Reverb Gamers Prompt #2

Atlas Games is doing this thing called “Reverb Gamers 2012″, with 31 question prompts to kick off 2012. I’m going to post one up each day, including weekends, throughout January. I invite you to do the same! And check out @ReverbGamers on Twitter or Facebook.

REVERB GAMERS 2012, #2: What is it about gaming that you enjoy the most? Why do you game? Is it the adrenaline rush, the social aspect, or something else?

A long time ago, when I briefly ran a now-dead forum called Cultures of Play, we talked about the idea of sockets. And I’m a social socket gamer, primarily.

Roleplaying games, in my mind, live and thrive at the intersection of narrative arc & chaos. They’re only really organized in the retelling of those stories, either to others or to ourselves — just like in real life. I love the stories we tell, the sense of reality or surreality in those worlds, but it’s the shared experience that cranks my engine.

That isn’t to say I don’t enjoy other aspects of gaming, of course. I’m right-brained at times, and I like a good puzzle. I sometimes like (friendly!) competition. And I love drama. But I can get all those things elsewhere — computer games, board games, movies, novels, etc. It’s the social element that makes gaming something special.

But there’s a little more. You can get the social aspect from MMOs, of course, but tabletop gaming with loose rulesets forces interpretation of edge cases to the group[1], and that along with the shared reinterpretation of what’s happened is hot.

In short: I just fucking like people.[2] So let’s play together. :)

– Ryan

[1] Or to the GM, if the group is the sort that says “the GM rules that”…which means it’s still to the group, since that’s the chosen group dynamic. Not that that’s my chosen dynamic.

[2] Word order is key to communication.