinks and snacks of their own volition. But my efforts were routinely snubbed, to the point that they’d show up late after eating out and a top it, brought desert from a restaurant despite that I had made a full meal and desert for them and told them ahead of time I was doing so.

I very nearly threw them out that night, but behaved myself as best I could in the face of this insult. However, this is pretty much the only gaming group we have, and so we put up with these sorts of shenanigans and blatant disrespect. It was things like that that we had to warn folks about when our newest player asked about joining our group. They had decided they didn’t want to play at a decent hour, they wanted to come over at 10:30. They didn’t want to eat with us. They basically wanted to do things only on their time schedule, at their whim, and nothing else.

Our new player, however, has none of these bad habits. He is courteous, gracious and a very genteel man. We had him and his girlfriend over for pre-game dinner, and enjoyed ourselves. When I mention I’d like to make something, he’s the first to volunteer a side. His presence is actually a moderating influence, it seems, on some of the bad habits of our gaming group. This week when I said that I’d be making shrimp creole before game, they were all quick to let me know they’d be happy eat with us and brought sodas. I admit, we also used his schedule– and our need to take him home as he and his girlfriend only have one car– to leverage an earlier starting time! Yes, the GAME MASTER had to leverage against his own player group, because they had decided that starting at 10 was what they did for all the other games, and they’d do it for this one, regardless of what he wanted.

This means I’m very grateful for our new player, and enjoy his presence for more then just what he brings to the table not only as a player but as a nice person and a calming presence. I am also pleasantly surprised that being ‘good’ in front of the newbie has made them less of a pack of dicks. I mean, it’s not all that bad. We wouldn’t hang out with them if they didn’t have redeeming qualities. It just seems that a lot of the time, they’re just Big Boys who don’t want a Mommy, and I suppose that’s what they see my efforts to feed them as, though I can’t imagine why– I’m hardly matronly.

But I like to cook, and I like to game, and I don’t see why the two shouldn’t meet regularly. I don’t try and cook for game that’s not at my house — so why should sitting down for a meal with friends and then grabbing the dice bags be such a crime?

Boys. Can’t live with ’em, can’t feed ’em. What can you do with ’em?


Girl Tech?

Is there such a thing as girl tech? If you watch much children’s tv you’ll find that there is. Finally the electronics market is figuring out that there is a market for girls and women using gadgets.

For the young teen girl you’ll find such things as electronic diaries and pink handheld consoles. For adult women you’ll find more pink phones than you can shake a stick at and small bits of electronics made for the small hand of a woman.

Games are no different either. As computer and console gaming becomes more and more popular the games comapnies are finding that the female demographic is something they can cash in on.

I have yet to decide if I should feel flattered or insulted. Just why do I need special attention after all? I admit though that I’m a special case. The micro-PC I’m typing this on right now isn’t something you’d find marketed at women, but maybe it should be.

Most women have very specific tastes in games and gadgets. The gore and violence of a lot of games isn’t something that all women are necessarily interested in and games companies know this.

Take for example online games. Historically playing online games and MMOs was primarily something that male gamers participated in. Times are changing though. In the mainstream online games you’ll find more females playing than you would have even 5 years ago.

So the question that bears asking is this; what changed?

Well the most obvious answer to me is that technology has changed. As it has developed it has become easier to understand the basics. Pretty much anyone can handle the basics of using a mobile phone or a PC. These aren’t degree needing things anymore, they’re simple.

As technology has become easier to understand it has also become a lot more accessible. More people have snazzy PDAs, mobile phones and personal computers. How would some of us live without our portable media devices?

So easier to understand and more accessible technology. Well it was inevitable that women would start delving into the land of boy’s toys. So here we are.

The other reason is a little more slippery. Marketing plays an interesting part in all of this too. Recently on UK T.V. Nintendo have been running a commercial that is aimed very directly at girls.

This direct marketing isn’t seen for boys. You don’t see a commercial that says “Games that boys like” at the end of it. Maybe there should be.

I’m not offended or upset by this direct marketing. What annoys me slightly is how they’re going about it. The DS has found its way into a lot of girls’ hands. It’s small and interesting and has a very good spread of games. Because of this large game catalogue I think it has become more interesting to females, not anything to do with the marketing.

Really I’m just pondering and wondering here. The age of Barbie is gone, there’s no need to market to us like we’re still in the 50s. So why is technology and games being directed at us like it still is?